On behalf of Breakthrough RESEARCH, the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), in collaboration with the Population Council, assessed two of the three couple communication approaches on FP that are being implemented by the Maternal and Child Survival Project (MCSP) in Togo’s Kloto district: in-home couple counseling and group discussions. The overall goal was to assess the benefits and feasibility of these two approaches as well as to determine which elements of each are best suited for roll-out on a broader scale.

The objectives of this case study were to explore and describe how the two couple communication approaches might influence pathways and decision-making associated with sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning (FP) behaviors for participating couples, and to describe the experiences and behaviors of service providers and community health workers (CHWs) in delivering the couple communication activities. The case study also sought to explore potential behavior changes among couples, as well as providers and CHWs.

The findings point to four areas that a couple counseling intervention should consider in order to improve couple communication through effective male engagement.

  1. Prioritize counseling interventions early in a couples’ relationship.
  2. Raise awareness and train more CHWs in gender awareness for the scaling up of successful FP interventions.
  3. Take measures to match counseling sessions in accordance with men’s work schedules and location.
  4. Capitalize on CHWs’ adaptation and improvisation.

This report is intended for global and regional donors and FP program designers and implementers in West Africa. The findings of this assessment have important implications for MCSP’s way forward to expand the couple communication interventions, as well as other implementing partners involved in male engagement in Togo.

For more information, contact Natacha Stevanovic.