Removing Roadblocks in a Woman’s Contraceptive Journey

Switching worked for me!

In 2021, Breakthrough ACTION, supported by USAID and in conjunction with the Philippines Department of Health, Philippines Commission on Population and Development, and USAID ReachHealth project, embarked on an effort to examine and design human-centered solutions to reduce contraceptive discontinuation in the Philippines. The project centered on the following key design question: “How might we understand the Filipino woman’s contraceptive journey and improve the approach of health care providers to reduce discontinuation?”

Participants explore prototypes at the Discontinuation Toolkit Dissemination Session in Manila, Philippines, January 20, 2023.

Contraceptive users were put at the center of this work. During the Discovery Research phase, people who stopped using contraceptives and their family, friends, health workers, and community members shared their stories. Breakthrough ACTION and USAID Reach Health developed insights from this user-focused exploration. Following these insights developed with key stakeholders, the project transformed these ideas into ten user-centered prototypes, ready to be tested.

The Anonymous Q&A Box and Board prototype displayed at the Discontinuation Toolkit Dissemination Session in Manila, Philippines, January 20, 2023.

Design experts facilitated a full-day human-centered design capacity strengthening workshop in Manila with a test team to understand how the prototypes would function in the hands of health care providers, clients, peers, and influencers. The team discarded, added, or improved prototypes according to user feedback as part of the testing process. Testing results helped Breakthrough ACTION determine each prototype’s desirability, viability, and feasibility. From this process, six final prototypes emerged. However, they must still be tested again.

The new Contraception Discontinuation Testing Toolkit guides social and behavior change and family planning practitioners in testing the six solutions that address contraception discontinuation in their local context. These solutions, also called “prototypes,” are meant to be adapted for local use. The toolkit provides step-by-step instructions for testing, guidance on who should test the prototypes, and resources needed for testing.

Providing this resource to test the prototypes will increase their contextual suitability, and ensure they are made available to meet the needs of family planning providers and women in need of contraception

Written by: Alison Pack, Program Officer