During the New Order era, Indonesia reached its peak success in Family Planning (FP) program implementation. In the last decade however, this achievement is no longer visible, despite continual socialization and efforts to maintain program momentum.
The problem starts in the decentralization of leadership and authority that places the success and progress of Family Planning program into the hands of the local government at each district. It is therefore crucial to develop an approach that is specifically targeted for the district decision makers.
In 2011 a program called Advance Family Planning (AFP) was initiated in Indonesia. This program advocates to the district/municipality government in Indonesia for increased support toward revitalization of the Family Planning program.
“Statistically the Family Planning program is stagnant due to decentralization. Therefore we assist the government to revitalize the Family Planning program through an AFP Approach,” Inne Silviane, the Executive Director of Cipta Cara Padu Foundation (YCCP), who manages the AFP Program in Indonesia explains to journalists at Tasikmadu Health Center, Karanganyar, on Friday (22/1/2016).
Out of the five first implementing districts of AFP, Karanganyar experiences the largest success as evidenced by its increased budget for Family Planning program and an increase in the number of family planning users. Karanganyar is then requested to host a comparative study visit by a delegate of 23 people that represents 14 countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Republic of Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, and Kenya.
This visit is part of the Fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) activities that will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali on 25 – 28 January 2016.
AFP Director, Dr. Duff Gillespie, mentioned that the visit by the delegate has an objective to learn from Indonesia’s experience in managing a Family Planning program, and to observe first-hand what Indonesia does to make this program a success. Barriers toward Family Planning program implementation that Indonesia faces are similar to what most ICFP participating countries have to deal with, such as inadequate number of trained health personnel, and poor communication between health providers and contraceptive users.
“We have teams that implement the same program in several countries, but the most successful implementation is in Indonesia,” Dr. Gillespie mentioned. He added that the success in Indonesia carries an additional value considering the geographical challenge that Indonesia has to face. “Very few countries have the condition of being an archipelago with thousands of islands spread over a vast area. Despite the challenges, Indonesia managed to succeed”.
Dr. Gillespie added that significant support from the central, as well as the local, government toward sustainability of the Family Planning program is another positive aspect of Indonesia that can serve as an example for other countries. He hopes that the comparative study participants can take the lessons learned from Indonesia and implement them in their own country. “After the conference, the participants will formulate a plan of action and we will help them implement it,” he reiterates.
AFP is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with full support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Hewlett Foundation. In Indonesia the AFP program is implemented by Johns Hopkins Bloomber School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs and YCCP.(lll/vit)