Does better access to contraceptives increase their use? Key policy and methodological issues
Cochrane, Susan H.
The effect of community characteristics, in general, and access to family planning services, in particular, on contraceptive use has received considerable attention for several reasons. First, from a policy perspective, increasing access to contraception is the most direct intervention available for increasing use. Second, from the perspective of the sociology of fertility, community variables affecting access, such as the number of family planning clinics in or near the community, are frequently examined because they are thought to be the means by which group factors influence the behavior of individual members. And, third, economists, who see many decisions as being simultaneously determined, are often in search of independent variables which are not determined by other individual decisions to explain behavior. This paper reviews policy and methodological issues that need to be clarified in order to arrive at answers to policy questions. These policy issues range from whether strong programs are necessary or sufficient for the reduction of fertility to how such programs should be targeted for equity and efficiency objectives and which elements of program input are more cost effective. In this article the authors discuss these issues and draw conclusions about the findings to date and the future agenda for research.
Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Science Education,Scientific Research&Science Parks,Social Cohesion,Adolescent Health
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