Reproductive Health

The Manoff Group works on a range of activities in reproductive health including communication about harmful traditional practices, family planning and adolescent reproductive health.

Adolescent reproductive health

The Manoff Group used formative research in Malawi to study trangenerational sex, motivations for participation and barriers to behavior change. Staff worked with Save the Children to identify key behaviors related to sexual activity and HIV prevention and used TIPs (Trials of Improved Practices) to determine viability of behavior change.

Family planning

We applied Behavior-Centered ProgrammingSM and behavior change communications (BCC) for USAID-supported projects in the Philippines. One project focused on enhancing the quantity and quality of public-sector contraceptives and services and the other project on private-sector contraceptives and services. In Albania, we are responsible for the BCC component of a project to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate in 16 districts.

Harmful traditional practices

The Manoff Group assisted the Healthy Mother/Healthy Child (HM/HC) project in Egypt to review and develop anti-female genital mutilation communication, training and outreach activities. Manoff staff are working with a consortium of organizations looking at the gaps in research and information and promising practices to address these issues.

Abandoning Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: An In-Depth Look At Promising Practices (2007)

Philippines: Private Sector Mobilization for Family Health (PRISM Project)

The Manoff Group provided  technical assistance in Behavior-Centered Programming and behavior change communication (BCC).  The Manoff Group pioneered peer negotiation counseling in the workplace to support family planning services and help workers change their behavior.  Workplace peer educators were trained to identify and respond to workers who might benefit from family planning services. Peer educators were trained in negotiation counseling and to refer co-workers to the company family planning clinic or to qualified private sector midwives. The Manoff Group developed and pre-tested a curriculum in family planning workplace peer negotiation counseling as well as counseling cards to assist peer educators in negotiation.  (In the Philippines, peer negotiation counseling is referred to as “peer education.”)

ALADIN Framework (PowerPoint)

Tunisia: Family Planning and Social Marketing

In the late 1980s, The Manoff Group provided technical assistance on the social marketing component including: market research, development of a marketing strategy, message design and training in social marketing skills. The qualitative research included focused group discussion with married women of reproductive age. In addition, a number of physicians and pharmacists were interviewed to ascertain their perceptions and knowledge of family planning. The aim of the research was to expose the resistances to adoption of family planning practices among the target population.

Based on the research, a communications strategy was developed that combined radio and TV spots with point-of-purchase materials, posters and promotional materials for physicians' offices. Along with the communication strategy, a detailed marketing plan was developed and implemented. A series of training sessions were held on the basics of social marketing for project staff and an overview of social marketing was presented to senior government officials.

Pakistan: Male Involvement in Family Planning
The Manoff Group and the Asia Foundation (TAF) in Pakistan collaborated with five local NGOs on research and developing evidence-based programs for male involvement in family planning.  The Manoff Group designed an ethnographic study.  NGO staff interviewed 90 couples from four provinces.  the study helped to understand family planning behavior within the broader context of gender, marriage, family and religion.  The NGOs also held focus group discussion on family planning with religious leaders and with mothers-in-law. Based on the first study's findings, three NGOs conducted Trials of Improved Practices (TIPS).  Tips was done in three provinces with 72 couples who were not using a modern family planning method.  A male interviewer contacted the husband in half of the couples; a female interviewer contacted the wife in the other half.  In a series of interviews, researchers negotiated three behaviors with couples:
1) discuss birth spacing with spouse
2) learn about specific methods and select one
3) initiate a modern family planning

Interviewers conducted several follow-up interviews with individuals, couples and the husband's mother.

Results of the Trials of Improved Practices (TIPS)
One third of the couples initiated and used a modern method by the end of the trial (four months).  Couples who had been using a traditional method were more likely than non-users to adopt a modern method.  The gender of the spouse first contacted made no difference in less conservative eastern provinces.  However, contacting the husband first worked better in the more conservative province of Balochistan.  Providing a simple handout on family planning methods helped couples to have a conversation about methods.  Findings were widely disseminated in Pakistan, and the Asia Foundation developed a set of counseling materials based on the findings for NGO staff.

Albania: Family Planning Project
The Albania Family Planning Project (AFPP) was designed to increase demand, access, availability and use of modern family planning methods; help decrease Albania's high rate of abortion; and reduce maternal mortality.  The Manoff Group was responsible for behavior change communication (BCC).

The Manoff Group undertook a qualitative research study using ethnographic and market research techniques.  The data showed the Albanian men tended to dominate family planning decisions although most married couples discussed family planning together.  For married couples, marriage is a special relationship.  Because of work however, many Albanian men are living in other countries for months or years.  Men mentioned their extra-marital relationships in other countries but said these lacked the special emotional and trust aspects of marriage.

Research results were used to develop a behavior change strategy. As part of the strategy three television spots were developed along with a call-in television program and a house-to-house outreach program with community midwives.  The television spots refer to modern family planning methods and promote a larger role for women in decision-making.  The research results were also used in training community mid-wives.  The outreach program began in two pilot districts to provide couples with accurate family planning information and help women engage their husbands in family planning discussions and strengthen their role in decision-making.

Learn more about AFPP.