The Council is leading efforts to improve quality of care measurement and integration for scaling up and financing family planning programs worldwide.
The Bruce quality of care (QoC) framework, developed more than two decades ago, is a cornerstone approach to measuring quality in family planning programming, ensuring women’s wants and needs are respected, and improving outcomes. In the past 25 years since the QoC framework was developed, the global community has seen major shifts in family planning policies and programs and a strengthened commitment to achieving universal access to high-quality family planning services. These changes have resulted in the need to update and align methodologies for measuring and monitoring quality of care services to ensure that every woman has access to reproductive and contraceptive information, counseling, and services of her choice.
The Population Council is leading efforts update measurements of quality of care and facilitate scale-up of quality, sustainable, sexual and reproductive health programs. Council researchers lead a network of experts that has advanced methodologies for measuring and generating actionable policy and programmatic recommendations for improving the quality of client-centered family planning programs. To create an agreed-upon set of indicators to measure quality that can be applied uniformly across different health systems and social contexts, Council experts also reviewed existing family planning QoC frameworks and rights-based methodologies and tools used to measure and monitor QoC globally. As a result, a new set of indicators to assess quality across different levels and settings was developed and shared with family planning implementers, programmers and donors to elicit modifications and ensure alignment with rights-based family planning services for routine monitoring of quality.
Building on these achievements, Council researchers are:
- Expanding the conceptual framework on QoC to include safe abortion, particularly medical abortion;
- Disseminating and tracking uptake of the project’s policy and programmatic recommendations by national programs and family planning implementing partners;
- Engaging with stakeholders to incorporate QoC within universal health care and other financing mechanisms, including vouchers, conditional and unconditional cash transfers, community-based financing, user fees, and performance-based financing; and
- Reviewing private sector trends in eliciting consumer feedback—e.g., restaurant and food industries, consumer durables including fashion, as well as the service industry spanning from financial, hotels, to utilities–to identify systems that hold the most promise for delivery of person-centered family planning services in low- and middle-income countries.
Under this project, the Council also leads coordination of consortium partners, disseminate learnings on strategies for quality improvement at scale, and ensure that the evidence around quality of care is mainstreamed and integrated across the sexual and reproductive health continuum.
The Bruce Quality of Care framework revolutionized international family planning programs to help ensure they are client-centric, and has been widely adopted across reproductive health policies and programs globally. Further revision of this framework provides the international community with a better understanding of quality in current family planning programs, strengthens financing for family planning, including through Universal Health Care, and integrates the importance of quality of care in abortion services. This will help ensure that high-quality services are available and accessible to women, men, and adolescents around the world.