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In: Country studies on strategic management in population programmes, edited by Ellen Sattar. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, International Council on Management of Population Programmes, 1989 May. 1-23. (Management Contributions to Population Programmes Series Vol. 8)Brazil has a population of 144 million with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. Brazil also has the highest economic disparity rate in the world, with 65% of the population living below the poverty line. Despite some degree of governmental acceptance of family planning, the government does not have the resources to support an effective program, and it is therefore up to nongovernmental agencies to expand the population's access to family planning. BEMFAM, the Family Well-Being Civil Society, was founded in 1965 to stimulate the creation of a government family planning program. BEMFAM was affiliated with the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1967 and was granted recognition as a public utility in 1971. BEMFAM's 1st community program was in Rio Grande do Norte, and it was shortly extended to other northeastern states. As a result of political leadership seminars held by BEMFAM in 1980 and 1981, state legislators took the lead in creating the Representatives Group for Population and Development Studies with the goal of integrating state legislatures to implement a national family planning program. Due to BEMFAM's influence, the northeast is the 1 region where people expect to get contraceptives from government health centers. BEMFAM's work is concentrated in 4 areas: studies and surveys; information, education, and communication; training; and service delivery. According to the results of the Brazil Demographic and Health Survey carried out in 1986, 99% of women know of at least 1 contraceptive method, but only 43% use one. The most used method is female sterilization, followed by the pill (28% and 25% respectively). Brazil's new constitution designates family planning as a basic human right. BEMFAM will implement 6 strategies to increase the level of family planning in Brazil. 1) It will act to influence political leaders to improve family planning programs. 2) It will spread information and knowledge about family planning to the community at large. 3) It will train health professionals in family planning. 4) It will assist government agencies and private programs to maintain standards of service. 5) It will conduct studies and carry out research related to family planning, health, and development. 6) It will continually upgrade its own staff and facilities. BEMFAM has prioritized its efforts according to location, need, and sustainability of the programs.