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Proceedings of the Caribbean Regional Conference "Operations Research: Key to Management and Policy", Dover Convention Centre, St. Lawrence, Barbados, May 31 - June 2, 1989.
[New York, New York], Population Council, 1989. 19,  p.Objectives, proceedings, and conclusions of a Caribbean regional conference on operations research (OR) in maternal-child health and family planning programs (FP/MCH) are summarized. Sponsored by the Population Council, USAID, and UNICEF, participants included policy makers, program managers, service providers, and representatives from international agencies in health and family planning from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. The conference was held with hopes of contributing to the legitimization of OR as a management tool, and helping to develop a network of program directors and researchers interested in using OR for program improvement. Specifically, participants were called upon to review the progress and results of recent regional OR projects, analyze the utilization of these projects by policy makers and program managers, highlight regional quality of care, and establish directions for future projects in the region. Overall, the conference contributed to the dissemination and documentation of OR, and provided a forum in which to identify important service, research, and policy issues for the future. OR can improve FP/MCH services, and make positive contributions to the social impact of these programs. The unmet need of teenagers and men and structural adjustment were identified as issues of concern. Strategies will need to be developed to maintain currently high levels of contraceptive prevalence, while responding to the needs of special groups, with OR expected to focus on the quality of care especially in education and counseling, and screening and user follow-up. The technical competence of service providers and follow-up mechanisms are both in need of improvement, while stronger institutional and management capabilities should be developed through training and human resource development.