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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.
FRONT LINES. 1989 Dec; 6, 13.Projects supported by the Directorate for Population (S&T/POP) of the U.S. Agency for International Development and aimed at increasing for-profit private sector involvement in providing family planning services and products are described. Making products commercially available through social-marketing partnerships with the commercial sector, USAID has saved $1.1 million in commodity costs from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru. Active private sector involvement benefits companies, consumers, and donors through increased corporate profits, healthier employees, improved consumer access at lower cost, and the possibility of sustained family planning programs. Moreover, private, for-profit companies will be able to meet service demands over the next 20 years where traditional government and donor agency sources would fail. Using employee surveys and cost-benefit analyses to demonstrate expected financial and health benefits for businesses and work forces, S&T/POP's Technical Information on Population for the Private Sector (TIPPS) project encourages private companies in developing countries to invest in family planning and maternal/child health care for their employees. 36 companies in 9 countries have responded thus far, which examples provided from Peru and Zimbabwe. The Enterprise program's objectives are also to increase the involvement of for-profit companies in delivering family planning services, and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of private volunteer organizations in providing services. Projects have been started with mines, factories, banks, insurance companies, and parastatals in 27 countries, with examples cited from Ghana and Indonesia. Finally, the Social Marketing for Change project (SOMARC) builds demand and distributes low-cost contraceptives through commercial channels especially to low-income audiences. Partnerships have been initiated with the private sector in 17 developing countries, with examples provided from the Dominican Republic, Liberia and Ecuador. These projects have increased private sector involvement in family planning, thereby promoting service expansion at lower public sector cost.