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Ascertaining the user perspectives on community participation in family planning programme in Thailand.
[Bangkok], Thailand, Mahidol University, Institute for Population and Social Research, 1991 Dec. , 132 p. (IPSR Publication No. 156)A study of community members, family planning program staff and managers, community-based distributors (CBDs), and local leaders in 4 regions of Thailand was undertaken to determine the extent to which community members are willing to participate in family planning programs, and which activities they prefer. 400 married women aged 15-44, 100 of their spouses, with a contraceptive prevalence rate of 69% taken equally from 12 villages, 16 CBDs from 12 communities, 69 village leaders divided into 1 focus group per village, and 17 staff were interviewed from May to July 1989. 5 variables that determine attitudes were measured: sociocultural norms for participatory behavior, values and beliefs underlying norms, institutionalized participatory behavior, government policies, and the family planning program. Some of the responsibilities open for participatory activity were promotion of family planning in the community,k educating potential users, target-setting, selecting, paying, training and supervising CBDs, record keeping, storing commodities, identifying potential acceptors, and transportation to clinics. Staff and CBDs considered community participation a valuable strategy. Community members considered participation attractive if it were perceived as beneficial to the community. They liked the idea of having services locally, but showed some doubts about the competence of CBDs. They expressed hesitancy about participating in such a personal realm as family planning. Most thought that program staff would be better able to do IEC work. Community members would consider participating in transportation to clinics, selection of CBDs, identification of acceptors, and referral to clinics. Community members were strongly motivated to work in collective, social activities. Managers wanted to make community people more self-reliant and cooperative. No one wanted community participation to duplicate current programs, or to pass program expenses on to localities.