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While demand for family planning and reproductive health services is increasing worldwide, a number of recent trends threaten the financial sustainability of donor-supported NGOs that provide these services. First, the U.S. Agency for International Development has seen its funding for population assistance decline since 1995. A second reason is the growth of government-funded programs that provide these services for low-income clients, which reduced the need for NGOs to focus programs entirely on the poor. Health-sector reform has created opportunities for NGOs via public–private partnerships in some countries, but sustained public-sector support is unlikely given limited economic growth in domestic economies and competition from other health priorities. Faced with these challenges, many NGOs ceased operations, while others struggled to produce health services for which clients or donors are willing to pay. Long-term sustainability of NGOs may require that they become largely financially self-reliant, but few NGOs have the skills to reduce costs and increase income. This brief describes the FRONTIERS program’s Financial Sustainability Capacity Building Initiative (FSCBI). FSCBI’s objective is to build NGO capacity to conduct economics-related operations research to improve financial sustainability.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health