Introduction and scaling-up of emergency contraception: Lessons learned from three regions

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Emergency contraception (EC) has been around for decades, but the first serious introduction and scale-up efforts started in the mid 1990's. This paper reviews programmatic experiences that sought to expand access to emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) in Africa, Asia and Latin America over the last decade. This multiregional review identifies the individual phases of the introductory processes as well as facilitators and barriers to successful scale-up of ECP service provision. Characteristics of successful projects included conduction of multi-sector diagnostic assessments; careful consideration of legal and policy issues; collaborative advocacy and technical assistance for inclusion in public family planning programs by national and international institutions; as well as attention to programmatic areas such as capacity-building, supply-chain and awareness-raising. Lessons learned from varied developing country experiences are discussed as is the need for increased attention to evaluating and disseminating project results.