Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Over the decades, there has been a substantial increase in contraceptive use in India. The direction, emphasis and strategies of the Family Welfare Programme have changed over time. However, meeting the contraceptive needs of considerable proportions of women and men and improving the quality of family planning services continue to be a challenge. The 1990s witnessed a growing recognition of this, and several innovative policy and programme initiatives have been launched to address these issues. This paper reviews and synthesises evidence from surveys and studies conducted in the 1990s and thereafter on contraceptive use dynamics and the unmet need for contraception in India. The paper also discusses some of the barriers that hindered the success of the programme and sheds light on new initiatives to address these, and assesses their impact if any. The paper makes suggestions for areas that need further programme and research attention.