Family planning vouchers have provided accessible and quality reproductive health services to the poor and have been critical to countries in making progress in achieving Millennium Development Goal 5. Increased utilization of contraception allows for birth spacing, decreases unintended pregnancy, and results in healthier mothers and families. Strategies to improve utilization through targeted subsidies in low- and middle income countries (LMICs) have not been fully documented in a systematic review of the literature. This study report summarizes the effect of voucher systems for contraceptive services on socioeconomic and demographic indicators in LMICs. A systematic review of unpublished reports and published peer-reviewed articles using 33 databases (1960 to 2014) with key search terms was conducted. Additional studies were identified by contacting experts and searching bibliographies of citations identified during the systematic review. Fifteen reports met the inclusion criteria. This review has yielded important information on the effectiveness of voucher programs subsidizing contraceptive products and services. The results suggest that voucher programs can expand client choice by reducing financial barriers to contraceptive services and making private providers an option for disadvantaged clients previously restricted by cost.
Bellows, Benjamin, Ashish Bajracharya, Carol Bulaya, and Sophie Inambwae. 2015. "Family planning vouchers to improve delivery and uptake of contraception in low and middle income countries: A systematic review," Evidence Study Report. Lusaka: Population Council.
The Evidence Project