Evidence-based Guidance Developed Through Worldwide Collaboration

Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers offers clinic-based health care professionals in developing countries the latest guidance on providing contraceptive methods. The book was prepared through a unique collaboration between editorial staff at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and technical experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and over 30 other organizations around the world (see Collaborating and Contributing Organizations). It is published by the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, which is led by the Center for Communication Programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The 2011 edition contains approximately 13 pages of material that has been updated from the 2007 edition, in accordance with WHO's 2008 and 2011 revisions to its Medical Eligibility Criteria and Selected Practice Recommendations. See a summary of recent revisions. The 2007 edition is, itself, a successor to 1997's The Essentials of Contraceptive Technology, published by K4Health's predecessor project, INFO.

Notable features of the handbook include:

  • First of its kind—developed through a unique, organized process, in which experts from around the world have come to consensus on practical guidance that reflects the best available scientific evidence.
  • Expands and improves on its predecessor, The Essentials of Contraceptive Technology, by covering more methods and more related topics and strengthening the evidence base for its guidance.
  • Covers more content, but still focuses on the essentials that family planning providers need to provide family planning clients with good-quality care.
  • Written in plain terms and organized for quick reference, the book serves as a resource for all levels of health care providers.
  • One of the WHO's Four Cornerstones of Family Planning Guidance. Together, the Four Cornerstones support the safe and effective provision and use of family planning methods, and can be used to develop national guidelines. As the fourth cornerstone, Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers offers technical information to help health care providers deliver family planning methods appropriately and effectively. The other Cornerstones are Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use, the Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use, and the Decision-making tool for family planning clients and providers.