DKT’s management structure and practices are unique in that they are highly decentralized, promoting strong accountability and entrepreneurship at the field-office level. The headquarters offices in Washington include a staff of only eight people with a strong focus on cost efficiency and financial oversight. As a result, field offices and local country teams and staff – approximately 1,800 employees – are given wide programmatic and management autonomy. This allows DKT field offices to make decisions quickly, explore timely opportunities, and develop culturally appropriate programming and a strong sense of local ownership. In addition, most DKT field offices are established as local entities.
DKT’s policy on working in conflict-affected and fragile states is to provide our services where the need is great, and the needs are often greatest in difficult and dangerous places. We do everything possible to assure the safety of our personnel, and then proceed, prudently. In Sudan, for example, DKT is opening a new initiative to train midwives in IUD insertion and family planning techniques in the state of North Kordafan. Despite the fighting in the area, our plans are going forward because we can see special opportunities in the area. In Ethiopia, as the civil war ended, DKT provided goods and services in areas where possible, focusing on security and safety of personnel while taking advantage of opportunities where DKT goods and services could make a difference.
In Western Democratic Republic of Congo – and elsewhere in that war-torn country – the threat of trouble is constant but our family planning work is expanding rapidly. The 16 million adolescent and adult women of DRC are in desperate need of birth control. DKT’s tradition of flexibility in the face of rapidly changing market conditions has resulted in a variety of management structures. In India, Janani operates its own clinics, outreach, and franchises, while our Mumbai-based program fields a sales force of more than 100 across half of the subcontinent. In Indonesia and Brazil, staffs are much smaller as we work with local distribution firms. For all programs, DKT’s entrepreneurial management policies include the following:
- The bottom line is influencing behavior, not just providing information or changing attitudes.
- All programs put women and men at the center of every strategic decision. We innovate and change our strategies to provide women with more choices.
- Every family planning program is rigorously measured by the number of CYPs, by changes in contracepitve prevalence, and by program impact on such indicators as maternal mortality. Results are made public for greater accountability.