Social marketing for a better world

Newsletter December 2013

Dear Friend of DKT,

As many of you will have heard or read, Phil Harvey, DKT’s founder, will be stepping down as president at the end of this month and I will be assuming this new role.

Phil’s career in the world of family planning has spanned more than four decades and it is difficult to overstate the impact that he has had on our field and on the lives of tens of millions of women and men around the world.  Countless public health professionals from DKT, Population Services International (which Phil founded), Marie Stopes International (on whose board Phil sits) and beyond, have been influenced by his wonderful unorthodox approaches, unwavering commitment to getting things done, and willingness to take risks on ideas and people.

I thank Phil, as many of us have and will continue to do, for his leadership to the field of family planning.  Phil will remain Chairman of the Board at DKT and will continue to play an active role in that capacity.

It is a great privilege and honor to lead DKT, and I look forward to building on the strong DKT foundations laid by Phil over the past two decades.

I joined DKT in 1996, motivated in large part by the mission of providing family planning products and services to people who needed and wanted them.  That mission continues to be the driving force behind my dedication to DKT.  However, what has kept me passionate about this mission is the culture of DKT, a culture that is results-oriented, innovative, non-bureaucratic, and adventurous.  This culture has been central to our success and will serve us well as we plan for future growth and greater health impact.

We wish you all a very happy holiday season and thank you for your support.

I’m pleased to attach our last newsletter of 2013 below.


Christopher Purdy
Executive Vice President
DKT International


Ethiopia: A Family Planning Success Story

DKT booth at the International Conference of Family Planning

Andy Piller, DKT’s country director in Ethiopia, explores the reasons behind Ethiopia’s family planning success in a study published inStudies in Family Planning, crediting much of the progress to political will, generous donor support, NGO and public-private partnerships, and the domestic health extension program. Over the last two decades, Ethiopia has made significant progress in their contraceptive prevalence rate, which is why they were celebrated during the 3rd International Conference in Family Planning in Addis Ababa in November. DKT Ethiopia has been providing a variety of contraceptives all over the country now for over 20 years and has had a significant impact on the accessibility and affordability of family planning products and services, including providing the majority of the country’s condoms.


Phil Harvey Steps Down as President


Phil Harvey has been working on family planning issues since 1969.

With the end of 2013 comes an end of an era: Phil Harvey will be stepping down as President of DKT International. Christopher Purdy will take over as DKT President and Chief Executive Officer on the first of the year. Chris has worked at DKT for almost 20 years, serving as Country Director in Turkey, Ethiopia, and Indonesia where he managed the largest social marketing family planning program in the world. 



Encouraging Controversy

DKT Brasil Prudence Condom Ad

For over 20 years, DKT International has used strategies that work to sell family planning. DKT was founded on the conviction that risk-taking, including the use of sexual themes, de-medicalizing products, and pushing past cultural taboos is an important way to educate people and provide family planning. DKT’s efforts have sometimes caused controversy, including in Ethiopia, Philippines, and Pakistan. But disruptive ads and products have inevitably resulted in higher sales, more conversation, and greater awareness of contraceptive methods and options. Read more about the importance of controversy in Chris Purdy’s Huffington Post article, ‘To Promote Family Planning, Let’s Have More Controversy‘. 


Anticipating Family Planning Trends for 2014

In looking forward to 2014, Phil Harvey and Chris Purdy compiled a list oftrends to watch in family planning. This includes China’s changing One-Child Policy, the increasing use of digital technology to reach youth and other potential consumers, the increasing involvement of national governments in product availability, growing sales and use of the mifepristone/misoprostol drugs in abortion provision, and rising economics in Africa and Asia that will bring shifts to social trends.


Reaching Rural Populations in Egypt


An educational session at a clinic in Al-Shandawil village, Egypt

DKT Egypt undertakes significant outreach initiatives in rural areas. Last month, DKT organized awareness sessions and group meetings on family planning in several rural regions including the hard-to-reach Ghamr and Aga villages. In order to reach remote populations, DKT teams present and discuss different methods, products, and benefits of contraception in hospitals and family planning centers. DKT Egypt’s sales this year include over 1 million condoms and over 300,000 IUDs.


Rapidly Opening Clinics in Pakistan

One of many Dhanak clinics in a rural area.

DKT Pakistan continues to quickly expand. Starting sales a year ago, DKT has already opened a total of 113 Dhanak health centers in rural areas of Pakistan. In November alone DKT opened 47 clinic franchises. Reaching rural populations is key for DKT’s program; although the fertility rate has been declining nationally, it has largely remained unchanged for poor women and women in rural areas. Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is projected to double its population by 2050. With DKT reaching women with high unmet family planning needs, and training midwives and doctors around the country,DKT Pakistan is making an impact, reaching 241,879 couple years of protection (CYP) so far this year.