Statistics released this week indicate that contraceptive social marketing via organizations like DKT International provided 59 million Couple Years of Protection or about 30% of the total contraceptive spacing methods used by couples in the developing world
Washington, D.C., (June 27, 2012): Family planning and contraceptive accessibility are front and center on the world agenda with Melinda Gates’ highly publicized speech at the Berlin TEDxChange in April, the London Summit on Family Planning to be held on World Population Day in July, and the World AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. in the same month. Once the speeches have ended and everyone goes home, contraceptive social marketing efforts will play a key role in achieving the targets set out by these meetings of the minds. The 2011 Contraceptive Social Marketing Statistics report released this week indicates that the contraceptive social marketing community is up for the challenge. Eighty-three social marketing programs globally sold 2.3 billion condoms, 184 million oral contraceptives, and nearly 2 million IUDs, increasing availability and access and promoting use through sustained advertising and education. The report is available for download from DKT International’s website.
The increasing success of contraceptive social marketing is in large part attributable to its effectiveness in areas where other types of private and governmental organizations have faced significant challenges. “The social marketing of reproductive health products and services has several unique advantages,” explains Phil Harvey, President of DKT International. “It is fast. Because social marketing relies on existing commercial and health service delivery networks, it can be scaled up quickly, providing contraceptives to tens of thousands of outlets in just a year or two. It also is non-patronizing. Social marketing contraceptives are not perceived as a ‘program’ by consumers. Rather, they are seen as normal commercial goods that offer consumers a benefit at an affordable price. Because they are purchased, they are likely to be used. As a result, the social marketing of contraceptives and family planning services is highly cost-effective.”
By employing traditional marketing techniques, utilizing innovative and community-specific marketing tactics and engaging the infrastructure of the commercial sector, the contraceptive social marketing community has achieved notable milestones. Washington, D.C. based DKT International is currently the largest private provider of contraceptives and family planning services in the developing world. DKT is also one of the few non-profits to employ a revenue generating model that places the organization on a path to self-sufficiency, with its Indonesia program providing much of the funding to launch the Ghana effort in 2011 and the upcoming establishment of a Pakistan program supported by revenue from DKT Philippines.
“In developing unique attributes such as decentralized, locally-based staffing structures, innovative marketing techniques and progressive revenue generating models, contraceptive social marketing organizations are able to make resources available in countries and communities in which modern family planning and disease prevention methods were completely inaccessible in the not-so-distant past,” concludes Harvey.