Evidence-based Advocacy

This section of the Family Planning & Immunization Integration Toolkit provides briefs, reports, and presentations that have been used to advocate for the integration of family planning and immunization services. In addition, please visit the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit to access a range of advocacy tools and evidence linking family planning with other development issues, including maternal and child health.

Advocacy is essential to secure support for integration of immunization and family planning services.

The potential benefits of integration for family planning outcomes are readily apparent and supported by research. Documentation on the effect of integration on routine immunization is limited but indicates no negative consequences. There have been instances, however – usually in connection with highly visible mass vaccination campaigns – in which rumors that vaccination is a covert attempt to sterilize women and children have led to setbacks in immunization. For this reason, advocacy efforts must recognize the perspectives and priorities of both services and make a compelling case for benefits while also addressing any concerns about potential risks. 

Advocates for integrated service delivery should:

  • Clearly communicate the rationale for integration and potential benefits for both technical areas to national and regional policymakers, development agencies, health facility staff, community leaders, and clients themselves.
  • Craft advocacy messages about the benefits of integration that are evidence-based and recognize the country context. 
  • Appreciate the validity of concerns from immunization program personnel, and recognize that a strong immunization platform is vital to the success of integrated service delivery.
  • Encourage implementers to identify and address any potential risks. 
  • Encourage implementers to monitor outcomes for both immunization and family planning.

Who benefits from integrated family planning and immunization services?

  • Clients benefit from easier and more convenient access to two lifesaving services.
  • Family planning providers benefit from increased exposure to postpartum women in need of contraceptive information and services.
  • Vaccinators benefit from adding value within the health system and from the added focus and attention given to immunization services.
  • Immunization stakeholders benefit from establishing immunization as a central platform serving multiple health interventions.
  • The health system benefits from strengthened primary health care linkages and efficient use of resources.

To suggest an additional resource or share your perspective on advocating for integration of family planning and immunization services, please fill out our feedback form.