Delivering Reproductive Health Services Through Non-State Providers in Pakistan: Understanding the Value For Money of Different Approaches

The Delivering Reproductive Health Results (DRHR) programme used social franchising (SF) and social marketing (SM) approaches to increase the supply of high quality family planning services in underserved areas of Pakistan. The authors of this paper assessed the costs, cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of DRHR to understand the value for money of these approaches.

Financial and economic programme costs were calculated. Costs to individual users were captured in a pre-post survey. The cost per couple years of protection (CYP) and cost per new user were estimated as indicators of cost efficiency. For the cost-effectiveness analysis we estimated the cost per clinical outcome averted and the cost per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted.

Approximately £20 million were spent through the DRHR programme between July 2012 and September 2015 on commodities and services representing nearly four million CYPs. Based on programme data, the cumulative cost-efficiency of the entire DRHR programme was £4.8 per CYP. DRHR activities would avert one DALY at the cost of £20. Financial access indicators generally improved in programme areas, but the magnitude of progress varies across indicators.

The SF and SM approaches adopted in DRHR appear to be cost effective relative to comparable reproductive health programmes. This paper adds to the limited evidence on the cost-effectiveness of different models of reproductive health care provision in low- and middle-income settings. Further studies are needed to nuance the understanding of the determinants of impact and value for money of SF and SM.

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