Quality of care is a fundamental principle of good family planning (FP) and integrated sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programming. It lies at the heart of client-provider interactions and plays a critical role in ensuring uptake, continued use and sustained delivery of services. Family planning programs have long recognized the value of including client input when assessing quality of care and identifying areas for improvement. But challenges in operationalizing client feedback systems— from finding simple and cost-effective ways to gather confidential, frank information from a diverse range of clients, to setting aside time and resources for compiling and analyzing client responses— has limited the systematic use of client feedback to improve the quality of service delivery efforts.
With support from the Packard Foundation and an anonymous donor, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) are implementing an innovative solution to these challenges by developing and piloting a technology-based client feedback system that provides real-time data to inform and enhance quality of integrated SRH/FP care provided at FGAE clinics and youth centers. This project takes advantage of new technologies, such as hand-held devices and internet-based data management programs, to simplify the process of collecting, collating and analyzing input from clients. The client feedback is being incorporated into FGAE’s on-going quality assessments and improvements in participating sites and across its national network.
By the end of this pilot program, FGAE will have a client feedback system that routinely informs integrated SRH/FP service delivery, FGAE service providers will have become more aware of and attuned to the need for improvements at the service delivery level, and the team will have begun to address some of the emerging areas for quality improvement. Finally, the products and experiences generated through this innovative project will provide valuable knowledge on how technology can be used to amplify client feedback to improve FP quality in Ethiopia and globally.