At the time that this study was written, Ann K. Blanc was President, Blancroft Research International, New York. She is now Program Officer, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 140 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60640. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy O. Tsui is Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and Professor, Population and Family Health Sciences Department, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore.
The Dilemma of Past Success: Insiders' Views on the Future of the International Family Planning Movement
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2005
Studies in Family Planning
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 263–276, December 2005
How to Cite
Blanc, A. K. and Tsui, A. O. (2005), The Dilemma of Past Success: Insiders' Views on the Future of the International Family Planning Movement. Studies in Family Planning, 36: 263–276. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2005.00069.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2005
Many observers believe that the international family planning movement has played a significant role in reducing fertility levels and slowing population growth in the developing world. Yet the perceived success of family planning programs recently has led some researchers to formulate questions about their relevance and future place on the development policy agenda. Within a framework derived from the sociological literature on social movements, we use interviews and focus-group discussions with insiders in the field of population studies to examine current perspectives on the status and future of the family planning movement, factors contributing to its declining international visibility, and possible responses from the family planning field. Informants cited four possible courses of action for the movement: (1) forming strategic alliances with other movements, specifically HIV/AIDS prevention; (2) redefining the family planning message to mobilize and strengthen support; (3) improving service delivery to broaden public acceptance and contraceptive method use; and (4) nurturing new leadership. The future course of the movement – whether it be one of cooptation by overlapping movements or revitalization – requires waiting until its full history can be written.