Quality of Care in China: Scaling Up a Pilot Project into a National Reform Program

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Abstract

China's family planning program ranks as history's most intensive effort to control national population growth. Although advocates for global population control have lauded China's effort to limit births as a fundamental part of its sustainable development goals, the country's population policy has also generated much international criticism. As China enters the new millennium, a long-overdue reform of its approach to implementing its family planning program has begun to refocus the program on clients' needs, informed choice of contraceptives, and better-quality services. Originally inspired by the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, the reform program began as a pilot project among six counties and has now become a blueprint for reorienting the national family planning program. This article reviews the process by which a small, innovative pilot project was scaled up into a national reform effort and the key lessons learned about scaling up sensitive but necessary innovation in a difficult political environment.

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