|Emergency Contraceptive Pills (WHO - OMS, 1998, 44 p.)|
The Consortium for Emergency Contraception recognizes that ECP service delivery systems and information needs will vary from place to place. As such, the prototype materials included in this packet are designed to be adapted by family planning and reproductive health care programme managers and others according to the specific ECP product provided, the needs of the local community, and programme or national regulations that may apply to the provision of ECPs. While it is not necessary to seek permission from the Consortium to adapt these materials, the Consortium would appreciate receiving copies of any materials produced.
When adapting these materials, the following issues should be considered:
· ECP product used - These materials contain information about two types of ECPs (those containing both estrogen and progestin and those containing only progestin). Programmes may offer one or both of these methods, depending on local availability. The content of the materials should be adapted to reflect those formulations that are provided through the local programme.
· Proposed distribution mechanisms - While a wide variety of distribution mechanisms can be used for ECPs, each programme will need to examine its current contraceptive distribution systems to determine how they can be adapted for ECP provision. The service delivery guidelines should be adapted to reflect the local distribution mechanisms that will be used (including a description of who is authorized to distribute ECPs) and should include information on any changes in recordkeeping systems that pertain to provision of ECPs.
· Local misperceptions or misinformation about ECPs - An initial assessment of local knowledge and attitudes about ECPs can help to identify common misperceptions or local beliefs about ECPs that may hinder the introduction process. Programmes should adapt the materials for clients, policy-makers, the media, community members, and service delivery providers to address any misperceptions that are found during the assessment.
· Local language and literacy levels - Whenever possible, materials should be made available in the local language and at the average reading level of the intended audience. Avoid using terms that are too technical or difficult to understand. It may be necessary to change the wording of the prototype materials to ensure they are understood by the local audience. For instance, local terms can be substituted for words such as uterus, menstrual period, or emergency contraception if these terms are not readily understood during pretesting with members of the intended audience (see below). For audiences with low literacy levels, it may be helpful to develop materials that convey key messages through illustrations with simple captions.
· Culturally appropriate illustrations - The drawings used in the prototype client materials in this packet are included to give you an idea of different types of illustrations that can be used. They are not intended for reproduction. Programmes wishing to adapt the materials for local use should work with a local artist to develop illustrations that are appropriate to the local audience that will use the materials.
Whenever materials are newly created or adapted, it is necessary to pretest them before a final version is produced to ensure they are clear and culturally appropriate. This can be done by holding one or more small group discussions with representatives of the intended audience or by soliciting comments from individuals. During the pretests, participants are asked a series of questions about the materials to test their understanding of the content of the materials and gather their suggestions for improvements so that the intended messages are clearly communicated. The pretest results should be used to revise the materials before they are published and distributed more widely.
Additional reading on developing and adapting materials
Zimmerman M, Newton N, Frumin L, Wittet S. Developing Health and Family Planning Print Materials for Low-Literate Audiences: A Guide. PATH (Revised Edition, 1996).