Evidence-based Guidance Developed Through Worldwide Collaboration

A new revision of the Handbook is underway, expected in mid-2016. The revision will incorporate new guidance from the WHO's Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use. Please consult the revised MEC Wheel to supplement the Handbook in the meantime (particularly for hormonal methods).

Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers offers clinic-based health care professionals in developing countries the latest guidance on providing contraceptive methods. The book was prepared through a unique collaboration between editorial staff at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and technical experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and over 30 other organizations around the world (see Collaborating and Contributing Organizations). It is co-published by WHO and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, under the USAID-funded Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project.

The Handbook:

  • Was developed through a unique process in which experts from around the world have come to consensus on practical guidance that reflects the best available scientific evidence.
  • Expands and improves on its predecessor, The Essentials of Contraceptive Technology, by covering more methods and related topics, and strengthening the evidence base for its guidance.
  • Covers more content, but still focuses on the essentials that family planning providers need to provide family planning clients with good-quality care.
  • Is written in plain terms and organized for quick reference, to serve as a resource for all levels of health care providers.
  • Is one of the WHO’s Family Planning Cornerstones. Together, the Family Planning Cornerstones support the safe and effective provision and use of family planning methods, and can be used to develop national guidelines. As the fourth cornerstone, Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers offers technical information to help health care providers deliver family planning methods appropriately and effectively. The other Cornerstones are Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use, the Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use, and the Decision-making tool for family planning clients and providers.