A guide for group learning and counseling on fertility awareness and family planning

Developed and tested as part of the FACT Project, Group Learning and Counseling is a community-based group counseling model that relies on non-health volunteers to spread fertility awareness and family planning information within their communities, and deliver counseling in Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM)  to couples while supporting linkages to the health systems for other family planning options.

Offering FAM in a group setting can help increase acceptance of family planning and fill a critical gap in underserved populations: meeting women’s needs for methods that are easy to teach and learn, address concerns about side effects, and ultimately expand family planning access and choice.

This model is implemented by youth facilitators who are selected by their own peers and work in pairs of a man and a woman to carry out in their communities participatory learning activities on fertility awareness fundamentals, healthy timing and spacing and family planning.  Facilitators also provide counseling in Standard Days Method and TwoDay Method to interested community members and referrals to a VHT or health facility for all other methods.

Read more about this model and how it was implemented in Northern Uganda.

The Group Learning & Counseling Implementation Handbook was designed to assist program managers in adapting the Group Learning and Counseling model for their own organization or program.

Download the full Implementation Handbook.

Introduction

The opening chapters of the handbook include background information on why and how the model was developed and tested and should assist program managers in determining the appropriateness of this model in consideration of their organization or program specific needs.  

Download Chapter 1: About This Guide

Download Chapter 2: Acronyms & Key Phrases

Download Chapter 3: Introduction

Download Chapter 4: Group Learning Roadmap

Download Chapter 5: Intervention Components

Visioning

Completing the Visioning exercise is the first step in preparing to adapt the Group Learning and Counseling model. By doing so, program managers will be able to conceptualize and plan who will be involved in adaptation and integration, as well as how and when the model will be integrated into existing the organization or program.

Download Chapter 6: Visioning

Getting Ready

This chapter outlines essential steps to implement before sessions begin, including: engaging stakeholders, establishing linkages with the health system, building capacity, and equipping facilitators to implement the model.

Download Chapter 7: Getting Ready  

Tools for Implementing the WALAN Model

The elements of Community Learning may be thought of as a series of facilitator-initiated steps. These steps are specified in greater detail in this chapter, from scheduling sessions to completing recording forms.

Download Chapter 8: Implementing Sessions

Facilitator Job Aids Packet

Monitoring

Supervision and Program Support

Program monitoring is important for ensuring that your program is delivering quality services. This section focuses on monitoring Group Learning and Counseling activities, including what to monitor, what to consider when designing your monitoring component, and recommendations based on the WALAN experience.

Download Chapter 9: Monitoring