Country of Operation
- Marie Stopes SocietyNot-for-profit
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
SummarySuraj is a private provider fractional social franchising initiative developed as a pilot project from 2008-2012. This initiative is one of the main components of the organization's National Expansion Project and is a partnership between MSS and private local health providers in rural areas.
Suraj aims to increase demand, access, and choices and provide improved quality services for Family Planning and Reproductive Health for underserved and poor communities through building an integrated network of service delivery outlets.
Key program components
In each intervention district, MSS has established a center for provision of reproductive health services. Within a radius of 10 km of the MSS center, community based distribution (CBD) field workers conduct door-to-door visits to provide counseling, distribute contraceptives, and make referrals for clinical services to MSS centers for injectables and IUCDs. The referrals include vouchers to clients who qualify for them based on a poverty assessment tool used by MSS.
In the areas beyond the 10 km radius of the MSS centers, where access to qualified and trained health providers is severely limited, the private providers provide services to clients. There are currently 100 providers operating in 18 districts in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab. In 2009, a total of 77,736 clients have been served, with an average of 777 clients per outlet. 462 full-time staff support the franchise program. The Suraj private providers are trained and accredited by MSS and provide family planning services to clients referred to them by the field workers marketing referral vouchers.
The field worker marketer conducts door-to-door visits to market the Suraj brand and services, mobilizes the community, generates referrals and distributes vouchers to potential clients. In 2010, 29% of the total 53,601 IUCDs clients were served through the free Output Based Aid Voucher Scheme.
The partially franchised facilities provide basic family planning services under the Suraj logo, namely, supply of birth control pills and condoms, administration of injectable contraceptives, and insertion and removal of IUCDs (Inter-Uterine Contraceptive Device). Outlets also receive supervisory services
Quality assurance (QA) and performance monitoring methods include:
Site visits (1/year)
Internal audits (1/year)
External clinic audits (1/year)
Client exit interviews (1/year)
Franchisee performance benchmarking (1/year)
Provider self-assessments (1/year).
The program reports that a QA tool called the Suraj Quality Scan (SQS), and the annual client exit interviews are the most useful tools to assess quality of services. Turnover of providers is a challenge for the program, as is a tenuous security situation, which makes frequent monitoring difficult. Beginning in November 2012, Suraj is planning a push to add an 300 new clinics to its franchise.
Suraj served 213,290 clients and reported 220,736 total visits in 2012.
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