Family planning Australia and the Vietnam Women’s Union with their integrated programs for rural development

As a non-governmental organization and a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Family Planning Australia (FPA) is working to promote the national and international objectives of family planning, enabling people to achieve reproductive and sexual health and well-being in sustainable environment.

Through its network in the 8 States, FPA provides a comprehensive range of clinical, community education, and professional training services with regards to sexual and reproductive health. FPA also provides its expertise in Asian and South Pacific.


Partnership between FPA and the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) has started since 1993, by the introduction from the Population and Community Development Association in Thailand (PDA). Through this partnership, a project o­n “Family Planning in Vietnam (VNFP)” was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) with the technical assistance from FPA and Population and Development International (PDI). This project was implemented in the 20 communes in Hung Yen, Thai Nguyen and Ninh Binh provinces in the North of Vietnam directly benefiting 30,000 women. This is the first integrated model that VWU has tried to achieve family planning objectives and rural development. To have smaller-size families and high population quality, families need to have good incomes. In this regard, the project goes beyond it’s the traditional approach of o­nly information, education and communication (IEC) o­n family planning, but also integrating with a variety of family planning services including provision of simple contraceptives, community health care and income generation to address practical needs of the targeted beneficiaries and their community.


One of the prominent features of the Project was to establish a well-trained, well-equipped network of community-based health volunteers (CHV) who received adequate training to enable them to provide effective counseling o­n family planning practices and health care. Through this network, project reached out women in 20 project communes and provide them with the informed choices o­n family planning and reproductive health. When the project ended, most of the project volunteers were welcome to work as collaborators for the Provincial Committee for Population and Family Planning. This reflects that project has provided good training for its volunteers. Besides, being aware of the holistic nature of rural development issues, VNFP has demonstrated that addressing these issues through an integrated approach will bring more success to the programs.


VNFP had received many domestic and international visitors from New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Laos and left them with strong impression o­n effective integration family planning and reproductive health care with income generation and environment sanitation. The project has initially introduced the concept of reproductive rights into VWU health care program and helped the community to understand the concept. The project has also taken the needs of the women and people for GAP/RH service as priorities for improving quality of services.


Based o­n the encouraging results recorded from the pilot phase, AusAID has decided to continue its support to VWU in other provinces of Tay Ninh, Bac Giang, Ha Tinh and Thanh Hoa.


During 1993 – 2003, FPA has provided technical and financial assistance for VWU to implement the integrated projects o­n reproductive health care, credit, income generation, environmental sanitation and community development in 80 communes of 7 provinces in the North, Central and South of Vietnam with a total amount of USD 1,300,000. Around 50,000 women have directly benefited from these projects through services of loans, training, health care, family planning and income generation (6,000 women received job training). Particularly, the project staff capacity has been also improved to be able to maintain the project activities well even after the project life. Both women and men are targeted in these projects to share family planning responsibility.


FPA continued and effective assistance for the VWU during last the 10 years has significantly contributed to the improvement of the people’s living standard and met population/family planning/reproductive health goals in the project sites. This model has been widely applied by VWU at all levels in other localities in Vietnam.


To recognize FPA’s great contribution and valuable assistance, VWU is honored to present the Merit Certificate “For the Advancement of Women in Vietnam” to FPA in November 2000 during the visit to Australia made by Mme Ha Thi Khiet, the President of VWU.