Annual expenditure on family planning from government domestic budget

Total annual public sector recurrent expenditures on family planning. This includes expenditures by all levels of government

At the time of the London Summit in July 2012, it was estimated that US$14.3 billion would be required through 2020 to meet family planning needs. The funds for accelerating family planning progress in the 69 FP2020 focus countries are expected to come from international donors, national governments, NGOs, and individuals who pay for their services in the private sector. Mobilizing domestic resources for family planning is an important aspect of the long-term sustainability of family planning services, and many governments have made commitments to increase domestic expenditures on family planning. Most domestic governments, at a minimum, pay for the health facilities and personnel that deliver family planning services through public channels. Some governments also pay for commodities, training, research, and promotion, while others rely on donors to support these activities. Several efforts are underway to track family planning expenditures, but the task is complicated by the nature of government expenditures.

Domestic government spending on family planning commodities can be tracked most easily since these expenditures usually have a specific line item in the government budget. Some other activities, such as training and research, may be integrated with other reproductive health activities and the specific family planning components may be difficult to separate out. The most difficult part is determining the amount of health system spending (personnel, facilities, transport, logistics) that should be allocated to family planning. It may also be difficult to capture government expenditures by provincial or state governments, which are increasingly important in some countries.

The World Health Organization collects data on health expenditures through its System of Health Accounts (SHA). This system is meant to capture all health expenditures and, therefore, can properly allocate shared expenses to specific services. To date, family planning expenditure information is available from 12 countries for various years from 2011 to 2014. It shows aggregate annual government expenditures of about US$45 million. As the system expands, information on more countries may become available.

A second source of information on domestic government expenditures is the UNFPA-NIDI Resource Flows Project, which works through local UNFPA offices and consultants to collect information on family planning expenditures from governments and NGOs. In 2016, this effort included 28 FP2020 countries and reported aggregate government spending on family planning of US$570 million in 2015. This effort relies on responses from individual governmental organizations and the response rate varies by country. This approach is better at capturing activities clearly designated as family planning and may under-estimate shared expenses. In 2017 UNFPA-NIDI will add a validation component that will include national review of the final estimates, which should improve the quality of the estimates and their utility in tracking resource mobilization. As the methodology for collecting domestic expenditures improves and becomes standardized across countries, we also hope to be able to report on trends over time in government expenditures on family planning.

Learn more about expenditures on family planning in FP2020 Focus Countries