Policies, legislation and strategies related to family planning in Jordan: Review and recommendations | Share-Net Jordan

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Policies, legislation and strategies related to family planning in Jordan: Review and recommendations

Jordan Communication, Advocacy and Policy (JCAP)
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 The Jordan Communication, Advocacy and Policy prepare the Study about Policies, legislation and strategies related to family planning in Jordan: Review and recommendations from December, 2014 to May, 2015, This study is a review of the strategies and legislations related to population challenges and family planning, in order to show what needs, support and continuation as well as what needs improvement and modification.
The population policy has evolved in Jordan in the past two decades from implicit policy based on health reasons to an explicit policy. Today, there is a formal approved policy related to reproduction and family planning, which includes clear targets for expanding access to family planning services and improving the quality of such services. These policies are reviewed and updated on a regular basis to become relevant to the demographic realities of Jordan. Also, the primary health care strategy and programs include family planning as an essential component. There is also an official and clear support for the development of effective family planning programs, yet the development of legislation to this end is not on the same degree of clarity.
According to policy, there is a high rate of natural increase and population growth, which are related to; the rate of real growth in citizens€™ share of gross domestic product, the rate of population below poverty line, the rate of unemployment, and the interrelationships between population and family planning on one hand and the different development sectors, such as health, education, environment, energy and the labor market on the other. The Jordanian population policy also includes quantitative targets at the National level and the provinces governorates, and there is a National Strategy for achieving these targets, and an effective high level body for the formulation and coordination of programs, projects and activities of this strategy, which is the €œHigher Population Council€ whose membership includes the Ministry of Health and most ministries and representatives of NGOs and the private sector. 
The strategy refers to the use of family planning for the purposes of birth-spacing and terminating childbearing, and for integrating population variables into all levels of development planning. It also includes a plan to promote breastfeeding and adopt the Locational Amenorrhea Method (LAM), but the procedures that continue importing, pricing and promoting infant formula is quite unclear in this regard.
All National strategies refer to family planning and call for supporting FP programs, but we are not sure that reports on follow-up and evaluation plans for all strategies pay attention to monitoring of the carried out activities that are relevant to increasing demand for family planning. This makes monitoring progress in this area depend on the results of periodic household surveys that are implemented by the Department of Statistics, or rely on service statistics offered by the information system on family planning in the Ministry of Health, in order to assess the performance and the impact of all National strategies on reproductive behavior. 
As for the review of legislations, it sees that the legislations recognize the importance of providing social care for the family, including necessary health care for poor families. It also addresses the issue of providing family planning services and health care for mother and child during pregnancy and after childbirth, and some are concerned with the need to provide special material support for poor families, but the rapid growth of the population is an obstacle to the provision of the best services.
the majority of policy and legislation documents mentions family planning, but do not refer explicitly to the fact that family planning is a strategic choice for solving many economic and social problems in Jordan, which result from rapid population growth and the large family size within population segments with limited resources.
 Also, we do not hear any statements or see clear slogans in favor of family planning and smaller families in the statements of successive governments, or in the programs of parliamentary blocs, political parties and religious scholars, activists, social workers, whether men or women. And if that happens, it is usually done in a shy manner or in response to the contents of projects funded by international donors, making it difficult for National efforts to sustain the momentum and unable to make the concept of €œsmall family€ a common social norm.
. We can say that despite the fact that the review team looked at 40 documents of policies and legislations, yet its report was brief and does not help those in charge of monitoring and evaluation of family planning, who propose changes to policies and legislations related to this important strategic area. If those concerned think the report is sufficient, then they can use it independently from the current review.