Text reminders increased clinic visits for family planning services

What was the challenge?

Population Services International (PSI) leads a component of the USAID-funded and Pathfinder International-led Integrated Family Planning Program, in which family planning promoters deliver one-on-one counseling with women in urban areas in order to share information about family planning, and, where appropriate, provide referrals to clinics for free family planning services. USAID/Mozambique and PSI seek to increase the effectiveness of these referrals using evidence-based insights.

What was the program change?

In collaboration with PSI and USAID, the Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) designed a series of eight messages to send via text to women during the first week and month following a promoter interaction, reminding them of their referral for family planning and encouraging them to visit a clinic.

How did the evaluation work?

The sample was 5,370 phone numbers corresponding to women who received a referral from a promoter, provided a phone number, and consented to participate in the evaluation. Of those, 2,728 were randomly assigned to be sent text message reminders, and 2,642 received normal follow-up from promoters.

What was the impact?

The results suggest that the text reminders led to an increase in clinic visits, particularly among younger women and women in the period prior to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The text messages increased clinic visits by 2.26 percentage points, from a baseline of 47.4 percent of women visiting a clinic in the control group.

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Jessica Leight, Catherine Hensly, Marcos Chissano, Elana Safran, Liza Ali, Domingos Dustan, and Julian Jamison. “The effects of text reminders on the use of family planning services: evidence from a randomised controlled trial in urban Mozambique.” BMJ Global Health 7:e007862 (2022).

Year

2021

Status

Complete

Project Type

Program Change and Evaluation

Agency

United States Agency for International Development

Domain

Health

Resources

View Analysis Plan (PDF)

View Abstract (PDF)

View Intervention Pack (PDF) View Publication (PDF)