Collaborating with the business sector is pursued in population programme activities where there are important linkages for example with social sector marketing in reproductive health and family planning. Social marketing activities are taking place in a number of countries, including Haiti, Bhutan, Eritrea, Laos, Namibia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Private-sector programmes have usually focused on one or more of six major areas:
- Reducing the price of contraceptives available through the commercial sector;
- Improving access by ensuring that contraceptives are available at a wide range of private-sector outlets;
- Improving the quality of products and services;
- Increasing demand through private-sector communications approaches;
- Improving consumer research to ensure that those who can afford to pay are contributing to the cost of products and services while those in need have access to those services on a subsidized or free basis; and
- Promoting commercial-sector financing of products and services by encouraging employers to cover such costs or by convincing health insurance companies to add family planning to their list of benefits.
With the Seiko company, population clocks and monitors are being produced and distributed throughout the world as an educational and informational tool, for use with a number of audiences, including schools and parliaments. Ms. Hanae Mori, world famous designer, has designed neckwear and scarves for promotion of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD, 1994). Plans are under way to organize a business/UNFPA forum on population issues in Asia. Collaboration with Rotary International, including Nigeria, is bringing private sector support for population activities in that country.