How we work

How we work

Marie Stopes International operates as a social business, meaning we use business approaches to deliver social outcomes. But we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, we work hard to understand our clients and their unique challenges, tailoring our services and solutions accordingly.

We fund our programs in innovative ways, with a combination of individual and organisational donations, grants and public health financing, as well as with income generated in country. Every dollar counts. We are developing sustainable and scalable business models for the future, so we can serve women with high quality, affordable and accessible services for as long as they need us.

Marie Stopes International Australia is the support office for the Pacific Asia region, based in Melbourne, Australia. We manage programs in Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Cambodia, as well as projects in Nepal, Viet Nam and Myanmar.

Clinics

In just over 40 years Marie Stopes International has grown from a single centre in central London, to a global network of more than 600 centres across 37 countries.

MSI offer a range of services including family planning, safe abortion (where legal) and general reproductive health services, these clinics set the standard for care in each country where we work. We put a lot of thought into their location, design and the way they are run. Above all, we want to be sure that the women who visit our clinics feel at ease from the moment they walk through our blue door.

Our clinics are conveniently located in places that are safe, easy to find and well served by public transport. Importantly, we ensure they are open at times that work best for people living locally. Once a client steps inside, the atmosphere of a clinic has as much of an impact on them as our high clinical standards. Creating warm, welcoming environments also leads to quicker recovery times. So we try to ‘de-medicalize’ our clinics as much as we can.

Outreach

Outreach is a crucial element of MSI’s delivery model, as it gives us a way to reach out to many more people who need our services, particularly young clients, people living in extreme poverty, and those who have never used contraception before.

Our outreach service providers travel long distances, often through difficult terrain, to reach underserved communities. We offer a range of free or subsidised contraceptive services to women living in rural, remote and hard-to-reach communities. Often people living in these areas would not otherwise have access to modern contraceptive methods or to skilled healthcare providers.

Social franchising

Our social franchising services, known as BlueStar, are operated by midwives or doctors who own their own clinics, providing high-quality contraceptive services with training, support, equipment and commodities from Marie Stopes International. BlueStar clinics adhere to the same standards as Marie Stopes centres, and women are provided with comprehensive reproductive health services from a trained clinical provider. Social franchisees vary by country, but the services allow us to reach more women and girls in urban and peri-urban settings.

Contraceptive social marketing

Originally developed in 1967 in India, contraceptive social marketing programs are designed to make low-cost, attractively packaged contraceptives (originally condoms and oral contraceptives; now including virtually all methods) as easily available as tea, cigarettes, or Coca Cola. Social marketing brings short term and emergency contraceptive methods closer to the client and provides an opportunity to offer information and referrals to outreach or clinics for clients interested in long-acting or permanent methods.

MSI’s program markets and distributes low-cost and free condoms, pills and other contraceptive and health products through pharmacies, community-based distributors and other private providers.

Marie Stopes Ladies

Marie Stopes Ladies give us another way to provide services within communities and bring services to women who need them. These might be midwives or nurses, or just committed women from other walks of life whom we train and incentivise to provide services and follow-up care to women in their communities.

Marie Stopes Ladies are united by an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong desire to help people within their communities get hold of the contraception and safe abortion information and services that can change their lives.

They cover specific catchment areas and visit clients in their homes and at community centres. As with our social franchise network, we assess and ensure the quality of what they do – and as urbanisation increases, they’re helping us to reach many more people in underserved, densely-populated areas.

Technical assistance for the public and private sectors

MSI have provided sexual and reproductive health services worldwide for 43 years. Through our rigorous data analysis, evaluation and continuous learning practices, we can meet the needs of clients while maintaining high-quality and best-practice standards. We share our knowledge with both public and private sector health providers at every point, including at local, provincial and national levels to ensure that women everywhere can receive the care they deserve.