OBSI Strategy

Optimal Birth Spacing

Optimal Birth Spacing Overview

Optimal Birth Spacing Overview (Spanish)

Two Years: The Invisible Norm

New Findings on Birth Spacing: Three to Five Years is the Optimal Interval

OBSI Strategy

Meetings & Conferences

Focus Group Reports

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The goal of the Optimal Birth Spacing Initiative (OBSI) is to place optimal birth spacing on the global agenda, and to institute an optimal birth spacing recommendation of Three to Five Years at the policy, programmatic and behavioral levels.

In order to effectively promote the new technical recommendation, CATALYST, in collaboration with the OBSI Champions, has developed a three-pronged strategy for OBSI.

  1. Create consensus among international organizations and program managers on the strong association between 3-5 year birth intervals and improved maternal and child health.
    1. Create partnerships with international and multilateral agencies to define a public health technical recommendation of 3-5 year birth intervals;
    2. Support national governments in adopting 3-5 year birth intervals as norm;
    3. Develop protocols to guide ministries of health and service providers in adopting 3-5 year birth intervals in family planning/reproductive health, child survival and other health programs serving women and their families;
    4. Develop necessary guidelines to support adoption of the 3-5 year birth intervals in the delivery of public, private and commercial healthcare services.
  2. Strengthen health services and community programs with birth spacing programming.
    1. Integrate optimal birth spacing into clinical and non-clinical programs in the public, private and NGO sectors;
    2. Provide optimal birth spacing guidelines to public, private and NGO service providers;
    3. Train public, private and NGO counseling service providers in optimal client-provider interaction and optimal messages for birth spacing;
    4. Develop accreditation system for birth spacing programming.
  3. Reach women, men and adolescents with information and counseling that contribute to the adoption of optimal birth spacing behaviors.
    1. Determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of women, men and adolescents regarding birth spacing;
    2. Determine optimal client-provider interaction to ensure that women, men and adolescents have the best quality birth spacing service;
    3. Determine optimal messages to ensure informed client decision-making about birth spacing;
    4. Families and communities are aware of and are supporting OBSI;
    5. Develop information materials for women, men and adolescents to ensure informed decision-making about birth spacing.