JOICFP evolved out of the “Humanistic Family Planning” initiative which made its international debut in the 1970s under JOICFP Founder Chojiro Kunii. A progressive people-centred approach that focused on individual well-being, Kunii’s strategy stood in contrast to the then-popular top-down population policy based on a “macro” perspective of population issues. JOICFP’s consistent focus on the individual developed out of this far-sighted reproductive health orientation toward population issues.
Triggering a movement
To promote of family planning, JOICFP Founder Chojiro Kunii integrated family planning services with parasite control. The immediate and obvious health benefits of parasite elimination made it ideal as an education tool and entry point into communities for initiating family planning movements. Expanding upon this model, JOICFP sought and used other “triggers” to motivate the community as it applied the “Integrated Approach” in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
A preventive health collaboration
Family planning was promoted as a community-based movement in post-war Japan by health personnel and community volunteers. Its goal was not population control but rather preventive health and empowerment of women, and it was fueled by the need to avoid unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Building on the desire of people to improve their lives, the movement was implemented alongside stakeholders within the community. These collaborative endeavors are the essence of the community participatory approach currently advanced by JOICFP.