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Global strategy

Scaling-up excellence, one woman at a time

There are millions of women around the world who still don’t have control of their futures, because they can’t choose when they have children.

Our mission of children by choice, not chance has never been more critical.

Over the next five years the way that we deliver on our mission will be guided by our Scaling-Up Excellence: One woman at a time strategy. It challenges us to go further and provide services to ever more of the 214 million women in developing countries who want to access contraception but cannot do so. 

Keeping our focus

Scaling-Up Excellence is deeply rooted in our values, our commitment to our clients, and our unwavering focus on clinical quality and client-centred care. It builds on the lessons we’ve learned and new approaches we’ve developed during our 40 years of delivering contraception and safe abortion in developing countries.

Here for the long term

In Scaling-Up Excellence we have made a firm commitment to our clients: we are here for the long term. Our firm belief is that no woman who has ever been given access to contraception or safe abortion should ever be denied it again. Access to contraception and safe abortion should be affordable for women and national governments in 2016, 2020, 2030 and beyond.

No woman who has ever been given access to contraception or safe abortion should ever be denied it again.

Scale and Impact, Quality and Sustainability

Our approach to delivering more for women who want to choose when they have children is built on three pillars: Scale and Impact, Quality and Sustainability. These pillars form the strategic framework that will guide our work over the next five years.

Three pillars for success

Scale and Impact

The key focus of the next five years will be to double our health impact by delivering contraception and safe abortion delivery at scale. We will: 

  • Make deliberate choices about where to invest our financial and technical resources, prioritising countries and client groups, such as 15-19 year olds, that allow us to maximise the global impact of our Partnership.

  • Increase access to medical abortion and medical post-abortion care, while also ensuring that women are supported by a continuum of client care, integrated call centres and post-abortion family planning.

  • Continue to prioritise the needs of our clients, by providing quality counselling and a comprehensive choice of contraception, and treating every woman who comes to us with respect.

  • Demonstrate that the way that we deliver long-acting and permanent contraception services is the most cost-effective way of increasing the number of women using contraception.

  • Use our position as a service provider to ‘advocate by doing’ and working to remove policy and clinical restrictions that limit access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services.


We will not compromise our absolute commitment to Quality in everything we do. It is the Quality of our services that will drive our ability to achieve Scale and Impact. We will:

  • Continue to Invest in governance and audit oversight, clinical quality standards and provider training.

  • Continue to provide surgical procedures in our own unique way; our procedures have been developed to ensure that clients' discomfort and pain is minimised.

  • Invest in our people to nurture our unique Marie Stopes International culture and grow our capacity by putting our people at the heart of our new strategy.

  • Invest in insight so that we are led by the needs voiced by our clients and women and girls with unmet need.


We want to deliver Scale and Impact and maintain our commitment to Quality, not just this year or for the duration of our Scaling-Up Excellence strategy but for generations to come. So we will:

  • Continue to develop sustainable models for all service delivery channels, with every service provided backed by a funding source.

  • Evolve a global network of self-sustaining centres, which will set the standard for client care and clinical quality for contraception and safe abortion services across our network and the sector.

  • Work with national governments, donors, and others to shape markets and increase access to and funding for contraception and safe abortion services.

  • Innovate and test sustainable contraceptive technologies and service delivery models, including safe obstetrics and post-partum family planning (PPFP).

What we will achieve

The services that we will provide under Scaling-Up Excellence will allow millions of women to take control of their futures and:

  • Prevent 58 million unintended pregnancies.
  • Avert 34 million unsafe abortions.
  • Avert 118,900 deaths.
  • Save families and governments more than £2.21 billion in healthcare expenses.

This will mean brighter, healthier and more prosperous futures for millions of women and their families, communities and countries.

Harriet's story

Harriet is 19 years old and lives in rural Zambia. For Harriet being able to access contraception is not just about planning a family or the choice not to have children. She wants to complete her education and access all the possibilities it will mean for her.

One of our outreach teams in Zambia, like so many of our teams around the world, were able to help Harriet access the contraception of her choice. They fitted her with an implant and now she will be able to finish her secondary education and hopefully go onto college to train to be a teacher or a nurse.

For her being able to access contraception means that she can fulfil her dreams for the future.

"I'd like to be a teacher or nurse"
- Harriet

By 2020 there will be more women of reproductive age than ever before

We must be ready to serve them