Uncovered – DKT International

I feel like all I talk about sometimes is negative stuff – people being discriminated against, jerk organizations attempting to bully others, and shitty things happening in life in general.

Well, no longer!! Today, I’m gonna talk about something good – an organization that’s doing some good to be exact - DKT International.

DKT International, or simply DKT, is a global charitable non-profit organization that promotes family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing.


DKT logo


Since 1989 (1989!!), DKT’s core mission has been to provide safe and affordable options for family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing. Based in Washington, DC and founded by Phil Harvey, DKT designs and implements social marketing programs in 19 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia; and much of DKT’s revenue comes from the sale of low-cost contraceptives.

In 2012, DKT sold over 600 million condoms, 76 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 16 million injectable contraceptives and 1.5 million intrauterine devices (IUDs). In 2011, DKT programs served over 24.5 million couples [per standard conversion factors for Couple Years of Protection (CYPs)].  This figure makes DKT the largest private provider of contraceptives and family planning services in the developing world. The average cost per CYP was less than $2.

Less than $2 – amazing!!

Throughout the world, social marketing programs have been very successful in promoting family planning because social marketing itself has several unique advantages. It’s fast – because social marketing relies to a great extent on existing commercial and health service delivery networks, it can be scaled up quickly.

Social marketing also not patronizing – social marketing contraceptives are not perceived as a “program” by consumers. Rather, they are seen as regular commercial goods that offer consumers a benefit at an affordable price. And, because the contraceptives are purchased, they’re much more likely to be used… (think about it – how much do you value free stuff?)


(pictured: example of a DKT campaign)

DKT does a lot of other stuff too – you can read all about that here. But it’s interesting to note that DKT’s marketing strategies have included advertising, creating location-specific brands, working with local social networks and militaries, and reaching out to high-risk groups. DKT also works with health workers and clinics that provide family planning products, information, and services.

Charity Navigator* gave DKT a four-star (out of four possible) financial rating, with 98.1% of its budget going towards programs and 1.8% towards administration and fund raising in 2009. Awesome!!


And, for those of you who REALLY want to know why I’m talking DKT… well, let’s talk about the organization’s founder – Phil Harvey.

Phil Harvey received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1961. He then served in the US military before joining the international charity CARE in 1963. Phil work with CARE in India for five years, focusing on large-scale feeding programs for rapidly growing numbers of Indian children. This experience convinced Phil of the importance of family planning, and he became interested in doing family planing work on a global scale.

After returning to the States, Phil began a Master’s degree program in family planning administration at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. One of his classmates at UNC was Tim Black, a British physician. Tim and Phil founded Population Services International (PSI) in 1970 (while they were still in school!!) and Adam & Eve in 1972. Phil founded DKT in 1989.

You can read more about Adam & Eve, their eight years’ worth of being obscenity prosecuted, and Phil’s amazing work therein right –> here. It’s an incredible story.

Suffice it to say though that Phil Harvey is an inspiration. And, in addition to everything he has done to benefit the public good, Phil also helps new organizations coming up… See for example ProBonerlet’s beat it together!!

A person who walks the walk he talks and has dedicated his life thus far to actively creating real positive change for people around the globe.

phil harvey


This is DKT’s Mission statement: “DKT provides couples with affordable and safe options for family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention through dynamic social marketing.” (here)

This is DKT’s Vision statement: “DKT is an innovative and adventurous social marketing enterprise that improves people’s lives.” (here)

Learn more about DKT International —> here. (you really must visit their site – it’s clear, welcoming, and EXTREMELY open and informative)


*Charity Navigator is an independent non-profit organization that evaluates US-based charities. Here is Charity Navigator’s full report on DKT. FYI – I cannot find a report for AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Charity Navigator. Hmmm…


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PVVOnline’s feature Uncovered explains key dimensions of adult production and sheds some critical light on industry urban legends and myths.

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