SDM Implementation Guidelines

Procuring CycleBeads and Establishing
Appropriate Logistics Systems

One of the SDM’s key advantages is that the method does not involve recurring commodity costs. In most programs the SDM is offered in conjunction with CycleBeads, a simple device that allows users to monitor easily their fertile and infertile days. CycleBeads are estimated to have a product life of more than 2 years, and the estimated annualized cost is including shipping approximately US$0.75. This makes the SDM cost-effective and represents a major advantage for both programs and users.


Key Actions

  1. Assess demand for CycleBeads
    When the SDM is initially introduced the demand for the method and CycleBeads will usually be low. But by training providers and increasing client awareness, demand will increase over time. IRH’s experience in typical program introductions suggests that the percent of new family planning users who choose the SDM and CycleBeads will range between 2 and 15 percent in the first year, depending on the setting and promotion efforts.. The Procurement and Manufacturing Guidelines developed with the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) helps program managers assess the demand for CycleBeads and compare costs of various procurement options.
How to Procure CycleBeads

CycleBeads can be obtained through the licensed manufacturer and distributor Cycle Technologies. For more information about rates for USAID-supported programs, please contact Cycle Technologies at or toll free within the U.S. at 1-877-292-5399. Outside the U.S. call 1-202-237-0662.

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  2. Assess the best method of supplying CycleBeads
    CycleBeads are available worldwide through the U.S.-based licensed manufacturer/distributor, Cycle Technologies. They can be purchased in bulk ( special pricing has been arranged for programs supported by USAID), in increments of over 500 sets. Order forms for USAID-supported programs and others can be obtained through Programs can purchase the complete CycleBeads product set including simple, user-friendly instructional inserts (available in English, French and Spanish) and calendars. Alternatively, in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and based on licensing agreement, they can import the CycleBeads only, with calendars and inserts adapted and produced locally. Once the demand for CycleBeads has been established, countries with high levels of demand and local capacity for manufacturing and quality control may want to consider local production. Guidance in making this assessment also is available in the (name of PATH document).
  3. Develop a timeline for procurement and international shipping of CycleBeads.
    Cycle Technologies is able to ship CycleBeads within two weeks of receiving an order. While ocean shipping usually is the most cost-effective, arrangements can be made for express delivery of an initial supply ( typically 500-1000 sets).
  4. Incorporate CycleBeads into the logistics system
    Having a sufficient supply of CycleBeads for training providers, conducting IEC activities, and distributing to clients is critical for success. Most programs have central distribution and inventory systems into which they can incorporate CycleBeads.
  5. Determine whether CycleBeads will be sold to end users, and if so, establish price to the consumer (SDM user).
    Programs must decide whether users will be charged for CycleBeads, or whether it will be provided without charge, based on their existing system and whether there are service fees. Service fees for the SDM can be incorporated into the fee payment system that exists for the other methods, and this has generally proven to be acceptable. Some programs provide methods free of charge; others are dispensed based upon a sliding fee scale and others are purchased at local pharmacies. If the decision is made to offer SDM free of charge, programs will need to determine how they will sustain SDM services for the long term.

Key Procurement & Logistics Materials

Copyright 2006 Institute for Reproductive Health