Family Planning 2020 aims to expand access to family planning information, services, and supplies to an additional 120 million women and girls in 69 of the world’s poorest countries by 2020.
What We Measure
FP2020 uses a suite of quantitative metrics-Core Indicators-to monitor progress annually across 69 focus countries. Estimates for the Core Indicators are produced annually by commitment countries through a network of country-based Track20 M&E officers housed in government institutions.
The number of additional women (or their partners) of reproductive age currently using a modern contraceptive method compared to 2012.
The percentage of women of reproductive age who are using (or whose partner is using) a modern contraceptive method at a particular point in time.
The percentage of fecund women of reproductive age who want no more children or to postpone having the next child, but are not using a contraceptive method, plus women who are currently using a traditional method of family planning. Women using a traditional method are assumed to have an unmet need for modern contraception.
The percentage of women (or their partners) who desire either to have no additional children or to postpone the next child and who are currently using a modern contraceptive method. Women using a traditional method are assumed to have an unmet need for modern contraception.
The number of pregnancies that occurred at a time when women (and their partners) either did not want additional children or wanted to delay the next birth. Usually measured with regard to last or recent pregnancies, including current pregnancies.
The number of unintended pregnancies that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period.
The number of unsafe abortions that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period.
The number of maternal deaths that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period.
The percentage of total family planning users using each modern method of contraception.
Percentage of facilities stocked out of each type of contraceptive offered, on the day of assessment
The percentage of service delivery points that have at least 3 modern methods of contraception available on the day of the assessment. This indicator considers methods (such as injectable), not products (such as the 3 month or 6 month injectable) or brands (such as Depo-Provera)
The percentage of secondary and tertiary service delivery points that have at least 5 modern methods of contraception available on the day of the assessment. This indicator considers methods (such as injectable), not products (such as the 3 month or 6 month injectable) or brands (such as Depo-Provera). The determination of which health facilities are defined as “secondary” or “tertiary” will be made at the country level, based on existing classifications.
Total annual public sector recurrent expenditures on family planning. This includes expenditures by all levels of government.
The estimated protection provided by family planning services during a one year period, based upon the volume of all contraceptives sold or distributed free of charge to clients during that period. The CYP is calculated by multiplying the quantity of each method distributed to clients by a conversion factor, which yields an estimate of the duration of contraceptive protection provided per unit of that method.
An index measuring the extent to which women were given specific information when they received family planning services. The index is composed of three questions (Were you informed about other methods? Were you informed about side effects? Were you told what to do if you experienced side effects?). The reported value is the percent of women who responded “yes” to all three questions.
The percentage of women who were provided information on family planning within the last 12 months through contact with a health service provider or fieldworker. The contact could occur in either a clinic or community setting. Information could have been provided via a number of mechanisms, including counseling, information, education and communication materials or talks/conversations about family planning.
The percentage of women currently using family planning whose decision to use was made mostly alone or jointly with their husband/partner.
The number of births to adolescent females, aged 15-19 occurring during a given reference period per 1,000 adolescent females.
Among women of reproductive age who began an episode of contraceptive use 3-62 months before being interviewed, the percentage of episodes where the specific method is discontinued within 12 months after beginning its use, reported by whether the woman discontinued while in need of contraception, discontinued because she is not in need of contraception, and the total all-reasons discontinuation rate.
Among women of reproductive age who began an episode of contraceptive use 3-62 months before being interviewed, the percentage of episodes where the specific method is discontinued within 12 months after beginning its use, and use of a different method begins after no more than one month of non-contraceptive use.
How We Measure
FP2020 measures progress since the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, taking into account all available and serviceable data. Annual estimates of critical family planning indicators are produced using modeling, and the trend of additional contraceptive users is re-estimated on an ongoing basis. Estimates for other indicators come from national surveys.
Over the course of a year, Track20, FP2020 and other partners produce and publish data on the progress of the movement. FP2020's Core Indicator estiamtes are produced by Track20 and in-country Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Officers. These M&E Officers help organize consensus meetings during which the estimates are agreed upon by in-country stakeholders. Once these data are produced, Track20 and the FP2020 Data & Performance Management Team analyze the data and draft the Measurement Section of the annual progress report, while the Performance Monitoring & Evidence Working Group provides feedback. The report is then launched in the fall.
Family Planning Estimation Tool
The Family Planning Estimation Tool (FPET) is a statistical model that produces annual estimates of mCPR (Core Indicator 2), unmet need (Core Indicator 3), and demand satisfied (Core Indicator 4). Traditionally, countries have relied on estimates for mCPR and unmet need that are taken from population-based surveys, such as the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). However, most countries do not conduct such surveys annually. Although routine family planning service statistics and/or data on distribution of contraceptive commodities are available in most countries, they tend to not be used to monitor progress or make decisions at a programmatic level.
FPET incorporates all available historical survey data for a country, as well as service statistics (where determined to be of sufficient quality) to produce estimates of contraceptive prevalence and unmet need. By using all available data, and regional and global patterns of change, FPET is producing a better estimate of current levels of mCPR, unmet need, and demand satisfied for each FP2020 country than has been traditionally available for assessing changes in family planning.
More information on the Family Planning Estimation Tool can be found here: Technical Brief: Family Planning Estimation Tool.
At the London Summit in 2012, the family planning community committed to enabling 120 million additional women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020, creating the FP2020 global partnership.
The ‘additional users’ indicator is the first in a suite of 18 FP2020 Core Indicators. It serves as one of FP2020‘s foundational measures of progress and is reported annually for FP2020’s 69 focus countries. Since 2012, the 120x2020 goal has helped galvanize efforts to expand contraceptive access, expand method choice, improve quality of care, and overcome barriers to use, but the ‘additional users’ metric is often confused with other related family planning metrics.
This confusion was referenced by the FP2020 Performance Monitoring & Evidence Working Group (PME WG) in a statement, and is discussed in a March 2017 Global Health: Science and Practice paper. Confusion around the ‘additional users’ metric hinders efforts to align measurement and improve understanding of collective progress towards FP2020’s global goal.
In order to address this confusion, FP2020 hosted a webinar and created an infographic to illustrate the meaning of ‘additional users’, explain the underlying dynamics of contraceptive use and demonstrate how these concepts relate.
FP2020’s goal is based on the fundamental belief that all women, regardless of marital status, should have access to the high-quality family planning services of their choosing. Therefore, FP2020 monitors modern contraceptive use among all women, rather than only married or in-union women. This represents a global shift in how contraceptive prevalence is normally reported at both the international and national levels.
More information on all women mCPR can be found here: Track20 Technical Brief: Married versus All Women mCPR.
The methodology used to estimate the number of additional users of modern methods of contraception has two important components, both of which confer advantages related to data quality and accuracy. The first is the designation of 2012 as the baseline year or starting point for our calculation—the point at which we set the number of additional users at zero. For each reporting period, we compare the total number of users in the current year to the total number of users in the baseline year (2012). The difference between the two totals is the number of additional users.
The second component is the use of a “rolling” baseline, meaning we recalculate annual estimates (starting with 2012) on an ongoing basis as new data become available. Continuously incorporating new data improves our ability to monitor progress, so that by 2020 our estimates for all years (2012 to 2020) will represent the most comprehensive and accurate data available. Calculations of the number of additional users depend on mCPR and the population of women of reproductive age (WRA). There is often a lag time of a year, and sometimes longer, before the surveys used to calculate mCPR are released. In addition, updated population estimates (including WRA) often include retrospective modifications of past estimates based on newly released census data and other sources.
Consequently, as new data become available, they affect not only current year estimates but those calculated in previous years as well. The advantage of using rolling estimates is seen by comparing the estimate of the number of users of modern contraception that was calculated for the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012 (258 million) to the updated estimate for 2012 that we use now (271 million). The new baseline calculation incorporates new surveys that give us a better sense of the current mCPR in a country as well as what the mCPR was in 2012.
As a result we now consider the total number of contraceptive users in 2012 to be 13 million more than originally estimated in 2012. Were we to use the old estimate for 2012, this discrepancy could be misconstrued as 13 million additional users on top of the actual 38.8 million additional users.
Not only is our 2012 estimate updated, but so are our 2013-2016 estimates. This means that the number of additional users that we previously estimated for these years has changed. Because of these changes, it is important not to compare numbers across different FP2020 Progress Reports. Instead, each report publishes the entire trend since 2012, based on the most recent data, enabling comparison of changes over time.
More information on the methodology for the rolling baseline can be found here: Track20 Technical Brief: Rolling Baselines.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Resources for development are limited, and advocates often characterize family planning as a “best buy” creating ripple effects across many development sectors.
A growing number of women of reproductive age want to avoid pregnancy, and advocates must work to secure the financial resources needed to ensure that women and girls are able to decide for themselves whether and when to use modern contraception. A variety of studies make a strong economic case for family planning’s return on investment (ROI), but the wide-ranging estimates also create confusion. To address this confusion, and to support this year’s International Conference on Family Planning theme, “Family Planning, Investing for a Lifetime of Returns”, FP2020 convened a group of experts and advocates who measure and communicate family planning’s ROI to take action and help advocates continue to tout family planning as a best buy.
- FP2020's Family Planning's Return on Investment Fact Sheet
- "Family Planning's Return on Investment: What Do All the Numbers Mean?" Presentation Slide Deck
- "Family Planning's Return on Investment: What Do All the Numbers Mean?" Presentation Video