USING DATA STRATEGICALLY
USING DATA STRATEGICALLYUSING DATA STRATEGICALLY | FP2020 THE WAY AHEAD 2016-2017 /en/fp2020-in-countries/using-data-strategically
Data provide a solid foundation for a country’s family planning program, from setting goals and developing the CIP to monitoring performance and measuring impact. Data also provide advocates with the information they need to support governments in meeting their commitments, and are critical to ensuring accountability. Track20, FP2020, and other partners work to increase the availability, visibility, quality, and use of family planning data in FP2020 countries.
SUPPORTING DATA USE IN FP2020 COUNTRIES
Track20 works with FP2020 commitment-making countries to recruit, train, and support dedicated family planning monitoring and evaluation (M&E) officers. M&E officers are seconded to a country’s Ministry of Health, and serve as point persons for family planning data. M&E officers’ day-to-day activities vary according to country needs, ranging from producing subnational estimates of key family planning indicators to evaluating signals from routine and survey data to support programmatic decisions. In all countries, M&E officers liaise with country partners, encouraging the use of quality data, new methodologies, and tools for improved family planning programming and policy decision making.
As part of this effort, M&E officers are engaged in producing data for and organizing annual data consensus workshops led by the government. These workshops provide a platform for the government and partners to review available data, discuss data quality, produce annual estimates of the FP2020 Core Indicators, and assess progress toward a country’s goal. Data consensus workshops help ensure that annual monitoring is country-driven and promote transparency about the methodologies used in-country and internationally.
CASE STUDY: KENYA
In 2016 the Ministry of Health formed the Measurement & Knowledge Management Thematic Group to guide national and subnational data generation and monitoring of progress. Working with the in-country Track20 M&E officer, the group reviewed Kenya’s family planning goals in light of available subnational data, which showed large disparities in contraceptive prevalence and growth between different regions, as seen in the S-Curve (Figure 1).
The group recognized that the majority of Kenya’s population was located in counties with high rates of contraceptive use and limited potential for rapid MCPR growth. Taking this into consideration, the government decided to maintain the national goal of 58% MCPR (married women) by 2020—which it is on track to achieve—but to revise downward the goal for 2030 from 70% to 66% MCPR. County goals have also been revised accordingly, and the analysis will be shared with county health management teams for a sharpened understanding of the opportunities for growth and the resources needed.
This example demonstrates the importance of having timely and quality data. In March 2017, the FP2020 Performance Monitoring & Evidence Working Group met in Nairobi to learn more about how the government, the Track20 M&E officer, and other partners in Kenya are using family planning data to inform decision making. Kenyan stakeholders emphasized the importance of increasing capacity to use data at the subnational level, given the devolution of government and resource allocation to counties. Another key highlight was the piloting of FP Goals, a new program tool to help guide family planning program approaches in counties.
What Do Results Look Like?
The following is an illustrative example of an FP Goals result. The model shows the MCPR growth estimated for different scenarios, as well as the relative contribution of each intervention. Results can be used to assess a realistic MCPR goal, and support discussions on prioritization of interventions.
TRACK20’S FP GOALS TOOL
In its efforts to support data and evidence-based decision making, Track20 developed the FP Goals tool, which combines demographic data, family planning program information, and evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to help decision makers set realistic goals, prioritize investments, and review and interrogate their programs. The FP Goals tool has been applied in eight countries so far.
- Sierra Leone identified three areas for significant investment—improving postpartum family planning, reducing stock-outs, and continuing the rollout of implants—and investigated the needs of unmarried and married young people.
- Senegal explored how best to balance supply-side investments (expanding access to services) with demand-side investments (social and behavior change interventions), in order to find the right mix for continued growth.
- Lao PDR assessed the trade-offs for specific strategic approaches in the country’s CIP, and generated regional data to assist in the prioritization of family planning investments in each province. (Refer here for more on the Lao PDR costed implementation plan.)