Evaluation of Two Programs Supporting Global Family Planning Data Needs: Assessing Achievements, Informing Future Directions
Feb 5, 2018
In 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched two programs to help monitor progress toward a new global goal to increase modern contraceptive use by 2020. The Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) program aimed to support annual, rapid-turnaround, nationally representative surveys of households and service delivery points in nine countries. Track20 was designed to support global standardization of key family planning indicators and country-level monitoring and capacity-building in 22 countries. This summary of an evaluation of both programs is based on interviews with more than 260 stakeholders in the United States and 15 program countries, statistical analysis of the PMA2020 survey, and analysis of stakeholder ratings of data maturity and sustainability.
Stakeholders felt that PMA2020 has successfully conducted annual, rapid-turnaround surveys with high-quality data. However, it has not fully achieved its original objectives of promoting data use, meeting local data needs, or integrating PMA2020 into country data systems. The team's statistical analysis of PMA2020 surveys identified opportunities for modifications in survey frequency, design, and content. Stakeholders felt that Track20 is on target to achieve most of its objectives. Monitoring and evaluation officers are the core of Track20 in program countries: They are highly skilled personnel, typically embedded within ministries of health, giving them ready access to decisionmakers. The RAND research team recommended that both programs promote country-driven agendas for data collection, use, and ownership; intensify focus on data use; and plan for and measure data maturity and data system sustainability. The research team also recommended a new program — Data for Action Training Activity for Family Planning (DATA-FP) — to increase country capacity for data system management.