Recap: Performance, Monitoring and Evidence Working Group Meeting

Meghan Gallagher, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Advisor for Save the Children 
Aparna Jain, Senior Director, Making Cents International 
Adnan Khan, the Chief Knowledge Officer at Research and Development Solutions

FP2030’s Performance Monitoring and Evidence (PME) Working Group is a platform for collaboration and discussion that brings together the foremost leaders, thinkers, and practitioners in family planning measurement. The group meets bi-annually to discuss the FP2030 measurement framework indicators, ensure alignment across the family planning measurement community, examine measurement challenges, and discuss new and exciting measurement advancements. The group convened September 6 to 8 in Nairobi, Kenya, and focused on increasing the use of data by connecting country-level data collection and dissemination to global measurement conversations. This was the first time the PME Working Group meeting was hosted by one of the FP2030 regional hubs. The East and Southern Africa (ESA) hub invited the group, Track20 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officers from six countries, and a number of Kenyan data partners.  

The agenda focused on country experiences with the collection of national and sub-national data, innovations in data collection, analysis, and use, as well as data and measurement challenges that affect countries’ ability to look at different aspects of their family planning programs and their goals to equitably provide a range of methods through high-quality services.  

Track20 M&E officers from Eastern, Southern, and Western Africa discussed routine data systems and their efforts increasing use for country and sub-national decision-making. They shared the technical and advocacy skills needed to ensure the data are owned, analyzed, and used by national governments. Both quality and ownership are crucial for national governments to use family planning data to advance national programming. In addition, the ESA Hub, in partnership with the Kenya MOH, organized a panel to discuss the recent Kenya DHS with members of the Kenya Family Planning Technical Working Group. This was an opportunity to spotlight the family planning advancements in Kenya, as well as the coordination and collaboration necessary to rigorously evaluate data, identify key priorities, and ensure that data drives key decision making and is used to monitor progress in the future. 

In addition to the focus on country data use, the group continued its work on a global family planning measurement agenda. Equity was a critical theme of the PME Working Group meeting, with notable interrogation around what is currently missing from family planning measurement conversations. The annual FP2030 Measurement Report highlights a core set of country indicators and establishes a process for countries to annually review their data on progress. The group noted the need to continually assess the FP2030 Measurement Framework as new measurement concepts and challenges emerge. One emerging discussion is how to more concretely incorporate measures of individual-level intentions for family planning use, while keeping in mind the sociological factors that may influence these intentions, such as empowerment, agency, and autonomy. Members of the group discussed new possibilities and standing challenges such as: reporting unintended pregnancy rates using a newly defined indicator, the conditional unintended pregnancy rate; changing discontinuation measures to reflect individual-level discontinuation rates; measurement of scale up of high impact practices, including postpartum family planning; and how measures of contraceptive stock-outs can be improved. For each of these areas of future work small groups discussed action items and next steps to engage other partners within the measurement community in the efforts to improve family planning measurement. Emerging issues were also discussed, including, how in an ever-changing world deeply impacted by climate change and humanitarian crises, it is critical to consider how family planning access and uptake are deeply impacted by these events and how measurement can adapt to the data needs for impacted populations amidst crisis, movement, and increasing migration.  

Finally, the group capitalized on the power of the FP2030 regional hubs to build more local partnerships and relationships with regional data partners. The ESA hub invited regional partners such as Adolescent 360, Triggerise, Reproductive Health Network Kenya, Clinton Health Access Initiative Kenya, inSupply Health, and the African Population and Health Research Center to discuss data innovations in Kenya and the region. These innovations provided insights on sub-populations, private sector service delivery, supply chain challenges, and other issues that may not be possible through the set of nationally representative, comparable country indicators that are used to track progress across countries and over time. The inclusion of these partners bolstered the conversation and allowed for the group to interact with regional data experts. The ability to collaborate with regional partners extends the groups’ understanding of local data innovations and enhances the ability to collaborate on measurement challenges. With this ability to look deeper, we strive to continue to drive the global measurement agenda, considering alternative and more inclusive ways of measuring family planning progress at a global level. 

As the co-chairs of the PME Working Group, we’re thankful for the chance to collaborate with many of the leading experts in the field, and we look forward to putting these ideas into action.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *