Number of beneficiaries served by vulnerable children programs

How to use this indicator

This indicator is based on the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) OVC_SERV indicator that is mandated for any program that provides support to children made vulnerable by HIV (including, but not limited to, children living with HIV) but extends to programs that are not supported by PEPFAR. Having a caregiver who is living with HIV or AIDS can negatively affect the emotional and physical development of children, but a number of services can mitigate these effects. Living with HIV produces ripple effects on the psychological, health, education, legal, and poverty status of children, and programs for these children provide a variety of services to protect and support them that extend beyond their physical health. Vulnerable children programs can seek ways to build the stability and resiliency of children and families exposed to, living with, or affected by HIV/AIDS through rigorous case management and provision and linkage to health and socioeconomic interventions. Collecting data on the total number of beneficiaries, including those who are active, graduated, transferred, and exited, measures how successful a program for vulnerable children is in building the resiliency of children and their families. This indicator measures the number of children and families vulnerable to and affected by HIV/AIDS who receive program support services.


Number of adults and children provided with vulnerable children program support during the reporting period

Unit of measure



Sum results across reporting period

Method of measurement

Depending on country context, vulnerable children may be defined as follows: a child below the age of 18, who because of circumstances, lacks access to the basic needs and resources in the areas of safety or protection, stability, education, and health that are necessary for optimal growth and development. This category can also include the following subpopulations of children, depending on the population a project targets: children who have lost one or both parents; children with chronically ill parent(s); children of members of key populations; child victims of abuse and exploitation; abandoned children; children living on the street; children born out of wedlock; unaccompanied and separated children; internally displaced and refugee children; children of migrant workers; children of asylum-seekers; children in labor camps; child victims of sexual exploitation; children in armed forces; children in residential care facilities; children in alternative care; or children who engage in illegal behavior, are stigmatized, or under the control of others.

This indicator is the sum of active and graduated beneficiaries of program services for vulnerable children during the reporting period. Beneficiaries should have received service at least once from a range of available program services, including education, nutrition, psychosocial, legal/protection, socioeconomic, and/or health services. Community workers can track this information by asking the caregiver of each supported household directly whether family members have received services, and, if they have, the type, location, and date of receipt of services. The community workers should record names of those who received services (active) or graduated from program support during the reporting period. The recommended reporting period for this indicator is six months. They should determine when the services were received, to ensure that service provision occurred during the reporting period. Community workers can also count those to whom they provided services directly and follow up with community-based organizations to verify service delivery to specific beneficiaries in their caseload. 

Data source

This indicator is tracked by programs for vulnerable children through service provision and family care tools, graduation checklists, child care monitoring forms, monthly registration forms, and home visit tools.


  • Type of beneficiary (active, transferred, exited, or graduated)
  • Age (<1 year, 1–4 years, 5–9 years, 10–14 years, and 15–17 years for children; 18–24 years, 25+ years)
  • Sex
  • Type of service (education support, parenting or caregiver support, social protection, economic strengthening, other service areas)

Per PEPFAR guidelines, “transferred” and “exited without graduation” should be used as levels of disaggregation, but these should not be counted towards the overall sum reported for this indicator during the reporting period.

“Active beneficiaries” are individuals who received a service in the past six months. Beneficiaries who were recently registered, during the past six months, should also be counted as active, even if they have yet to receive services.

“Graduated beneficiaries” are those who are determined stable and no longer in urgent need of externally supported services during the reporting period. This also includes children who have reached the age of 18 and have a transition plan for exiting the program successfully. Criteria for graduation are established by each country’s guidelines for case management, which should be designed to ensure children are healthy, stable, safe, and schooled.

“Transferred” is defined as any beneficiary who was transitioned to any forms of program support other than those provided through the original vulnerable children program, including other donor-funded or country-led programs, during the reporting period. Transferred can be disaggregated into two separate categories: “transferred out to a PEPFAR-supported partner” and transferred out to a “non-PEPFAR supported partner.”

“Exited without graduation” is defined as any child who was lost to follow-up, is older than 18 years and lacks a graduation plan, relocated, or died during the reporting period.

Data quality considerations

This indicator does not track the quality or the intensity of the support services provided; it categorizes individuals who received one service the same as those who received numerous services throughout the reporting period. Programs may consider also tracking individual participation rates in services to ensure that they are providing beneficiaries with comprehensive support.

The number reported for this indicator should equal the sum of individuals in each disaggregation category. Only one type of age disaggregation should be used throughout, and overlap should be avoided.

Reporting frequency

Community workers should collect this information regularly, but they should monitor progress monthly with support from their supervisors. The indicator should be reported on a semiannual basis.

Data element

Beneficiaries served by vulnerable children programs


Vulnerable Children

Data use case

To see a data use example for this indicator, please click below.

Active Versus Graduated Beneficiaries of an Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program in Uganda 


Bachman, G. (2017). Core, near core and non‐core activities: How PEPFAR countries prioritize activities, implement priorities, and determine future plans for transition. Retrieved from

The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) (2018). Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting (MER 2.0) Indicator Reference Guide Updated Release (Version 2.2). Washington, DC: PEPFAR. Retrieved from

Filed under: VC
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