Percent of women using a modern family planning method who obtained their current method from a community-based worker

A “community-based provider” is a health worker or promoter not based at a traditional health facility; sometimes they are referred to as “fieldworkers.”  Community-based distribution of family planning (FP) methods is generally through a local store or commercial site or an individual provider at a non-commercial site, as well as other variations that are community-based.  As measured in this indicator, a woman who is using modern contraception who purchased or was given her current FP method from a community-based provider is included, but this indicator does not include a woman who only talks with the community-based provider about FP. 

Modern FP methods obtained from a community-based provider include hormonal pills, injectables, male and female condoms, and foam/jelly. Traditional or ‘non-modern’ methods include periodic abstinence, withdrawal and folk methods. 

This indicator is calculated as: 

(Number of women respondents using a modern FP method who obtained their current method from a community-based provider / total number of women respondents using a modern FP method) x 100

Current FP use; type of FP method; evaluators may also want to disaggregate data by age group (e.g. 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, etc.) and/or marital status (e.g. married, cohabitating, other)

Population-based survey or project record

The goal of using community-based providers is to increase contraceptive use by increasing access and raising demand through information, education, and communication activities.  Community volunteers are often recruited to be community-based providers, making these kinds of initiatives particularly effective in rural and isolated communities where demand is limited and access to modern FP methods is low.  In Ethiopia, Pathfinder International has trained hundreds of market vendors to provide reproductive health/FP information, condoms, and pills to provide access to people in extremely remote areas and among semi-nomadic groups, who travel regularly to the market, thus removing transportation barriers.  Men and youth have also been greatly served since accessing services and supplies through a community-based worker is less conspicuous than going to the clinic, a concern for both groups (Burket, 2006). 

Broadly, this indicator measures how much of a role community-based providers play in providing access to FP methods.  Specifically, it measures how well community-based distribution of contraception provides coverage of FP services to a given area.

The indicator does not assess where a woman may have obtained previous FP methods or what her intention is for obtaining future FP methods.  It also does not indicate if the woman received FP counseling when she obtained her method from the community-based provider.

family planning, community

MEASURE Evaluation, USAID. 2007. A Guide for Monitoring and Evaluating Population-Health-Environment Programs. Washington DC: USAID. 

Burket, M. 2006.  Improving Reproductive Health through Community-Based Services: 25 Years of Pathfinder International Experience. Watertown, MA: Pathfinder International.

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