Percent of women who chose their contraceptive method individually or jointly

Percent of women of reproductive age (WRA) (15-49) currently using a modern contraceptive method who report that they chose the method themselves or jointly with a partner or provider at a particular point in time. 

This indicator is calculated as:

(Number of WRA currently using a modern contraceptive method who report that they either chose their method themselves or jointly with a partner/Total number of WRA currently using a modern contraceptive method who were surveyed) x 100

Number of women using a modern contraceptive method and how they came to the decision to use that method

This indicator can be disaggregated by age, geographic region, rural/urban status, and whether the method was chosen individually or jointly (with either a partner or service provider).

PMA2020 questionnaire, DHS

This indicator can be used to measure couples' communication and male engagement in family planning (FP). Couples' joint decision-making is a stronger determinant of the use of contraceptive methods than women-only decision-making (Hameed et al, 2014). Interventions that promote couples' discussion of fertility preferences and FP can use this indicator to track progress with engaging men in FP decision-making and increasing communication about FP within the couple.

This indicator can also be used to track client-provider communication. A woman who has chosen her contraceptive method jointly with her provider may be indicative of positive client-provider communication and effective FP counselling.

A significant problem with this indicator is that it captures neither the quality nor the quantity of communication the woman may have had with her partner or provider.  A woman and her partner may have engaged in a supportive, in-depth conversation about their fertility preferences and reproductive needs and chosen together what contraceptive method was best suited to them.  Or there may have been no conversation at all with the man dictating to the woman what contraceptive method she was going to use.  In both situations, the women would report affirmatively that they chose their contraceptive method jointly with their partner, despite the latter scenario not reflecting the change programmers would hope to see.

communication, family planning

Waqas Hameed, Syed Khurram Azmat, Moazzam Ali, Muhammad Ishaque Sheik, Ghazunfer Abbas, Marleen Temmerman, and Bilal Iqbal Avan. "Women's Empowerment and Contraceptive Use: The Role of Independent versus Couples' Decision-Making, from a Lower Middle Income Country Perspective," PLoS One. 2014; 9(8): e104633.

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