Evidence that systems exist for monitoring the progress made in implementing family planning/reproductive health policies

This indicator determines the mechanisms that are in place to monitor a family planning (FP) or reproductive health (RH) policy and how it is being implemented. It measures if all stakeholders and institutions responsible for implementing the policy have the technical capacity to do so and how capacity is being built. It notes the relationships among implementing institutions, and power dynamics within and among organizations and stakeholders. The presence of adequate financing mechanisms and resource allocations are acknowledged. The capacity of institutions to identify policy barriers and strategically address them is also measured.

Depending on the policies being monitored, specific indicators need to be identified that reflect changes in the policy implementation process as well as health programs and systems. The indicators should be able to show changes over the past two to three years, be comprehensible and actionable.

Project records; quarterly reports; action plans; interviews with key informants; newspaper articles; published statements; speeches; meeting minutes of various institutions, stakeholders and civil society groups.

This indicator uses data to inform better policy implementation. It can measure incremental changes in the intent, processes, and impacts of reforming FP/RH policy. The objectives for the indicator and the selected questions and measures will provide comprehensible information that will allow government officials to interpret which policies are driving their score and are actionable in the sense that concrete policy initiatives can improve their progress. National health policies and the indicators used to measure progress with these policies should be consistent with existing international efforts and priority targets, such as the Millennium Development Goals. In this way, it also ensures that all stakeholders are held accountable for implementing the policy. Measuring this indicator will strengthen accountability mechanisms and ensure more transparent monitoring.

Policy implementation is a complex process that can span several years. Having the funds and capacity to monitor the process over a long period of time can be a challenge. Since several stakeholders may be responsible for implementing a policy, it requires a lot of resources to monitor progress. Implementing stakeholders may not always share information freely thus making it challenging for monitoring to take place. Infrequent data collection or complex validation processes can lead to long lag times between policy implementation and the measurement of progress indicators.

policy, health system strengthening (HSS)

Policy goals and objectives may affect sub-populations differently. Hence, special measures need to be built into the policies and resulting initiatives and programs to address gender inequalities. The value of this and related indicators is dependent on analysis with attention to achieving gender equality and identifying gender differences in policy implementation and outcomes.

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