Core Indicator 1
Core Indicator 1, the number of additional women of reproductive age using modern contraception compared to 2012, is our most direct measure of progress toward achieving the goal of adding 120 million contraceptive users by the year 2020. But FP2020 is about much more than numbers. The 24.4 million additional women and girls who, by July 2015, were using modern methods of contraception are now better able to ensure their families’ security, education, and wellbeing. The enormous health and economic benefits of family planning extend beyond individuals to communities and countries, and are essential to sustainable development.
However, 24.4 million is 10 million less than the benchmark for 2015 we projected at the time of the London Summit. Again, 10 million represents far more than a numerical gap: these are 10 million women and girls that FP2020, collectively, committed to reach—but has not. It is to these women and girls, and the millions more with an unmet need for family planning, that we are ultimately accountable.
Core Indicator 2
To achieve the FP2020 goal, countries must increase the number of users of modern methods of contraception so that a greater proportion of all women and girls of reproductive age are served. Further, this percentage—the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR)—must grow at a pace that exceeds the historic trajectory. Core Indicator 2, mCPR for all women of reproductive age, averaged 33.2% in 2015, compared to 32% in 2012 across the 69 FP2020 focus countries.
From July 2012 to July 2015, the average increase in mCPR was two times greater among the 34 FP2020 focus countries that had made a commitment prior to July 2015 (1.2% points) than it was among non-commitment making countries (0.5% points).
To examine whether a country had accelerated its growth in mCPR, we looked at the 41 FP2020 focus countries with data collected since the time of the London Summit. We found that in 14 of these countries the new data show an acceleration of mCPR growth that is higher than previously estimated, with the most rapid acceleration seen in Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, and Senegal. This group also includes some of the most populous FP2020 countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Indonesia.
Ten countries are continuing along their same trajectory, showing the new data are in line with the previous trend. These 10 countries are home to 50% of the women of reproductive age across the 69 FP2020 focus countries, meaning this lack of acceleration has a large impact on achieving FP2020’s goal. The group of 10 countries includes some of the most populous, such as India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Of course, just keeping a country’s mCPR constant in the context of a large, growing population translates to more contraceptive users in absolute numbers, and is an enormous challenge. For example, in India, each additional 1% point increase in mCPR translates to 3.3 million additional women.
Core Indicator 3
Core Indicator 3, unmet need for modern contraception, is one measure of a woman’s ability to exercise the right to determine the number and spacing of her children. As such, it is not only an important criterion for assessing the performance of national family planning programs; it is also a critical indicator of women’s empowerment, as well as the degree to which the state—and the global community, including FP2020—are meeting our commitment to make family planning services available to all who want them.
Across the 69 FP2020 focus countries, we estimate that 133 million married or in-union women have an unmet need for modern methods of contraception in 2015. 19 On average, approximately one out of five married or in-union women and girls do not want to get pregnant but are not using a modern method of contraception. We can reasonably assume that the true level of unmet need, which would include women and girls who are not currently married or in-union, is much greater.
Core Indicator 4
Core Indicator 4, the percentage of total demand for family planning satisfied by a modern method of contraception, reflects FP2020’s fundamental rights and empowerment principles. UNFPA, USAID, and other FP2020 partners have recommended this indicator20 as a metric for the Sustainable Development Goals because it “reflects the aim of family planning—to support the rights of individuals and couples to choose whether and when to have a child by providing them the means to implement their decision—and promotes voluntarism, informed choice, rights, and equity.”21
Among the 69 FP2020 focus countries, demand satisfied22 was less than 30% in 10 countries. In 35 countries demand satisfied was between 30% and 60%, and in 23 countries demand satisfied was greater than 60%.
There is great variation among countries, from a low of 8.9% among married or in-union women in Somalia, to a high of 87.4% among married or in-union women in Nicaragua. However, demand satisfied must be interpreted within the context of total demand in a country: where total demand is low, it is relatively easy to satisfy.
Among the 38 FP2020 focus countries with sufficient data to support this analysis, we identified 35 countries where the percentage of demand satisfied increased over the three years since the London Summit. This increase averaged 3.2% points over the three-year period. The largest increases—all greater than 5% points—were in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Zambia.
Core Indicator 5
Core Indicator 5, the total number of unintended pregnancies, is an important indicator because of its impact on both maternal and newborn health outcomes. In 2015, an estimated 48.8 million unintended pregnancies occurred across the 69 FP2020 countries: approximately two out of every five pregnancies were unintended. Unintended pregnancies happen both as a result of method failure and of women not using contraception. While we are making progress, this large number tells us there is much more work to be done.
Download the full FP2020 Commitment to Action: Measurement Annex 2015
19. This indicator is currently reported for married/in-union women. FP2020 intends to report this indicator for all women and girls of reproductive age starting in 2016.
20. The indicator recommended by USAID, UNFPA, et al is demand for family planning met with modern contraceptive methods among all sexually active women of reproductive age who want to delay or limit childbearing.
21. Fabic M, Choi Y, Bongaarts J, Darroch J, Ross J, Stover J, Tsui A, Upadhyay J, Starbird E. Meeting demand for family planning within a generation: the post- 2015 agenda. Lancet. Published online July 1, 2014.
22. This indicator is currently reported for married/in-union women. FP2020 intends to report this indicator for all women of reproductive age starting in 2016.