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Survey Methodology

PMA2020 collects a nationally representative sample of data from households and service delivery points in selected sentinel sites, to estimate family planning and other health indicators on an annual basis in 11 pledging FP2020 countries. The PMA2020 surveys involve interviewing a probability sample of females aged 15 to 49 years and a probability sample of health facilities, pharmacies, and retail outlets that offer family planning services. The female respondents are asked questions about their background, their birth history and fertility preferences, their use of family planning methods, their reproductive health, and other information that is helpful to policymakers and program administrators in health and family planning improvement.

The survey sample in each country is based on a multi-stage cluster design, typically using urban-rural, major regions and districts as the strata. A nationally representative number of clusters or enumeration areas is sampled in each program country. In each EA, households and service delivery points (SDPs) will be listed and mapped. Households are systematically sampled for inclusion in the survey round, using random selection. Embedded in each household survey is the female respondent survey, with a series of questions for all women of reproductive age (15-49) living at each household to answer, identified through the sampling process in the EAs across the country. Respondents for the SDP survey are management staff answering on behalf of the facility.

The household and female surveys are largely carried out by female data collectors, known as resident enumerators (REs). Eligibility criteria for selection of REs vary by program country, REs are typically women over the age of 21 who are from or near the respective enumeration areas and hold at least a high school diploma.

Each RE takes about six weeks to collect data from all selected households, eligible women, and service delivery points. Data collected from households generate aggregate numbers (descriptive statistics). Data processing produces weighted national estimates of these female- and facility-based indicators to report to national and international stakeholders. Data are immediately processed when collection is completed, and the results are disseminated to country stakeholders. Data collection takes place semi-annually in the first two years for each project country and annually thereafter. To promote improvement in programs and policies at all levels, data are aggregated at the community level, district level, and national level to provide actionable data to relevant stakeholders and decision makers.

PMA2020 has produced many reports, tables and papers that take a closer look at the methodology used. All reports and papers can be accessed here.