Assessing approaches to demand-side FP measurement with a reproductive justice and rights framework

Mombasa, Kenya 5-7 March 2024


The IUSSP Panel on Rethinking Family Planning Measurement with a Reproductive Justice and Rights Lens, in collaboration with Population Council-Kenya, organized an Expert Meeting on Assessing Approaches to Demand-side Family Planning Measurement with a Reproductive Justice and Rights Framework in Mombasa, Kenya 5-7 March 2024. 

This expert group meeting brought together 54 researchers, programme implementors, policymakers, advocates and civil society representatives from diverse regions of the world to examine family planning measures and measurement approaches from a reproductive rights and justice perspective. The meeting included representatives of USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF provides funding for the Panel), DHS, UNFPA, WHO, the Guttmacher Institute, Population Council country offices in Kenya and India, PMA, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC),  and individuals from diverse institutions (academic and non-academic) working on gender,  human rights, and person-centered approaches using innovative methods and data to measure contraceptive decision making, method preference, and reproductive agency and autonomy. 


The objectives of the meeting were to: a) Convene and examine measures and measurement approaches with a reproductive rights and justice lens; b) Identify measures that can be used to assess family planning progress, opportunities, and gaps in a way that is reflective of individuals’ self-identified needs and goals (i.e., person-centered); and c) Discuss ways forward to advance global family planning measurement in preparation for a post-2030 measurement agenda.


Participants in the IUSSP Expert Meeting in Mombasa, Kenya 5-7 March 2024.

The 3-day meeting began with an overview of frameworks and terminology for family planning measurement with a reproductive rights and justice perspective, including a deep dive into explaining reproductive justice, human rights-based family planning and person-centered measurement. These frameworks grounded the three days of discussion, where participants reflected on how to build measures that are respectful of and responsive to individuals’ own expressed values, needs and preferences, as well as measures that reflect the full range of reproductive choices, and that bring a lens of analyzing power and shedding light on marginalization.


The meeting then considered the pros and cons of current measures such as “intention to use contraception” and participants discussed the general dissatisfaction with “unmet need” as a global measure of family planning need. The meeting followed with presentations of research using new approaches to measure family planning needs and preferences, including method preferences and novel data and indicators to measure contraceptive and reproductive autonomy, as well as a discussion of their relevance to the post-2030 measurement agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  


The meeting included afternoon breakout sessions to build on the morning‘s presentations with discussion and reflections from all participants to generate ideas and recommendations on person-centered focused data sources, insights and measures and ways to move forward. The discussion greatly benefited from the participation of experts from diverse regions – Africa, Asia and Latin America– who brought to the discussion the importance of context, community and the role governments will play in the adoption of any new measures at the country level for monitoring contraceptive use.  


It was a lively meeting with much discussion and input from all participants.  A report will be forthcoming, and the panel will be working towards the development of recommendations over the coming year.


The Panel plans to hold meetings at upcoming regional population conferences to present the lessons learned from this meeting and continue discussions with those working on family planning monitoring and measurement around the globe. The first presentation will take place on Wednesday 17 April from 3-6pm at the PAA Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio in room Franklin D.  


This meeting was organized in collaboration with Population Council -Kenya and with the support of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and with additional support from USAID through the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We thank these donors and all the participants for their enthusiastic participation and thoughtful contributions to this meeting and the IUSSP Panel Steering Committee members for their thoughtful selection of presentations and participants and the overall organization of the meeting agenda.


IUSSP Panel Steering Committee (clockwise from the left): Fredrick Makumbi, Abdoul-Moumouni Nouhou, Beth Sully, Georgina Binstock, Ilene Speizer, Irene Casique, Mary Ellen Zuppan, and Naranjan Suggurti. (Madeleine Short Fabic was unable to attend).