Track20 is responsible for reporting annually on FP2020's Core Indicators, and has played a key role in shaping the context of each FP2020 report.

Why annual estimates matter

The demand for annual estimates arises from the global as well as country and sub-national levels. At the global level, we lacked comparable annual data on family planning indicators needed to monitor change at the aggregate. Data on common family planning indicators are obtained from periodic population-based surveys, such as the Demographic and Health surveys (DHS). These have provided important and good quality information about contraceptive practice, knowledge and availability as well as indicators on demand. However, these surveys occur at different times in different countries and are usually only conducted every 5 years or so (with the exception of PMA2020 and other annual national surveys in select countries). The inability to compare across countries and time has led to the global interest in annual comparable estimates for family planning.

At the country level as well, surveys have filled important gaps in information on critical family planning indicators. However, their periodicity and lack of granularity make them less useful for program monitoring. Countries must rely on less accurate, but more frequently available data from routine systems to provide information down to the local administrative level. Most countries have substantially devolved political systems and survey data cannot provide the granularity needed for monitoring. Service statistics provide routine signals on coverage – new acceptors, total and repeat visits, commodities distributed, which are used to program funds and human resources. But their lack of accuracy remains a serious constraint. Another constraint is that measurements vary of common indicators, both within and across countries. For example, measurement of stock outs in a country can be at the national or at the facility level, on the day of assessment or over the last six months. Measurement of improved coverage at the local administrative level may be inferred from couple years of protection, from new acceptors data, and from sub-national survey data on contraceptive prevalence. Policy makers not only face a lot of noise in their annual data but also multiple signals on presumably the same broad indicators.

Annual estimates in short, matter irrespective of whether the perspective is global or local. There is demand for estimates that governments can rely on to produce consistent signals, as much as those that donors and global actors can usefully compare across countries and time.

Track20 is working to transform the way that we monitor progress- at the sub-national, national, and global level. We are engaging with countries to produce annual estimates on a range key family planning indicators, and, create in-country processes to review and engage with this data. We use methods that can produce internationally comparable estimates, that engage with routine statistics from health information systems and allow countries to have the depth, detail and reliability in information they require.

Learn more about our country work here.