Expanding access to family planning (FP) is a driving aim of global and national FP efforts. The definition and measurement of access, however, remain nebulous, largely due to complexity. This article aims to bring clarity to the measurement of FP access. First, we synthesize key access elements for measurement by reviewing three well-known frameworks. We then assess the extent to which the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)-a widely used data source for FP programs and research-has information to measure these elements. We finally examine barriers to access by element, using the latest DHS data from four countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We discuss opportunities and limitations in the measurement of access, the importance of careful interpretation of data from population-based surveys, and recommendations for collecting and using data to better measure access.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)