"Information" in the sense of this framework generally refers to data that provide decision-makers with feedback on the program or project. Such information is useful to confirm that an activity is progressing on course or to identify weaknesses in need of mid-course corrections. It also serves as a basis for forecasting future needs in contraceptive commodities.
Information on FP programs in countries worldwide falls into one of three categories:
Information is the "raw material" for any type of monitoring and
evaluation (M&E) system. The data are often reported in the
form of indicators, which governments, program personnel, and
donors use to track progress.
The Ministry of Health has established the Système National d'Informations Sanitaires (SNIS, the National System of Health Information), which covers the full range of health programs in operation in the country. Specialized health programs, such as the Programme National de Santé de la Reproduction (PNSR) and the Programme National de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP, National Program to Combat Malaria), are expected to feed data from their programs in health zones throughout the country into the SNIS. Although designed as a national system, it yields data from approximately one-quarter of the 515 health zones in the DRC.
Système National d'Informations Sanitaires reports on indicators over a wide range of diseases and health topics. The two FP indicators reported in the 2010 annual report were contraceptive prevalence and couple-years of protection (explained below).
NGOs generally track FP service statistics required by their donors. Since the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are only conducted every five years, USAID uses estimates of couple years of protection (CYP) as an indicator of progress of its programs. Some NGOs also report on number of new and continuing acceptors.
The services statistics for NGOs may be reported through two channels. First, a given project will report its statistics, such as number of CYP achieved, to its donor. Second, the health zone supported by the project may report these same statistics through the SNIS. This is not problematic unless one combines the CYP achievement reported by the donors and by the SNIS.
Shortcomings in Service Statistics
In its Annual Report 2010, the PNSR lists the following deficiencies related to an information system for FP/RH:
The five most widely used indicators of FP achievement include the following:
Couple-Years of Protection Conversion Factors
|Method||CYP Per Unit|
|Copper-T 380-A IUD||4.6 CYP per IUD inserted
3.3 for 5 year IUD e.g. LNG-IUS
|3 year implant (e.g. Implanon)||2.5 CYP per implant|
|4 year implant (e.g. Sino-Implant)||3.2 CYP per implant|
|5 year implant (e.g. Jadelle)||3.8 CYP per implant|
|Emergency Contraception||20 doses per CYP|
|Fertility Awareness Methods||1.5 CYP per trained adopter|
|Standard Days Method||1.5 CYP per trained adopter|
|LAM||4 active users per CYP
or .25 CYP per user
*Sterilization: India, Nepal, Bangladesh
|Oral Contraceptives||15 cycles per CYP|
|Condoms (Male and Female)||120 units per CYP|
|Vaginal Foaming Tablets||120 units per CYP|
|Depo Provera (DMPA) Injectable||4 doses per CYP|
|Noristerat (NET-En) Injectable||6 doses per CYP|
|Cyclofem Monthly Injectable||13 doses per CYP|
|Monthly Vaginal Ring/Patch||15 units per CYP|
Of these five indicators, CYP is most likely to be accurately reported. However, it is not readily understood by health professionals or laypersons outside of family planning.
Some programs conduct different types of applied research to guide the design of new initiatives or to assess the performance of their ongoing programs. These studies may include needs assessment, formative audience research, process evaluation, operations research, and outcomes/impact research, among others. They are called "special studies" because they do not use routinely collected service statistics.
Two large-scale population-based surveys have measured contraceptive prevalence, related contraceptive behavior, and many other health-related topics in the DRC in recent years:
1. The Demographic and Health Survey
Conducted in 2007, the DHS represents the first nationally representative health survey in the DRC. It provides data on the various topics related to family planning, including the percentage of women that:
The DHS also collects data on fertility behaviors and preferences that affect contraceptive use, as well as reasons for non-use.
The full report is available at:
2. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), an international household survey developed by UNICEF, was recently conducted for the third time in the DRC in 2010. The information contained in the DRC MICS-2010 covers multiple topics on households, women, and children. MICS-2 (2001) and MICS-3 (2010) provided family planning data, including contraceptive prevalence and unmet need.
The MICS also includes data on fertility levels that affect contraceptive use, as well as differences between groups based on background characteristics.
The full report of the DRC MICS 2010 is available at:
The National Institute of Statistics, 6th Street, No. 12, Kinshasa/ Limete- Industrial.
The Ministry of Planning, Direction des Secteurs Sociaux, 4155, rue des Coteaux, Quartier Petit Pont, Kinshasa/ Gombe.
The UNICEF office in the DRC, 87 Boulevard du 30 Juin, Kinshasa/Gombe.
Les résultats préliminaires de l'enquête sont disponibles ici:
Institut National de la Statistique et Fonds des Nations Unies pour l'Enfance, Enquete par Grappes a Indicateurs Multiples en Republique Democratique du Congo, 2010, Rapport de Synthese, Mai 2011.