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    The prevalence method.

    Bongaarts J

    In: Addendum. Manual IX: The methodology of measuring the impact of family planning programmes on fertility, by the Population Division of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. New York, New York, United Nations, 1986. 9-14. (Population Studies No. 66; ST/ESA/SER.A/66/Add.1)

    This chapter describes and applies a new methodology for estimating the fertility impact of contraception obtained through a family planning program. This approach is called the prevalence method because the principal data required for its application are estimates of the prevalence of contraceptive use at a given point in time. It is the objective of the prevalence method to estimate the number of births averted as well as the reduction in the crude birth rate that results form the use of program contraception. A single application of the procedure produces these estimates for 1 year, but repeated applications for different years can yield a time-series of births averted or other impact measures. The procedure for calculating births averted by program users consists of 6 parts to obtain, consecutively, estimates of: natural fertility, potential fertility, fertility impact of program use, births averted, birth rate impact, and method-specific results. Each of these steps is described in some detail. This new approach provides a simple and straightforward alternative to existing methods for estimating the gross fertility impact of program contraception. In contrast to several of the other procedures, the prevalence method does not require detailed input data on numbers of past acceptors and continuation rates. Instead, estimates of the prevalence of program and non-program contraception by age and method are required as principal input data. While such data were rarely available in the past, prevalence estimates are now routinely obtained from national surveys in many developing countries, thus making the application of the prevalence method possible.
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