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    033653

    Some thoughts on Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys.

    Brackett J

    In: Asia. Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys Regional Workshop. Proceedings. [Columbia, Maryland], Westinghouse Health Systems, 1981 Feb. 4-7. (Contraceptive Prevalence Studies 2)

    This paper presents the views of the Agency for International Development (AID) on Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys, focusing on why the agency supports them, what the agency wants to get out of them, and how they fit into the AID program. Both the developing countries and the donor community needed data bases that serve several purposes. There was a clear need for data on what was happening in countries with active family planning programs. Fairly substantial resources were being programmed into efforts to slow population growth, and it was important to ensure that these resources were used effectively and efficiently. There were also obvious time pressures. The longer the delay before slowing population growth, the more serious the problem would become. Clearly, timely data were needed. To respond to the varied data needs, early in its history AID's Population Office initiated a broad program of support for data collection, including censuses, surveys, civil registration systems, and family planning program statistics. There was also support for efforts to ensure that these data were evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted to facilitate their use. In 1971, AID along with the UN and the International Statistical Institute, began to develop what became the World Fertility Survey (WFS). The effort was launched more as a research than an administrative tool. During the course of developing the WFS, there was much reluctance on the part of many demographers and social scientists to clarify the link between fertility change and family planning action programs. In 1976, WFS carried out some field trials on a series of questions on perceived family planning availability and accessibility and thereafter developed a set of questions on availability, which were added to the core questionnaire. When the Contraceptive Prevalence Survey (CPS) project was initiated with Westinghouse, AID asked that availability information be collected for all methods requiring a source. These data have been very valuable as a means of gaining insight into the role of availability in contraceptive use. The CPS was specifically designed to collect a limited set of highly program-relevant data quickly and to make these data available to program administrators and policy makers. First, CPS has been an important data source for documenting trends in contraceptive knowledge and use. Second, since many of the WFS, as well as the CPS, have included questions on perceived availability of family planning, it is possible to examine trends in availability. Regarding how the CPS might be improved, the CPS Workshop provides a good opportunity for an exchange of ideas. A description of the Workshop objectives are outlined.
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