The impact of local supply of popular contraceptives on women’s use of family planning: findings from performance-monitoring-for-action in seven sub-Saharan African countries

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Abstract

Contraceptive use has substantial implications for women’s reproductive health, motivating research on the most effective approaches to minimize inequalities in access. When women prefer to limit or delay fertility but are not using contraception, this potentially reflects demand for contraception that is not being satisfied. Current literature emphasizes a nuanced integration of supply and demand factors to better understand this gap. In this research, we examine the interconnectedness of supply and demand factors both conceptually and methodologically by augmenting existing measures of local supply with a demand-side factor—community-level preferences for contraceptive methods. Using novel data from Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) in seven sub-Saharan African countries, we test whether the available supply of locally preferred methods at nearby service delivery points (SDP) explains variation in women’s uptake of contraception beyond the more typical measure of contraceptive stockouts. Findings from logistic regression analyses (N = 32,282) suggest that demand and supply can be understood as tightly interconnected factors which are directly affected by local social preferences. The odds of women using modern contraception increase significantly when locally preferred methods are available, and this is true even after controlling for the availability of methods in general. The new measure tested in this research centers women and their specific desires in a manner consistent with the promotion of contraceptives as an important human right.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number171
JournalReproductive Health
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Community preferences for family planning
  • Supply and demand for contraception
  • Unmet need for contraception

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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