As low- and middle-income countries transition from paper to digital systems, family planning programs can benefit from unprecedented opportunities to improve services. Investments in digital health tools have expanded exponentially, but information on what works—and what does not— remains limited and scattered. As investments have increased, digital applications and data fragmentation have proliferated, but stakeholders are moving towards more coordinated efforts to scale digital health solutions, support countries’ digital health infrastructure, and share evidence-based learnings.
This Digital Health Compendium enables users to explore case studies across a range of digital health technologies used to enhance family planning programs mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other regions of the world. Digital health applications in family planning programs can be broadly classified as those affecting demand generation, service delivery, supply chain management, and the policy and enabling environment. In many low- and middle-income countries, digital health innovations were adopted earlier in other health sectors, including HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and noncommunicable disease prevention and response. As a result, much of the impact evidence is likewise restricted to those sectors. To advance greater adoption of digital technology in family planning programs, more data and information on the challenges, opportunities, scalability, and results are needed. This compendium aims to consolidate emerging information and data on applications of digital technology in family planning programs to inform adoption and scale-up of successful approaches.
All of the case studies were submitted by the implementing organizations and include a description of the digital health intervention, program context, and, if available, important findings and lessons learned through rigorous evaluations or program data. The compendium facilitates a quick search for case studies based on the target user for digital health intervention, building block for the digital health enabling environment, family planning program classification, and country location. The case studies give policy and program decisionmakers insights on real-world applications of digital health, promising practices, challenges, and other lessons that can be applied to current and future programs.
Allows countries to track, analyze, and visualize the status of achieving a set of results articulated in multi-year actionable roadmaps to meet a country’s family planning goals
Health Policy Plus (HP+), a five-year cooperative agreement funded by USAID, is implemented by Palladium, in collaboration with Avenir Health, Futures Group Global Outreach, Plan International USA, Population Reference Bureau, RTI International, ThinkWell, and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood.
The United Nations Foundation, through the FP2020 partnership, provided technical and financial support to develop the digital tool.
United Nations Foundation
January 2017 – August 2022
Data Services Provider
Strategy and Investment, Services and Applications, Infrastructure
Policy and Enabling Environment
A global focus on family planning in the past decade, as demonstrated by the formation of the Ouagadougou Partnership in 2011 and the Family Planning Partnership 2020 (FP2020) in 2012, has led to significant strides toward achieving universal access to voluntary family planning. As part of FP2020, 43 countries have made commitments to increase access to and choice of contraceptives for women and girls. Three-quarters of these countries have developed costed multi-year action plans, referred to as costed implementation plans or CIPs, to guide the government and stakeholders on a common path to achieving their family planning goals. CIPs articulate the results that need to be achieved at output, outcome, and goal levels.
For countries executing their CIPs, a lack of information on how they are progressing to achieve results is a key constraint in effectively stewarding the plan forward. While routine health information systems exist, data generated is insufficient to inform effective and efficient monitoring of CIP execution. The CIP Performance Dashboard is a tool that applies a focused monitoring approach to allow countries to continuously monitor achievement of performance targets for a set of key results drawn from CIPs.
The CIP Performance Dashboard is a web-based data management tool that allows countries to track, analyze, and visualize the status of achieving a set of results articulated in multi-year actionable roadmaps to meet a country’s family planning goals. The dashboard is developed as an application of the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2). The tool calculates a performance score for key performance indicators (KPI) based on data collected on a quarterly basis to targets articulated in a CIP within a specified period of time, usually one to five years. The resulting traffic signal color-coded performance score shows progress in achieving set targets for the key results at a point in time.
Inputs to the CIP Performance Dashboard are produced by creating a CIP map and Priority Results Achievement Chart (PRAC). The CIP map outlines a country’s key results, selected through a prioritization process of ascertaining high investment focus areas. The PRAC specifies KPIs, assigned weights, and annual targets. The development of a CIP map and PRAC are stakeholder-inclusive and provide a useful opportunity to build consensus around which results best capture a successfully implemented CIP. Color-coded performance scores can be visualized at the level of a key result and KPI. In addition, the dashboard includes a set of graphs that show progress over time.
The dashboard provides countries with the means to continuously monitor performance of executing the plan, identify bottlenecks to effective implementation, and improve coordination. This information is critical to supporting informed decisionmaking for improved implementation performance and resource mobilization, thus contributing to effective country stewardship.
No evaluations are available at this time. The dashboard is used in two countries—Madagascar and Ghana. An evaluation is currently in the planning stages and will be completed by the end of 2020.
On February 12, 2020, the Ghana Health Service Family Health Division and 10 of the country’s family planning stakeholders held the first performance review meeting for the Ghana Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (GFPCIP) 2016-2020. The purpose of the meeting was to assess progress in achieving key milestones articulated in the GFPCIP through implementation of priority interventions by the government and stakeholders. The GFPCIP Performance Monitoring Plan monitors execution of 12 select results on a quarterly basis. According to performance data collected during the period from 2016 to the first quarter of 2019, Ghana has met or is close to meeting milestones for nine of the 12 results.