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Exploring gaps in monitoring and evaluation of male engagement in family planning

by on June 17, 2019

Exploring gaps in monitoring and evaluation of male engagement in family planningBackground: Male engagement is becoming more common in family planning (FP) strategies and interventions, yet effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of this approach lags. This review sought to understand how male engagement in FP is defined, identify gaps in M&E of male engagement and make recommendations.

Methods: We conducted key informant interviews and a desk review of peer-reviewed articles and gray literature, including national FP strategies and policies.  We then facilitated an online forum with experts in the field of male engagement in FP to provide feedback on our proposed indicators for male engagement in FP to reach consensus on and validate key indicators.

Results: Although there is no universal definition of male engagement in FP, the most common definition is the inclusion of men in FP programming as FP clients, supportive partners, and agents of change. The most common approach was engaging men as clients exclusively, followed by engaging men as partners. Few papers reported on programs that engaged men across the full spectrum of the definition. There’s significant variation in the degree to which male engagement in FP is included in M&E, planning, and approaches. Few programs reported findings disaggregated by sex and by contraceptive method, making it difficult to determine the effect of programming on male use of methods. There is a dearth of indicators for measuring male engagement in FP in national strategies and policies. Other gaps are a lack of core indicators for male engagement, qualitative indicators, and indicator reference sheets for many commonly used indicators. Among over 100 indicators being used to monitor and evaluate male engagement in FP, 15 key indicators were identified and validated, with accompanying guidance.

Conclusions: As programming for male engagement in FP increases, coordinated efforts should be made to improve the systems that collect, analyze, and use data.

Access the journal article.

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