EngenderHealth’s RESPOND Project Leads Effort to Measure Family Planning ProgressEngenderHealth’s RESPOND Project Leads Effort to Measure Family Planning Progress

February 2012 — To monitor the progress of family planning (FP) programs, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and many international health and development agencies use “couple-years of protection” (CYP) as a standard measurement. Since 2000, when the conversion factors to calculate CYP were last updated, new contraceptive methods have been introduced and technologies have improved. The Futures Institute, through the RESPOND Project at EngenderHealth, conducted a rigorous research review and analysis of the CYP conversion factors and revised them to ensure that they reflect current realities for all family planning methods.

Over the past three years, Futures Institute and The RESPOND Project conducted an extensive literature review (6,364 articles were identified, of which 485 were reviewed and 276 were abstracted), developed a database for the findings, and held two expert review meetings and several virtual meetings to agree on the conversion factors. In September 2011, the RESPOND Project and USAID’s Global Health Bureau hosted a dissemination meeting to present analytic findings and to recommend CYP conversion factors and innovative possibilities for their use. The meeting (New Developments in the Calculation and Use of Couple-Years of Protection (CYP) and Their Implications for the Evaluation of Family Planning Programs) included nearly 40 professionals from 16 donor organizations, multilaterals, and cooperating agencies.

In December 2011, USAID officially endorsed the updated conversion factors. Recently, Marie Stopes International (MSI) announced that it has adopted the new CYP factors, which will bring it in line with the new evidence. EngenderHealth and RESPOND welcome MSI’s support!