Revising the Definition of Unmet Need for Family Planning
Sarah E. K. Bradley, Macro International Inc.
Trevor N. Croft, Macro International Inc.
Joy Fishel, MEASURE DHS
Given that unmet need for family planning has been adopted as a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) indicator, being able to calculate unmet need in a consistent way over time and across countries is crucial. To address this, the Demographic and Health Surveys program convened a Technical Expert Working Group on Unmet Need to revise the indicator. We anticipate the revisions will be finalized shortly. This paper describes why a revision to the definition of unmet need is so urgently needed; it outlines the changes to the definition of unmet need that have been agreed upon by the technical expert working group; and it explains and demonstrates the impact of the revision from an analysis of 159 DHS surveys from 65 countries conducted over the last 20 years.