An Update on the Road Ahead for Young People and Family Planning
We’re excited to re-release The Road Ahead for Young People and Family Planning, an analysis that looks at the costed implementation plans (CIPs) of five different countries to see where young people are represented in the budgeted activities, and if these activities are the most effective at increasing young people’s access to and use of contraception.
This update includes new data on the costing of activities in two of the CIPs of Uganda and Zambia. The good news is that both Uganda and Zambia have costed all of their activities related to young people. The new data does not change the fact that most CIPs prioritize interventions for youth that have not proven most effective at increasing contraceptive use (such as peer education), but it does update which activities were fully costed. This new data and updated analysis is important as advocates can now assess activities related to adolescents with full budgeting information available.
We did not include this costing data in our initial report release because it was not publicly available alongside the larger CIP documents. These costing documents are addendums to CIPs, and represent full budget files that cost out each activity described in the CIP narrative and activity plan. These documents are generally produced but not published, and each CIP is slightly different in how much information the narrative has about budgeted activities.
The release of these costing figures for Uganda and Zambia—as well as data for Ghana and Malawi—was a direct result of our initial report highlighting data gaps within CIPs. It is wonderful that there are now complete costing documents publically available for four CIPs. But what about the other countries where complete cost data are still not public, and no one even knows they exist?
Our experience with CIP analysis is representative of a larger problem of data transparency. If full documentation is not easily accessible when advocates are looking at country plans, they may not have complete information to create advocacy plans or conduct analysis. It is not enough to have aggregate budget lines for each interest area. Disaggregated activity budget lines are needed to assess if each activity has been costed appropriately.
This is particularly important when looking at activities related to young people’s access to contraception.
Programs and trainings related to young people’s sexual and reproductive rights and health are often left unfunded or deprioritized. Without knowing the specific costs associated with these activities in CIPs, they can remain un-costed without advocates realizing it, or advocates may be unaware that an activity has been costed but not prioritized among other others. Full information is crucial for both data transparency and advocacy.
We will continue working to ensure the remaining CIP costing files are published, and continue advocating for governments to follow through on their family planning commitments and prioritize young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.