Tools for Practioners
The Monitoring and Evaluation ‘Dashboard’: Quantifying Incremental Progress
Monitoring progress on a year-to-year basis in country progress toward reproductive health supply security is a difficult task. For many priority health goals, such as reduction in maternal mortality, progress is incremental and often very difficult to measure.
For this reason that UNFPA has developed the ‘Dashboard’ software to monitor progress along the road to commodity security.
Each of the eight priority components has a unique set of quantifiable core indicators that can be measured by countries by completing a 120-item electronic questionnaire that requires approximately two hours to complete.
Using the quantifiable indicators for each priority component, UNFPA has developed an overall ‘Reproductive Health Commodity Security Country Status’ score to measure a country’s current overall effort. progress independent of impact. For example, in this framework scores includes items such as the degree of political support, whether laws have been reviewed, and the availability of resources.
This scoring system provides tangible short-term targets, or process indicators, for countries to aim for, rather than gauging progress by long-term achievements. Since the indicators are based on the recommended steps toward Reproductive Health Commodity Security (link here to SPARCHS), a high Country Status score is expected to be a strong predictor of progress toward these overall health goals.
The online Dashboard (link to dashboard) is a web-based platform that collects, organizes and displays the results of this questionnaire on a map so that users can easily visualize and compare country progress. UNFPA country offices can also use the dashboard to provide quarterly responses to the Core Indicator questionnaire, and all users, including governments and other partners, can track these individual results over time.
SPAHRCS: Strategic Pathways to Reproductive Health Commodity Security
Countries often makes use of a diagnostic guide developed by UNFPA, USAID and other agencies called SPARHCS (Strategic Pathways to Reproductive Health Commodity Security).
SPARCHS helps countries fully assess their reproductive health needs. It supports stakeholders in diagnosing a country's Reproductive Health Commodity Security status through a set of questions and tables. These help stakeholders frame their present situation, define expectations for the future, take into account significant trends from the past, and make future projections. Through this process, they can identify and assess the range of challenges and opportunities ahead.
The collaborative process that SPARHCS facilitates:
- Helps build and maintain multi-sectoral commitment to supply security by raising awareness of and support for commodity security as a program imperative
- Assists stakeholders reach consensus on priorities by providing a transparent and systematic approach
- Supports stakeholders develop a multi-partner strategy by harnessing synergies across sectors through collaboration and cooperation
• Sustains funded implementation of the strategy by requiring that resources be mobilized for each activity included in the plan prior to its initiation
• Facilitates ongoing monitoring and evaluation of strategy implementation and results by providing a transparent framework for Reproductive Health Commodity Security.