Transitions in the Method Mix of Contraceptive Use in Developing Countries
John Ross, Futures Group International
Jill Keesbury, PATH
A broad method mix can increase contraceptive use, but many countries have limited offerings. Past transitions in mixes in 123 developing countries include 15 successful cases of improved mixes. The methodology uses each method’s share of total use; where the shares differ greatly the mix is poor, and where they approach equality the mix is more favorable, so the measure employed is the average deviation of the shares from their mean. This is augmented by attention to total prevalence, since equal shares mean little if few women are using. Fifteen countries demonstrate substantial changes in method mix over time. Four patterns emerge: take-off of one method from a low share, systematic replacement of a dominant method, recent losses for a persistent dominant method, and movement from a marked distortion towards a balanced mix. These patterns suggest there can be a range of different but effective strategies for improving contraceptive mix.