A new look at the supplies gap
1st October 2007
Since it was first introduced in Meeting the Challenge: Securing Contraceptive Supplies (2001), the supply gap or supply shortfall figure has been an effective advocacy tool for the RH supply issue. But the passage of time and uncertainty over the use of key gap figures and terms has prompted some to question the tool´s long-term utility.
On October 22, PAI and USAID | DELIVER invited 18 Coalition members, demographers and advocates to a half-day meeting to assess the need for updating the original gap analysis. The guests discussed the strengths and shortfalls of the current gap model; and examined its potential to reflect a broader range of considerations such as country-specific gaps, total unmet need, the role of the private sector, general programme costs, new financing environments, and changes in national method mix. By the end of the meeting, participants agreed on the need to update the gap statistic, paying closer attention to the context in which the figure is placed, and to improve the figure by considering unmet need and other parameters, including the UN's medium population projection. The importance of calculating gap figures for individual countries was also acknowledged, and while the resources are not currently available to do so, this is something that should be taken up as a later phase. A scope of work to update the gap is currently being prepared for implementation by USAID | DELIVER.
* * *
October 2007, RHSC