Birth Spacing

Impact indicator, Outcome indicator

Indicator Phrasing

% of children aged 0-23 months who were born at least 24 months after the previous surviving child
% d'enfants âgés de 0 à 23 mois nés au moins 24 mois après l'enfant survivant précédent
% dětí ve věku 0-23 měsíců, které byly narozeny alespoň 24 měsíců po narození předchozího přeživšího dítěte

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of children aged 0-23 months who were born at least 24 months after the previous surviving child

French: % d'enfants âgés de 0 à 23 mois nés au moins 24 mois après l'enfant survivant précédent

Czech: % dětí ve věku 0-23 měsíců, které byly narozeny alespoň 24 měsíců po narození předchozího přeživšího dítěte

What is its purpose?

The indicator assesses the proportion of caregivers whose two youngest children were born at least two years apart. Doing so enables the woman’s body to recover from the last pregnancy and reduces the risk of dying during the birth, having a miscarriage or delivering an undernourished baby.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of the mothers of children aged 0-23.99 months:

 

RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)

Q1: Have you delivered two or more children? (twins must be counted as one child in this case)

A1: yes / no

 

(ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES)

 

Q2: Are the two youngest children which you delivered alive?

A2: yes / no

 

(ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES)

 

Q3: Do you have a birth certificate or other official document stating the age of your youngest child?

A3:

1) yes -> record the youngest child’s age: …… months

2) no -> determine the youngest child’s age by using Local Events: …… months

 

Q4: Do you have a birth certificate or other official document stating the age of your second youngest child?

A4:

1) yes -> record the youngest child’s age: …… months

2) no -> determine the youngest child’s age by using Local Events Calendar: …… months

 

Calculate the indicator’s value by dividing the number of children aged 0–23 months who are at least 24 months younger than their older sibling by the total number of surveyed children aged 0-23 months who have an older sibling and multiplying the result by 100. 

Important Comments

1) Keep in mind that your target sample is not “mothers of children aged 0-23 months” but “mothers of children aged 0-23 months who have an older sibling”. They are identified by conducting individual interviews with mothers of children aged 0-23 months. Therefore, the number of “mothers of children aged 0-23 months” must be so high that even if some are dropped due the children not having an older sibling, the resulting number of children aged 0-23 months who have an older sibling still meets the minimum sample size.

 

2) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should never rely only on the information provided by caregivers and always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate or other documents; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents, it is essential that your data collectors are able to determine the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.

 

3) Disaggregate the data by the mother’s age, location (rural/ urban) and socio-economic characteristics (education, wealth quintile).

Propose Improvements