What Digital Data Can Tell Us About Contraception and Teenage Pregnancy
Potential areas for further consideration
First, if conversations about contraception can be shown to have a correlation with levels of purchase of contraceptives, this platform could serve as a proxy for estimating demand for different methods of contraception. The platform could also be used to benchmark and track the effectiveness of different family planning programmes being implemented. (A barrier to establishing such a correlation is that a large percentage of the contraceptives used in Uganda are distributed freely through government, non-profit and community networks. However, for urban areas with established vendors of contraceptives, retail/purchase data offers an opportunity for investigation of this theory. Pulse Lab Kampala colleagues is currently working to develop relationships with vendors to access such data.)
Secondly, this tool can be used to determine which contraception methods are preferred by different groups within the population and therefore to have contraception use serve as a signal for changing behavior within different segments of the population. Researchers are currently segmenting these conversations by age and geographical location.
Third, the sentiments observed towards different types of contraception can serve as early warning signals and calls for intervention. For example if the perception that “condoms are fake” was seen to rise, it might serve as a call to action for agencies to either check the quality of condoms available in the market or to address any public misinformation about condoms.
Finally, because the dashboard provides an opportunity for Pulse Lab Kampala and UNFPA to track emerging topics of discussion in relation to teenage pregnancy, it can enable agencies like UNFPA to tailor their programming to the needs of the populations they serve.