Evaluating abortion-care programs: Old challenges, new directions

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The evaluation of abortion-care programs and policies has been largely neglected by both national governments and international organizations. This article provides a conceptual framework for evaluating the intermediate outcomes of a safe abortion program, including laws and policies, women’s care-seeking behavior, and the quality of, access to, and use of services. The methodological challenges in evaluating these outcomes are described. For each outcome, key indicators for measuring progress in program implementation are offered, along with country examples of successful evaluation approaches. The article concludes with recommendations for improvements in infrastructure, resource availability, and political commitment to support evaluation of safe abortion programs.