New longitudinal data

Data Discovery New Data Maternal and Newborn Health Abortion Longitudinal

Follow-up surveys focused on abortion, maternal and newborn health surveys collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, and updates to the ongoing Family Planning panel study

Matt Gunther (IPUMS PMA Senior Data Analyst) , Devon Kristiansen (IPUMS PMA Project Manager)

Here at IPUMS PMA, we’re kicking off 2023 with a huge release of newly harmonized family planning data! This release spans multiple units of analysis and represents surveys conducted in several countries, so we’ll provide a quick tour of the major topics in this post. We’ll then cover each of those topics in detail throughout multiple blog series in the first half of the year, beginning with our upcoming series on PMA abortion data.

As always, we’ve also provided full release notes over on our website, where you’ll also find information about a few improvements to data in previously released samples.

Abortion Data

Three of the surveys included in this release are primarily focused on women’s experiences seeking and accessing abortion services. Each is a follow-up to a cross sectional survey conducted with the same women in 2018 in the following countries:

Country Baseline Survey Follow-Up Follow-Up Eligibility
Côte d’Ivoire 2018 2019 Any woman who had
“removed a pregnancy” or
“regulated her period”
Nigeria 2018 2020 Any woman who had
“removed a pregnancy” or
“regulated her period”
Ethiopia 2018 2020 All previously interviewed women

In the 2018 Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria samples, women were asked whether they had “ever done something to remove a pregnancy” or “done something to regulate your period” when pregnant or worried that they were pregnant. Those who answered “Yes” to either question were invited to participate in the follow-up surveys included in this release. All women in the 2018 Ethiopia sample were invited to participate in the follow-up, regardless of their answer to these questions.

This distinction is particularly notable: while PMA User Notes for the Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria use the shorthand title “Follow-up (Abortion) Surveys”, women participating in the survey do not necessarily describe their experiences as abortion. In our upcoming series, we’ll examine how experiences differ for women who reported “removing a pregnancy” compared with those who reported “regulating their period”.

We’ll also explore how researchers might approach the longitudinal structure of these surveys. Like the PMA panel surveys1 we covered here in Spring 2022, IPUMS PMA has made these data available in both wide format (one woman per row) and long format (separate rows for cross sectional and follow-up surveys) so that you can select the data that best meet your needs.

These follow-up surveys focus on several topics related to the woman’s own abortion experiences, often described in separate questions for pregnancy removal and period regulation:

Additionally, each woman is asked to reflect on abortion in her community. These questions cover topics like:

Watch for upcoming posts showcasing these social network questions as well: we’ll learn how some researchers use the network scale-up method to estimate incidence ratios for pregnancy removal and period regulation procedures in hidden populations.

Maternal and Newborn Health

Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) surveys are a unique product from PMA Ethiopia: they represent panel data following women who were pregnant at the time of a baseline survey, and who participated in regular follow-up surveys following childbirth. Prior to this release, IPUMS PMA had published data from a single cohort of women interviewed at baseline in 2016; this release includes data from a new cohort interviewed at baseline in 2019.

Country Baseline
Follow-Up Schedule Follow-Up Eligibility
Ethiopia 2016 7 days
6 weeks
6 months
Pregnant at baseline
Ethiopia 2019 6 weeks
6 months
1 year
Pregnant or < 9 weeks postpartum at baseline

Because 2019 baseline surveys were collected just months before the emergence of COVID-19, researchers at PMA Ethiopia were able to quickly modify follow-up surveys to include questions about the pandemic’s impact on mothers and the newborn children in the panel. These revised questionnaires address whether pandemic restrictions impacted women’s ability to receive postnatal care or vaccinations, changed the planned location of delivery, or otherwise impacted their pregnancy. The new variables SURVEYVERSION_6W and SURVEYVERSION_6M indicate whether panel members received a questionnaire that was modified to address COVID-19.

You’ll notice that, compared with other PMA Family Planning surveys, MNH surveys have a unique data stricture: MNH data from the 2019 cohort includes records for household members and the women who are part of the panel. IPUMS has adjusted the data format such that each non-household member record represents one infant (both live and stillbirth), or a panel member woman if the pregnancy ended in miscarriage or abortion. There are multiple cases of twins, in which case the attributes of the mother and the household are attached on each infant’s record. Therefore, in each file, mothers of twins are represented twice. There are also a small number of cases of households with more than one pregnant woman. These households will also be represented more than once.

Because of the unique structure of MNH data, you’ll find them under a separate unit of analysis in the IPUMS PMA data extract system.

New Family Planning Panel Data

Finally, the third component of this release includes an update to the ongoing PMA panel study we’ve been covering for the last year on this blog. IPUMS PMA has now released the final Phase 1 (baseline) survey in this study: a nationally representative sample from Niger.

Now Available from IPUMS PMA
Sample Phase 1 Data Collection* Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Burkina Faso Dec 2019 - Mar 2020 x x
Cote d’Ivoire Sep 2020 - Dec 2020 x
DRC - Kinshasa Dec 2019 - Feb 2020 x x
DRC - Kongo Central Dec 2019 - Feb 2020 x x
India - Rajasthan Aug 2020 - Oct 2020 x
Kenya Nov 2019 - Dec 2019 x x
Niger Dec 2020 - April 2021 x
Nigeria - Kano Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 x x
Nigeria - Lagos Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 x x
Uganda Sep 2020 - Oct 2020 x
* Each data collection phase is spaced one year apart

All of these samples are now available in Cross-sectional format, while those with two or more available phases are also available in Longitudinal format. Check back here over the coming months for updates on Phase 2 and Phase 3 samples!

  1. PMA abortion follow-up surveys are not part of the PMA panel study, which covers a broader range of family planning topics. The PMA panel study includes three interviews with women of reproductive age, each conducted one year apart. For more information, check out our blog series or our PDF guide published earlier this year.↩︎


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