Condom availability for young people

Export Indicator

The percentage of randomly selected retail outlets and service delivery points typically accessed by young people which have condoms in stock at the time of the survey.
What it measures

The actual distribution of condoms at designated points, typical of youth access, at any one time. It highlights programme efforts to broaden the distribution of condoms so that they are available at the location types that young people prefer.


The number of retail outlets and service delivery points that are typically accessed by young people and have condoms in stock at the time of the survey. Sites and venues that are typically accessed by young people should be identified either through key informants or from survey responses concerning the places where young people obtain or prefer to obtain condoms.


The number of retail outlets and service delivery points typically accessed by young people.

Method of measurement

Sites of different types are randomly selected for a retail survey. The sampling frame should be stratified in order to ensure geographical and demographic spread (e.g. rural/urban). It is better to limit the type of venue that could or should provide condoms to young people, and to focus on a defined set that must consistently provide them, e.g. youth centres, health clinics, school clinics, and pharmacies. Accordingly, this indicator should focus mainly on the priority venues and include additional ones as resources permit. These additional sites could be as diverse as bus stops, car parks, barbers’ shops, hair salons, night clubs, bars, fast food shops, kiosks, pharmacies, markets and petrol stations. However, it may be difficult and costly to obtain a full list of all possible sites where young people obtain condoms. For this reason, criteria should be developed for the types of venues to be included, focusing on venues that, in the particular national context, must consistently provide condoms for young people. The data should be disaggregated by condom type (male/female), geographical location, e.g. region, state, district, county or ward, and outlet type. Data disaggregated by outlet type provide invaluable information for programme managers and for persons seeking to improve the marketing of condoms.

Measurement frequency

Age group:

Education: N/A

Gender: N/A

Geographic location: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

The statistical departments or finance ministries of many countries already conduct regular retail surveys that include price and availability data for a wide variety of commodities. They typically use a well-established sampling frame covering a wide range of venues throughout the countries concerned. Where such surveys exist, condoms can simply be added to the box relating to commodities for which data are collected. Certain venues, where young people typically access condoms, are not traditionally covered in retail surveys. In this case, special surveys of these extra venues can be undertaken to provide the necessary additional data. This indicator focuses on static sites and venues. Consequently, in countries where a special effort is being made to distribute condoms through non-static outreach sites, the indicator would be of limited value. Another limitation of this measure is that it only indicates condom availability at a particular point in time. In countries where the supply of condoms varies significantly, data collected on this indicator maylead to an invalid conclusion about the true availability of condoms. In such countries the data collected at a given time could show a high availability of condoms whereas availability could be low at other times. Moreover, low availability in this circumstance would not be caused by poor distribution but by problems at the central level.  This limitation can be partially addressed by including an additional numerator item: the number of retail outlets and service deliver points that are typically accessed by young people and which have experienced a stockout in condoms for five or more consecutive days in the previous three months. This additional numerator item can give a longitudinal dimension to the indicator, which is otherwise limited to the time of the survey. The methodology for collecting this additional item should include a brief interview with the manager of the venue concerned. This could consist simply of asking the manager to recall whether there have been stockouts, or, for a more rigorous assessment, could include a review of merchandise logbooks and records. For this information to be as useful as possible the reasons for stockouts should be ascertained so that interventions can be designed in order to address whatever problems exist. As with the other indicators in this chapter which require a sample of institutions, i.e. schools for indicator No. 3 and health facilities for indicators Nos. 4 and 5, the present indicator requires a decision to be taken on the types of site that are to be considered eligible, as it may be very difficult and costly to obtain a full list of all sites where young people can access condoms. Once this has been done, a complete list of all sites meeting the established criteria is required so that a representative sample can be obtained. If the data are to be disaggregated by venue type, separate sampling must be performed for each type. If a subgroup comprises fewer than 20 venues, sampling is not needed and a number of venues can be selected purposefully. The availability of condoms at the time of the survey is verifiable by the person carrying out the survey. In order to obtain the additional part of the numerator relating to stockouts, however, it is necessary to consult a key informant, e.g. the manager of each venue surveyed, or to review the merchandise logbooks and records. This means that additional planning and work are necessary. It should be borne in mind that data collection based on interviews is subject to recall and response bias among the informants.

Further information