Forecasting Tools


PipeLine is a best-in-class desktop software tool that helps program managers plan optimal procurement and delivery schedules for health commodities; it also monitors their orders. Policymakers, product suppliers, and donors can generate reports, estimate future product needs, and use the software as a key tool in program planning. This effective tool has been used in more than 40 countries around the world, with products in reproductive health, essential medicines, anti-retroviral testing and treatment, malaria testing and treatment, lab supplies, and tuberculosis treatment. Note that PipeLine is not a forecasting tool, although it can help organize historical data and estimate forecasts. Its real value is as a quantification and supply planning tool. PipeLine can take a future forecast and, using stock on hand data, minimum and maximum stock levels, lead times etc., estimate how much of a commodity will be needed and when.

Spectrum, Health Policy Initiative

Spectrum is a suite of policy models that uses a unified set of Windows-based commands, which can be easily learned. The models project the need for family planning and reproductive health, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS services. Most models are available in English, French, and Spanish. Some are also available in Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian. Each model includes a detailed user manual that not only describes how to use the software but includes sections on data sources, interpretation and use of the results, a tutorial, and a description of the methodology.

REALITY √ , EngenderHealth, ACQUIRE Project, 2007

Reality √ is a family planning projection tool with a straightforward Excel Workbook that allows the user to assess past trends in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) and test future scenarios for the geographic area where the program is operating. The tool also allows users to test and assess whether established goals are reasonable, based on the local, specific context. Reality √ was designed for multiple audiences to run projections based on the geographic focus of their choosing. Beneficiaries of the tool would include MOH planners and administrators at the national, provincial, or district levels; as well as family planning programmers at donor agencies or cooperating agencies. Anyone with basic Excel skills will be able to use the tool. The tool was also designed to be a stand-alone product that could be used in low-resource settings, where high-capacity Internet connections or high-level programming skills may not be available.

CycleBeads® Procurement Toolkit, IRH, PATH, and JSI, 2010

This document presents program managers with a model to forecast an initial supply of CycleBeads in their country or region over a five-year period. CycleBeads support women that want to use the Standard Days Method® of family planning. The document provides instructions for completing an Excel worksheet that calculates an estimated CycleBeads order based on potential demand. The last page of this document is an example of a completed worksheet.

Module F: Regulation, Procurement, and Distribution of a Progestin-Only ECP in Resources for Emergency Contraceptive Pill Programming: A Toolkit PATH, 2004

This toolkit facilitates the integration of emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) into developing-country family planning and reproductive health programs. It includes resources for ECP advocacy, assessment, service provision, and evaluation. The planning and implementation tools represent best practices and experience that will help programs move through the steps required to make ECP services routinely available through health service delivery systems. The toolkit shares an array of materials developed by PATH and by other organizations when they worked in a variety of settings to incorporate ECPs into family planning services. By bringing together these resources in a format that facilitates their use, the toolkit can reduce duplication of efforts, redundancy, and unnecessary expense.