Implementation of respondent driven sampling in Nairobi, Kenya, for tracking key family planning indicators among adolescents and youth : lessons learnt
Authors & affiliation
Mary Thiongo, Peter Gichangi, Patrick K. Macho, Meagan E. Byrne, Peter Kimani, Michael Waithaka, Scott Radloff, Philip Anglewicz, Michele R. Decker
Objective Adolescents and youth constitute a significant proportion of the population in developing nations. Conventional survey methods risk missing adolescents/youth because their family planning/contraception (FP/C) behavior is hidden. Respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a modified chain-referral recruitment sampling approach, was used to reach unmarried adolescents/youth aged 15-24 in Nairobi, Kenya to measure key FP/C indicators. Seeds were selected and issued with three coupons which they used to invite their peers, male or female, to participate in the study. Referred participants were also given coupons to invite others till sample size was achieved. We report on key implementation parameters following standard RDS reporting recommendations. Results A total of 1674 coupons were issued to generate a sample size of 1354. Coupon return rate was 82.7%. Study participants self-administered most survey questions and missing data was low. Differential enrolment by gender was seen with 56.0% of females recruiting females while 44.0% of males recruited males. In about two months, it was possible to reach the desired sample size using RDS methodology. Implementation challenges included presentation of expired coupons, recruitment of ineligible participants and difficulty recruiting seeds and recruits from affluent neighborhoods. Challenges were consistent with RDS implementation in other settings and populations. RDS can complement standard surveillance/survey approaches, particularly for mobile populations like adolescents/youth.
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