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PMA2020 uses a two-stage cluster design with typically urban-rural and major regions as the strata. A sample of enumeration areas (EAs) are generally drawn from a master sampling frame covered, usually provided by the national statistical agency in each country. Ahead of data collection, households, health service delivery points (SDPs) and key landmarks in each EA are listed and mapped by resident enumerators. For each EA, a nationally representative sample of households and SDPs are systemically selected. The survey aims to include a sample size that would allow analysts to obtain a national estimate for all indicators, including calculating the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. The target sample takes takes into account an expected number of eligible women per household and non-response rates.  All resident eligible females are contacted and consented for interviews. Up to 3 SDPs within the EA are also selected for interviews, along with the public health posts, district hospitals and private health facilities serving the EA.

Data collection is conducted bi-annually in the first two years of the program and annually for each subsequent year.