Household & Facility Surveys on Access to and Rational Use of Medicines in Countries

MeTA baseline component 2/WHO Level 2 Indicators    

Developed by: World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Pharmaceutical Policy at Harvard University / World Health Organization (WHO)

Objective: To measure the availability, affordability, geographic accessibility and rational use of a basket of key medicines at public health facilities and their pharmacies; central/district warehouses; private, NGO and mission pharmacies and households within a country – and assess whether pharmaceutical policies are achieving their intended objectives.

Output: A dataset to measure access to medicines. These provide an evidence base for prioritising health programmes, developing and implementing plans, tracking progress, co-ordinating donors and raising funds for the pharmaceutical system. Global comparison can also be conducted, to benchmark the national situation against the results of other countries.

Additional information: WHO has developed two main tools to support the collection of the data. The first collects information at health care facilities and forms part of the WHO Operational Package for Monitoring and Assessing Country Pharmaceutical Situations. The second is a questionnaire for conducting surveys at household level. This covers health-seeking behavior, as well as source, availability, cost, affordability, and appropriate use of medicines. The two are ideally implemented together.

Process and resources:

  • Both tools require technical support from WHO - WHO conduct training workshops for the coordinator and data collectors. 
  • For the Heath Facility Survey, around 10 data collectors are needed - supervised by a national survey coordinator. The process takes a minimum of 60 working days.
  • For the Household Survey around six areas supervisors and 24 data collectors are needed (although this depends on the size of the country).
  • Data collectors are ideally professional healthcare workers or final year or postgraduate pharmacy students. It can be useful to select data collectors from different parts of the country to reflect language differences and enable a more diverse sampling of geographical areas.
  • The costs of conducting a health facility and household survey varies and depends on the cost of labour in the country and on the sample . Data collection costs around US$50,000-$70,000. Additional resource is required to cover technical support from WHO, analysis and survey report production.

Link to the tools:

Link to individual WHO tools:

Healthcare facility Survey:

Household Survey:

Further supporting tools can be found at:

Country Experience: The Health facility and Household Surveys have been undertaken in four MeTA pilot countries. Country reports are downloadable as PDFs:




Jordan (will be available in early 2011)

Blue tablets