The concept of “unmet need” for contraception was invented in an attempt to induce countries to pledge billions of dollars to send contraceptives to developing countries.
Experts have denounced this measurement as baseless:
“The usual numbers bandied about for estimates of ‘unmet need’ do not correspond to any definition of ‘unmet need’ that any economist (or just common sense) could agree to. They are an advocacy construct that has been successfully used in the overall political agenda for promoting family planning.” – Harvard economist Lant Pritchett
“Let’s hope that the term ‘unmet need’ for contraceptives indeed gets replaced by ‘unsatisfied demand’ — whatever the barriers are — and that we can find better strategies to help women space births and reduce unwanted pregnancies.” –World Bank economist Berk Ozler
“A need with no demand might make sense for political activism, but not for programs or policies.” -University of California San Francisco epidemiologist Dominic Montagu
“I agree that we should stop emphasizing “unmet need” as a rationale for family-planning (FP) programs. I agree that it does not correspond to what any economist would call demand.” –international economic development professor at Georgetown University Shareen Joshi