How to determine the number of key population and drop outs from a given site or hot spot?

Key population line list

What is it and how can it help? 

Line list, also known as ‘master register’, is an excel spreadsheet that systematically captures demographic details of key population registered with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) implementing HIV prevention projects. Demographic details include name, age, education, employment, marital status, typology/category of key population (Female Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men, Transgenders and Injecting Drug Users) and hot spot. The list also contains information on the number of sexual acts reported at the time of registration, number of years in sex work, whether dropped out from the program and reasons for drop out. By examining the line list, project staff can determine the number of key population and drop outs from any given site or hot spot during the last six months.1

Line list helps project staff classify key population based on demographic data, identify those who are currently active, find out who has dropped out from the program and ascertain the reasons for drop out. Comparing line list data with information gathered from outreach tools such as, weekly planning and activity sheet or findings from behavioral assessment surveys, can reveal changes in risk behaviors of key population.

When does it work best? 

•Line list works best when created at initiation of the project and updated periodically in excel (at least once a week).

•The tool works best when the profile of key population is shared weekly with staff, changes in profile are recorded and reasons for drop out are noted and discussed.

How do I use it? 

•Demographic and behavioral details of key population collected during field visits are extracted from paper based registration forms used by outreach workers at the time of initial contact. The data is then entered in an excel spreadsheet.

•Update the spreadsheet periodically:

•within a week of a new member being identified and registered;

•when a member drops out;

•when demographic and sexual behavior details change.

•Line list is used to locate and remove duplicate entries of key population recorded in the paper based registration forms.

•Project staff can quickly retrieve and analyze data on registered key population.

Where has it been used? 

•Key population line list has been widely used in the state of Maharashtra, India.

•Key population line list has been successfully applied by 1,152 CSOs under the National AIDS Control Program. CSOs working with key population are spread across 29 States and five Union Territories in India and serve 0.696 million Female Sex Workers, 0.244 million Men who have Sex with Men and 0.017 million Transgenders.2

What are its limitations? 

•Accuracy of information contained in a line list is dependent upon completeness and correctness of paper based registration form.

•Changes in behavior over time cannot be assessed based only on a line list. Information gathered from the line list must be matched and triangulated with data collected using other tools to draw inferences.

•No mechanism is in place to trace and follow-up registered key population migrating out of the project area. This can be addressed if line list from one project area is shared with another project area to capture mobility.

Where can I go to learn more? 

•Guidance: 1. NACO - Ready reference: Management information systems (Pg 7,25-26); 2. NACO - Annual report 2014-15 (Pg 409-411).