Population Policy as a Lens to the Drivers of Reproductive Health Outcomes in Africa: The Cases of Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal

Rachel S. Robinson, American University

During the 1980s and 1990s, two thirds of sub-Saharan African countries adopted population policies designed to limit population growth (Sullivan 2007). Compared to countries that did not adopt such policies, countries that adopted population policies experienced greater declines in fertility, and received more bilateral funding for population activities (Barrett and Tsui 1999). Analysis of the determinants of, and reactions to, population policies illuminates two additional drivers of reproductive health outcomes: 1) a country’s relationship with the international community, and 2) a country’s relationship with its citizens. To illustrate these drivers, and based on an analysis of 120 interviews with population and reproductive health experts in each country, I present the cases of three countries in sub-Saharan Africa with very different experiences of population policy: Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal.

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Presented in Poster Session 4