Recent Fertility Trends
in Sub-Saharan Africa
Alexandra Beatty, Rapporteur
Committee on Population
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
This activity was supported by Grant No. OPP1108017 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grant No. 2015-1927 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Grant No. 2014-39992 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, with additional support from the National Academy of Sciences President’s Committee Fund. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). Recent Fertility Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Workshop Summary. A. Beatty, Rapporteur. Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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STEERING COMMITTEE FOR WORKSHOP ON
THE DETERMINANTS OF RECENT TRENDS IN
FERTILITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
PETER J. DONALDSON (Chair), President Emeritus, The Population Council
JOHN BONGAARTS, The Population Council
JOHN G. CLELAND, Medical Demography, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
JULIE DaVANZO, RAND Corporation
PARFAIT ELOUNDOU-ENYEGUE, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University
ALEX EZEH, African Population & Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya
JEAN-FRANÇOIS KOBIANÉ, Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population, Burkina, Faso
THOMAS J. PLEWES, Study Director
ALEXANDRA BEATTY, Rapporteur
MARY GHITELMAN, Program Assistant
COMMITTEE ON POPULATION
KATHLEEN MULLAN HARRIS (Chair), Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JERE R. BEHRMAN, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
VICKI A. FREEDMAN, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
MARK D. HAYWARD, Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin
HILLARD S. KAPLAN, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
SARA S. MCLANAHAN, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University
EMILIO A. PARRADO, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
DAVID R. WEIR, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
JOHN R. WILMOTH, Population Division/DESA, United Nations
THOMAS J. PLEWES, Director
TINA M. LATIMER, Program Coordinator
This workshop report summarizes the discussions and presentations that took place at a workshop on the determinants of recent trends in fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. The workshop was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. It was convened by the Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
We thank the experts on the science of demography and on population trends in Africa who served on the steering committee for this workshop. They provided invaluable guidance in developing the workshop, securing expert presentations, conducting the workshop, and serving as session chairs and discussants. Although the steering committee played a central role in designing and conducting the workshop, it did not actively participate in the writing of this workshop summary.
The presentations in the workshop were organized into five topical sessions, each designed to shed light on important determinants, consequences, effects, issues, and opportunities attending the trends in fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. In all, 23 presenters contributed presentations and led discussions during the two-day workshop held in Washington, DC, June 15-16, 2015. The presentations provoked an extraordinarily rich discussion among the participants, and this summary attempts to capture both the formal presentations and the ensuing discussion.
The excellent work of the staff of the Committee on Population and the Academies in developing, organizing, and supporting the workshop is acknowledged. The director of the Committee on Population, Thomas J. Plewes, and Mary Ghitelman, the project assistant, devoted long hours to ensuring a successful event. Alexandra Beatty served as rapporteur, taking on the challenging task of distilling the gist of the presentations and the essence of the discussions in this relatively brief report.
This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the Academies. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this workshop report: John Bongaarts, vice president and distinguished scholar, The Population Council, New York, and David Lam, Institute for Social Research and Department of Economics, University of Michigan.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they did not see the final draft of the workshop summary before its release. The review of this summary was overseen by Jere R. Behrman, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania. Appointed by the institution, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this summary was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the author and the institution.