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POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1986; (19-20):44-62.40 years ago, one of the 1st tasks of the United Nations (UN) Population Division was a series of pilot studies demonstrating how governments could improve knowledge of demographic levels and trends using inadequate statistics: India, the Sudan, the Philippines, and Brazil demonstrated the application of survey research to fertility analysis. Similar studies illustrated the policy-making value of census data. William Brass suggested that maternity histories be used to assess fertility change. The Division participated in the 1st national family planning (FP) programs in India, and then helped develop a standard questionnaire to serve as the basis for internationally comparable knowledge, attitude, and practice surveys and sought to promote cross-national comparative research on fertility and FP. It also developed technics for estimating fertility in the absence of adequate birth statistics, including the reverse-survival method and ways of using stable population models. Model-based estimates of fertility have been made from World Fertility Survey data. The Division has provided data and studies to measure FP program success and to serve in improving service and acceptance rates, participating in evaluations of the administration of its national FP programs in India and Pakistan, and in research on cost/benefit and cost-effectiveness calculations for fertility reduction programs. A basic component was the measurement of the impact of FP programs on fertility: the Division carried out studies to evaluate alternative measurement methods, and prepared a manual. As fertility data quality improved, the Division prepared a review of knowledge on determinants of fertility, and hypothesized that a threshold must be crossed before development leads to fertility decline. The Division now produces periodic overviews of fertility conditions and trends, and studies on world levels and condtions of fertility, and has made findings on breast feeding effects, "unmet" FP needs, and the role of type of parental union, marital disruption, and education and occupation.
In: Asia. Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys Regional Workshop. Proceedings. [Columbia, Maryland], Westinghouse Health Systems, 1981 Feb. 4-7. (Contraceptive Prevalence Studies 2)This paper presents the views of the Agency for International Development (AID) on Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys, focusing on why the agency supports them, what the agency wants to get out of them, and how they fit into the AID program. Both the developing countries and the donor community needed data bases that serve several purposes. There was a clear need for data on what was happening in countries with active family planning programs. Fairly substantial resources were being programmed into efforts to slow population growth, and it was important to ensure that these resources were used effectively and efficiently. There were also obvious time pressures. The longer the delay before slowing population growth, the more serious the problem would become. Clearly, timely data were needed. To respond to the varied data needs, early in its history AID's Population Office initiated a broad program of support for data collection, including censuses, surveys, civil registration systems, and family planning program statistics. There was also support for efforts to ensure that these data were evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted to facilitate their use. In 1971, AID along with the UN and the International Statistical Institute, began to develop what became the World Fertility Survey (WFS). The effort was launched more as a research than an administrative tool. During the course of developing the WFS, there was much reluctance on the part of many demographers and social scientists to clarify the link between fertility change and family planning action programs. In 1976, WFS carried out some field trials on a series of questions on perceived family planning availability and accessibility and thereafter developed a set of questions on availability, which were added to the core questionnaire. When the Contraceptive Prevalence Survey (CPS) project was initiated with Westinghouse, AID asked that availability information be collected for all methods requiring a source. These data have been very valuable as a means of gaining insight into the role of availability in contraceptive use. The CPS was specifically designed to collect a limited set of highly program-relevant data quickly and to make these data available to program administrators and policy makers. First, CPS has been an important data source for documenting trends in contraceptive knowledge and use. Second, since many of the WFS, as well as the CPS, have included questions on perceived availability of family planning, it is possible to examine trends in availability. Regarding how the CPS might be improved, the CPS Workshop provides a good opportunity for an exchange of ideas. A description of the Workshop objectives are outlined.
New York, New York, Population Council, 1985 Sep. 5,  p. (Fertility Determinants Research Note No. 5)One of the notable features of population studies in the past 35 years has been the increasing reliance on sample surveys as the primary source of demographic data. Past surveys of knowledge, attitudes, and practice of contraception in developing countries are important resources. These early KAP and fertility surveys, conducted 10 or more years ago, provide benchmarks for the study of how group differentials in behavior and attitudes evolve with time. Together with recent surveys, they help to monitor the pace and nature of the transition from 1 demographic regime to another within societies. Attempts to retrieve the earlier data produced constructive lessons and recommendations on how to safeguard current and future surveys and promote their use. 3 recommendations emerge that will help safeguard current and future surveys and promote their use. 1) Develop standards of documentation and maintenance, including how long questionnaires are to be retained, now much of the detail of sampling design should be saved, what constitutes an adequate description of interviewer characteristics and instruction. 2) Arrange for public access and the mechanisms to promote it. Funds should be budgeted for this purpose from the outset. Surveys that are still not generally available after a reasonable number of years lose much of their value and deprive the demographic community of a valuable resource. 3) Create structures to preserve and disseminate KAP and fertility surveys. The need for this is greatest for surveys not associated with large international programs. In all cases arrangements for longterm preservation must be made. Tables are included which describe 3rd world countries in which KAP or fertility surveys were conducted before 1981, and an inventory of pairs of surveys for potential use in conparative and over-time analysis.