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Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1986 Aug. x, 102 p.This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the magnitude and underlying causes of Africa's rapid population growth and suggests a framework to help African leaders design policies to address this problem. The report has 3 themes. The 1st theme is that rapid population growth in Africa is slowing economic development and reducing the possibility of raising living standards. Africa's population growth rate, the highest in the world, has accelerated from an average of 2.8%/year in 1970-82 to 3.1%/year in 1985. Population growth is expected to continue to rise for at least another 5-10 years. In addition to undermining economic growth and per capita income growth, the population explosion implies higher child and maternal morbidity and mortality, further degradation of the natural environment, constraints on expanding education and health care services, and falling wages. A comprehensive population policy in African countries must include efforts both to slow this growth and to cope with its consequences. A 2nd theme is one of cautious hope arising from recent indications of a change in ideas and behavior regarding fertility. More and more African governments are expressing alarm about population growth and are supporting family planning measures. Improvements in women's status, especially in female education, are occurring and can be expected to have a fertility reducing effect. Increased availability and accessibility of family planning services could raise Africa's contraceptive prevalence rate from its current level of 3-4% to 25% in the next decade. The 3rd theme is that strategic reorientation of the direction and nature of government involvement in the area of population policy is required. Although governments should not seek to be the only provider of family planning services, they must take the lead in generating a climate of legitimacy for family planning. An increase in external assistance will be necessary if family planning is to become a realistic option for Africans.
Demography India. 1984 Jan-Dec; 13(1-2):153-67.The threshold hypothesis shares with transition theory the basic assumption that a decline in fertility is interrelated with a decline in mortality and change in the social, economic, and cultural conditions of the population. However, threshold theory fails to formulate a causal chain between fertility and the other variables and its application at the aggregate country level is limited by intracountry heterogeneity in cultural and social variables. Problematic is the fixing of the timing for a country of a decline in fertility to be inferred from the fact that some indicators of development have reached the threshold zone while others have not. This paper attempts to develope a combined index for socioeconomic development on the basis of data from 12 countries of the ESCAP region of South East Asia. Variables included were life expectancy at birth, infant mortality rate, adult female literacy, percentages of females economically active, GNP per capita, and percentage urban population. In 1970, 3 of the countries analyzed had a crude birth rate below 25, 6 countries had a rate between 25-40, and 3 had a rate above 40. The lowest value of the index recorded for countries of low fertility (crude birth rate below 25) and the highest value recorded for countries of high fertility (above 40) are taken as the threshold zones for the overall index. The number of countries in the threshold range increased from 5 in 1970 to 8 in 1975. With the increase in the index value, a reduction in the fertility level was noted. In contrast, where socioeconomic development was slow, fertility showed little change. Policy makers could use this system to assess which indicator could be pushed through to raise the overall index of development so as to effect a decline in fertility.
New York, Pergamon, 1984. 240 p.This book, a sequel to "International Population Assistance: The First Decade," characterizes the work of the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) with the developing countries up to 1984, relating these experiences to the issues before the 1984 International Conference on Population. The 1st chapter provides an overview of the significant developments in population up to the 1984 International Conference on Population. The next 7 chapters discuss the following main issues before the Conference and generally reflect the arrangement of the document to be brought before the Conference concerning recommendations for further implementation of the World Population Plan of Action: fertility, status of women and the family; morbidity and mortality; population distribution, internal and international migration; population growth and structure; promotion of knowledge and implementation of policies and programs; international cooperation and the role of UNFPA; and the year 2000 and beyond. Within each of these chapters, excerpts have been arranged in an analytic order, with the aim of facilitating the flow of arguments presented. Appendices contain the 5 "State of World Population Reports" issued from 1980-84 and 7 Rafael M. Salas statements which, primarily due to their focus on the population issues of particular importance to the major regions of the globe, are reproduced in their entirety. This volume reflects the process of population policymaking of the UNFPA with the developing countries in support of their population programs in the past 15 years. These policies were sanctioned and validated, both nationally by the countries themselves and globally by UN deliberative bodies and conferences. The experience of UNFPA in policy formulation indicates that an effective population policy must have its proper time perspective and must be scientifically determined in its component elements, normative and applicable at different levels, multisectoral in its emphasis, and measurable in its impact and consequenes.
Draper Fund Report. 1984 Jun; (13):1-3.The UN International Conference on Population to be held in Mexico City in August 1984, responding to an unprecedented upsurge of interest in population over the last decade, offers developed and developing countries the opportunity to assess current and likely future population trends, to comment on programs and progress during the past 10 years, and to determine desirable future directions. More developing countries are reporting diminished declining fertility and family size in countries of widely varying ethnic, social, and economic makeup. Although it is likely that the future will bring a steadily declining rate of world population growth, culminating in stability, present trends indicate that it will take more than a century for world population to stabilize. Meanwhile growth continues. The developing world's annual average birthrate from1975-80 was twice as high as the developed world's. Also there are large areas, much of Latin America and most of Africa, where growth rates continue very high. Other areas, such as parts of Asia, do not follow the general declining trend despite trend despite, in some instances, a long history of population programs. Interest in population programs and demand for resources to support them are growing, but the population dimension is sometimes unrecognized in development planning. The experience of the last decade illustrates that population assistance can make a uniquely valuable contribution to national development when it is given in accord with national policies, is appropriate to local conditions and needs, and is delivered where it can make the most impact. Substantial evidence exists that women in the developing world undertand the risks of repeated pregrancy and would like to take steps to reduce them. It is evident that providers of family planning services are not yet sufficiently responsive to women's own perceptions of their needs and that the social and economic conditions which make family planning a reasonable option do not yet exist. Influxes of immigrants, short and long term, legal and illegal, create particular problems for receiving countries. It is important for sending countries to know what effect the absence of their nationals is having on the domestic economy and essential for receiving countries to consider the protection of the human rights of international migrants, including settlers, workers, undocumented migrants, and refugees. It is a particular responsibility of the industrialized nations to make careful use of limited resources and to ensure that their comsumption contributes to the overall balance of the environment. In most developing countries infectious and parasitic disease remains the primary cause of death, particularly among the young. Much of this toll is preventable. The International Conference on Population provides an opportunity to establish in broad terms the conditions and directions of future cooperation.