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Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. 2004; 3(1-2):171-196.Global reproductive health policy is based on assumptions, couched in scientific language, that technological methods of birth control are superior to traditional methods, use of these methods is more modern and "rational" than alternatives, and abortion should not be considered a form of birth control. The authority these assumptions have achieved in global health circles prevents alternative options from being considered. Our research on women's birth control experiences in Mongolia suggests that reproductive health programs based on such global assumptions fail to consider the local cultural contexts of reproductive decision-making address women's needs, and are therefore seriously flawed. (author's)
Lancet. 2004 Nov 27; 364:1919-1920.South Africa’s rise to pre-eminence on the African continent since holding its first multiracial elections in 1994 is underscored by its status as, among others, the continent’s largest economy, one of its leading investors, and chief sponsor of regional conflict resolution, and by its selection in 2004 as host of the inaugural African Parliament. The past decade has also seen South Africa become the largest contributor of personnel to peacekeeping operations in Africa and one of the continent’s chief sources of donor aid. Given South Africa’s primacy in these arenas, the latest report from the UNPF is cause for concern. The Fund projects a negative population growth for South Africa for the first time, mainly because of AIDS. The effect of AIDS has mostly been considered in country-specific contexts. If the UNPF’s projection proves true, the AIDS pandemic will likely not only threaten South Africa’s prosperity and population growth, but could also compound the threats posed by AIDS, poverty, and military conflicts in many other parts of the African continent. (excerpt)
Manila, Philippines, Asian Development Bank, Economics Office, 1987 May. 28 p. (Economics Office Report Series No. 40)Even though population growth rates continue to decline in developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank, they will experience absolute population increases larger than those in the past. More importantly, the labor force continues to grow and absolute increases will be greater than any other time in history. Family planning education and access to contraceptives have contributed to the decline in population growth rates, but nothing can presently be done to decrease the rates of increase of the labor force because the people have already been born. Since most of the DMSs' populations are growing at 2% or more/year, much needed economic growth is delayed. For example, for any country with a growing population to maintain the amount of capital/person, it must spread capital. Yet the faster the population grows the lesser the chances for increasing that amount. The Bank's short to medium term development policy should include loans for projects that will generate employment using capital widening and deepening and that develop rural areas, such as employment in small industries, to prevent urban migration. Other projects that engulf this policy are those concerning primary, secondary and adult education; health; food supply; and housing and infrastructure. The long term development policy must bolster population programs in DMCs so as to reduce the growth of the economically active segment of the population in the 21st century. In addition, the Bank should address fertility issues as more and more women join the work force. The Bank can play a major role in Asian development by considering the indirect demographic and human resource impacts of each project.
POPULI. 1987; 14(1):39-47.This reevaluation of the demographic transition theory of Notestein (1945) presents a view of developing countries trapped in the 2nd stage and unable to achieve the economic and social gains counted upon to reduce births. Among the half of the world's countries that have not yet reached the demographic transition, 5 regions have growth rates of 2.2% or more yearly, or 20-fold per century, a are unable to prevent declining living standards and deteriorating ecological life-support systems. These are Southeast Asia (except Japan, China, and possibly Thailand and Indonesia), Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa. In these countries, death rates will begin to rise, reversing the process of demographic transition. Examples of this phenomenon include 7 countries in West Africa with deteriorating agricultural and fuelwood yields, such that a World Bank study concluded that desertification is inevitable without a technological breakthrough. The elements of the life-support system, food, water, fuelwood and forests, are interrelated, and their failure will create "ecological refugees." When economic resources of jobs and income are added to biological resources, conflict and social instability will further hamper implementation of sound population policies. For the 1st time, governments are faced with the task of reducing birth rates as living conditions deteriorate, a challenge requiring new approaches. There are examples, such as China, where broad-based, inexpensive health care systems and well-designed family planning programs have encouraged small families without widespread economic gains. The most needed ingredient is leadership.
LABOUR AND POPULATION ACTIVITES IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC. 1987 Mar; (27):2-4.The fertility transition in Thailand has been quite dramatic by cross-national standards. There is evidence that the family planning program has played a significant role in the transition, but it is less known to what extent socioeconomic development per se has contributed to the process. There is a growing consensus among population and development professionals that, given an already high contraceptive prevalence rate, the family planning program can not be expected to continue its past contribution to the transition. The long-range objective of the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) is to contribute to more effective development policy and planning in Thailand by helping to enhance the capacity of relevant government agencies toward integrating population and human resources factors in development planning. Some of the strategies discussed for the project are: 1) preparatory activities, 2) coordination, 3) functional-awareness raising, 4) policy synthesis and research, 5) training programs, 6) information systems, and 7) research dissemination.
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.
[Geography of population: an international perspective] La geographie de la population: une vue internationale.
Espace, Populations, Societes. 1984; 2:59-63.Population geographers throughout the world have been influenced by a series of factors, including the extraordinary diversity of patterns of demographic transition throughout the world. Although the classic model of transition associated with modernization facilitated understanding, especially in Western countries, there have been so many exceptions that the model has only a crude value. The same situation holds in relation to the transition in mobility, which has brought brusque and unexpected modifications in migration patterns. The process of population redistribution is having the effect of intensifying disparities of density and pressure and increasing spatial concentrations. Political changes in which states are playing an even more important role in demographic policy have been another influence on population geography. Direct or indirect, explicit or implicit policies of governments are increasingly shaping population growth and displacement, regardless of the type of government. National socioeconomic situations as well as populationsize and growth help determine interest in population. The growing quantity of available data, although variable in amount and quality from country to country, has also prompted geographic interest. It must be noted that many questions require other sources besides census data. The growing number of specializations within geography is reflected in development of population geography, which in England for example has different foundations and orientations toward mathematics, history, ecology, cartography, sociology, and other fields. The diffusion throughout the world of different forms of population geography has been very uneven. The development of an applied geography or geography relevant to development planning and public policy, and the growing realization that population systems cannot be dissociated from social, economic, and political systems are other trends. The Commission on Population Geography of the International Geographic Union has organized colloquiums for geographers of different national backgrounds and training to study theoretical, technical, and practical problems in population geography. 7 colloquia have been organized between 1980-84 on various themes. The Commission has published 2 books and edits a semiannual newsletter on population geography with the aim of functioning as an international tribunal for population geography. (summary in ENG)
[Unpublished] 1984. 13 p. (UNFPA/ICP/84/E/2500)The complex relationship between population and development continues to be of critical concern for all countries of the World. World population is expected to increase to 6.1 billion by the year 2000 and stabilize at 10.5 billion by the end of the next century. This depends, however, on maintenance of the current momentum to reduce fertility. Although government programs to reduce fertility are available in countries covering 80% of the population of the developing world, levels of desired fertility in developing countries are higher than the fertility level necessary to attain eventual population stability (2.1 children/woman). The increase in the number of metropolitan centers and urbanization of the population have been striking features of the past decade. Changes in the volume, direction, and characteristics of international migration flows have raised concerns about human rights and the welfare aspects of these population movements. A significant feature of world demography has been the clearer emergence of intraregional similarities and interregional differences in population issues. Although the principles and objectives of the World Population Plan of Action will remain valid in the decades ahead, national population goals must be systematically reassessed. Countries should seek consistency between national and global goals and policies, take a longterm perspective, be aware of the interrelationships of the specific recommendations, be conscious of changing perceptions of population issues, and be alert to the primacy of the individual and his rights. The link between population and global security, and the role of population in shaping political behavior, point to the need for international cooperation. A more satisfying future can be brought about only through determined, rational, and humane population policies.