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In: UNICEF Bangladesh. Situation analysis report, prepared for UNICEF Bangladesh country programming. [Dacca] Bangladesh, UNICEF, 1977 Apr. 20-4.The level and growth rate of population in Bangladesh is seen as 1 of the nation's most critical problems, affecting nearly all sectors of development. Demographic data in Bangladesh is poor due to a lack of a functioning vital registration system or other reliable data collection systems. The most recent estimate of total population as of January 1, 1977, is 82 million. The average density is estimated at 531 persons/km (1974), with 90% of the population concentrated in the rural areas. The crude death rate remains high at 19/1000 population, with an infant mortality rate estimated at 150/1000 live births. The total fertility and annual growth rates are judged extremely high and are related to several factors of underdevelopment particular to Bangladesh. These include mothers' reluctance to postpone or space births because of a high incidence of infant deaths; a low level of literacy and employment of women; inadequate community health care facilities; and a lack of acceptable family planning services in rural areas. The effects and consequences of this demographic situation on all age groups in Bangladesh is apparent in all areas of development: economic growth, food production, and the delivery of health, education and social services. Although the level of contraceptive awareness is high, the extent of acceptance of contraceptive practice in the country is estimated at only 5% of eligible couples. Despite a heavy concentration of government efforts in its Population Control/Family Planning Division (PC/FP), success has been limited due to struggles between the government's Health and Population Division; frequent administrative reorganization; personnel problems; difficulties in transferring local funds; innovative program development rather than concentration on regular program activities; and the resistance of the population to family planning and limitation. A family planning component has been included in most foreign assistance schemes (IDA;USAID;UNFPA). Of concern to UNICEF is the slow implementation of the family planning side and the generally poor level of maternal and child health care which falls under the PC/FP Division, rather than the Health Division.
Social Biology. 25(2):145-163, Summer 1978.This paper reviews and compares the methodologies of some 70 investigations of the effect of family planning programs on fertility levels. Differences among the studies include variations in questions asked, research methods used, program type investigated, and made of program action assumed. Programs can affect fertility by providing means of fertility control, education, legitimation, incentives/disincentives or any combination of these but the actual effect of these modes is unclear. Comparison is usually made between the effects on fertility of a program as a whole and a hypothetical estimate of what fertility rates would have been without the program. This hypothetical estimate is in fact not subject to empirical measurement, and a variety of methods have been developed largely to attack this methodological problem. The article compares the characteristics of several methods and provides a matrix comparing their strength, limitations and applications. The methods discussed include: 1) decomposition of change which identifies several factors affecting changes in crude birth rate; 2) correspondence between program activity and fertility trends over time to across areas or groups, which often takes close statistical association as evidence of causality; 3) matching studies, which try to remove the influence of nonprogram factors by controlling the characteristics of the subject; 4) experimental and control areas, comparing presumably similar groups with and without family planning programs; 5) multiple regression across areal units which provides some information on areal trends but requires extensive data for many statistical areas; 6) calculation of national effects of births averted among acceptors; and 7) simulation, which compares data to mathematical projection models, such as the TABRAP/CONVERSE and POPSIM models. No one method is best but certain methods are best to answer certain questions. All of the methods have difficulty establishing actual causality between the program studied and fertility trends and ruling out alternative explanations. Recent studies encouraged by the U.N. Population Division are seeking cross-method and cross-program evaluation.
Humanist. 1983 Sep-Oct; 43(5):18-24, 34.The writer's purpose is to document why an American confrontation with the Vatican over its anti-family planning efforts is a prerequisite to removal of this obstruction. The role of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as an important factor in thwarting organized family planning efforts; it is a variable which must enter population scientists' search for the determinants of fertility. Reasons for which communication with the leadership of the Church will not occur are discussed. Among those is the introduction, under President Reagan, of an administration which is the most Catholic in American history. In addition, international agencies' "population moneys" are being spent for "general development" and not on family planning. It is argued that Catholics have been primarily responsible for propagating the strategy "development will take care of population growth". The decline of the world population growth control effort in the past couple of years has coincided with the activities of the Pope and his position that immoral contraception must be fought. It is claimed that until this stronghold on predominantly Catholic countries is reduced, and the Vatican's strong influence on international donor agencies is eliminated, very little improvement in world efforts to control population growth can be expected. The Vatican's control over governments in predominantly Catholic countries is illustrated by excerpts from a study by a Canadian sociologist who points out that the world is faced with Vatican imperialism to some extent. This article concludes that nothing significant is likely to happen in population control efforts until the United States confronts the Vatican on this issue as the weak governments of most nations would not survive such as effort.