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Family planning and the World Bank in Jamaica.

King T
In: The global family planning revolution: three decades of population policies and programs, edited by Warren C. Robinson and John A. Ross. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2007. 155-174.

In Jamaica, as in many countries, the pioneers of family planning were men and women who sought to improve the well-being of their impoverished women compatriots, and who perhaps were also conscious of the social threats of rapid population growth. When, eventually, population control became national policy, the relationship between the initial private programs and the national effort did not always evolve smoothly, as the Jamaican experience shows (see box 10.1 for a timeline of the main events in relation to family planning in Jamaica). A related question was whether the family planning program should be a vertical one, that is, with a staff directed toward a sole objective, or whether it should be integrated within the public health service. These issues were not unique to Jamaica, but in one respect Jamaica was distinctive: it was the setting for the World Bank's first loan for family planning activities. Family planning programs entailed public expenditures that were quite different from the infrastructure investments for which almost all Bank loans had been made, and the design and appraisal of a loan for family planning that did not violate the principles that governed Bank lending at the time required a series of decisions at the highest levels of the Bank. These decisions shaped World Bank population lending for several years and subjected the Bank to a good deal of external criticism. For that reason, this chapter focuses on the process of making this loan. (excerpt)

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