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Title: A re-assessment of fertility trends in 17 Sub-Saharan African countries
Author: Machiyama, Kazuyo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 8976
Awarding Body: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Current Institution: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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Some recent studies have suggested that fertility decline has slowed down in several sub-Saharan Africa countries, but have reached contradictory conclusions. This thesis re-assessed fertility trends in 17 sub-Saharan African countries over two decades. The first part of this study examined the data quality of 63 Demographic and Health Surveys. Date and age misreporting, particularly age displacement of children, was prevalent and the degrees varied across the surveys within the countries, which have affected fertility trends. Using a Loess regression and adjusting for common errors, trend estimation methods were introduced. The new methods produced both robust trend estimates and uncertainty intervals. The results pointed out the limitations of DHS data for trend estimation and the weakness of the earlier studies. In six countries the pace of decline has more than halved since the 1980s, but no country has it ceased entirely. The second part of the thesis proposed modifications in Bongaarts’ proximate determinants framework and applied them in order to explore the extent to which changes in proximate determinants support the Loess fertility trends. The results suggested that the changes in each proximate determinant varied greatly across the countries, and other proximate determinants, apart from contraception, have played important roles in inhibiting fertility in the region. Changes in sexual activity among married and unmarried were found. Overall, the trends of the TFR estimates from the proximate determinants framework were consistent with those of the Loess estimations. Specifically, the projected TFRs in the five countries (Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia) where the Loess estimates depicted deceleration also failed to decline in the same periods. The study recommends careful assessments of fertility trends using the rigorous methods, balancing the quality and quantity of questions in the DHS Questionnaire, and further research on marriage and family systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
Supervisor: Sloggett, A. ; Cleland, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral