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Title: Explaining fertility outcomes within the urban poor : a case study of Chittagong, Bangladesh
Author: Syed, Mohammed Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 0484
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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This century the population of Bangladesh will increase from 150m to 250m, with 70% of this growth concentrated in urban areas primarily due to rural-urban migration by the poor. The family planning programme aims to reduce fertility rates in Chittagong. The poor have the highest fertility rates in Chittagong. The aim of the study was to develop an explanation for why some couples within the urban poor of Chittagong have a low fertility outcome of ≤ 2 living children whilst other very similar couples have a high fertility outcome of ≥ 4 living children, in order to inform family planning programmatic interventions. A new small-N comparative approach, Counterfactual Mechanism Analysis, was developed for context-specific operationalisation of theorised causal chains leading to the fertility outcome and producing a causally symmetric explanation under a Ready, Willing and Able framework. The result from the small-N investigation suggests that some couples with low/high fertility outcomes formulate initial fertility preferences in response to the congruence of the husband's and wife's individual perceptions of social approval regarding the number and sex composition of children. Readiness to limit fertility can adjust dynamically for both husband and wife based on the importance of sex composition and whether it is being attained. For the wife, stillbirths and miscarriages can also adjust Readiness. The wife's Willingness to limit fertility and use modern family planning methods depends on the norm of her social network. The wife's Ability to acquire modern family planning methods depends on subjective cost. The relevancy of the explanation to similar couples within the population of interest is supported by patterns exhibited in secondary data. Interventions based on the current priorities of the family planning programme are considered unlikely to succeed in reducing the fertility outcomes of the urban poor in Chittagong.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral