The Impact of Family Planning on Primary School Enrolment in Sub-national Areas within 25 African Countries

Abiba Longwe, Jeroen Smits

Abstract

We study how the availability and use of family planning services in African countries influences the family planning situation of households and through this the educational participation of young children. A district panel dataset is used for 441 urban and rural areas within 233 districts of 25 countries. Path analysis shows that a decrease in the number of births is associated with an increase in educational participation in the area. The number of births is negatively associated with acceptance, knowledge and actual use of contraceptives in the area. As reversed causality and selection bias seem unlikely, the identified relationship probably is at least partially causal. Hence, investments in family planning services in poor areas are not only important because they allow women to plan their births better, but also because they may lead to higher primary enrolment rates and thus contribute to the region’s future economic growth.  (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 23-38).

Résumé

Nous étudions comment la disponibilité et l'utilisation des services de planification familiale dans les pays africains influence la situation de la planification familiale des ménages et ce faisant, nous étudions aussi  la  participation éducationnelle des jeunes enfants. Nous nous servons  d’un ensemble de données  pour 441 zones urbaines et rurales au sein de 233 districts  de 25 pays. L'analyse du  montre que la baisse dans le nombre de naissances est associée à une augmentation de la participation à l'éducation dans la région. Le nombre de naissances est négativement associé à l'utilisation d'acceptation, les connaissances et l’emploi efficace de la contraception dans la région. Comme la causalité inversée et un biais de sélection est peu probable, les relations identifiées semblent être au moins partiellement causalité. Par conséquent, les investissements dans les services de planification familiale dans les régions défavorisées  ne sont pas seulement importants parce qu'ils permettent aux femmes de mieux planifier les naissances, mais aussi parce qu'elles peuvent entraîner une augmentation des taux de scolarisation primaire et de contribuer ainsi à l'avenir de la région de la croissance économique. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 23-38).

 

Keywords: Fertility; Family Planning ; Path Analysis; District Panel; Children’s Schooling; Africa

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