Declining Contraceptive Prevalence in Pakistan: Evidence from FALAH Intervention

Saman Naz , Pennsylvania State University
Yubraj Acharya, Pennsylvania State University

The contraceptive prevalence rate(CPR) in Pakistan decreased from 35% in 2013 to 34% in 2018, puzzling researchers and policymakers. This surprising decline is concerning given Pakistan’s Total Fertility Rate of 3.6. To understand this decline in CPR, we evaluate the Family Advancement for Life and Health(FALAH) project 2007-2012, a five-year long family planning program implemented in selected 31 districts of Pakistan. The program emphasized birth spacing—as opposed to limiting family size—as the primary purpose of contraceptive use.We use the 2012-13 round of the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, to evaluate the impact of the program using mother-fixed effects. To estimate the causal effects, we compare the birth interval for multiple children born to the same mother before and after the program. We find that program did not have an impact on birth spacing. These findings suggest that interventions targeted at birth spacing do not necessarily resonate better with Pakistani couples than those aimed at limiting family size.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1