Fertility Impact of Donor-Supported Contraceptives in Sub-Saharan Africa

J. M. Ian Salas, Harvard University
Carolina Cardona , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

A substantial amount of aid for family planning goes to the purchase of contraceptives. To what extent does it help countries manage their fertility? We investigate this in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), a region with the highest total fertility rate and relatively-slow contraceptive uptake. We collected data for 34 countries over 13-years from 2003-2016. Fertility behavior was captured with the General Fertility Rate (GFR) for women aged 15-44 using information from 85 Demographic and Health Surveys. Contraceptive supply coverage was estimated with shipment volumes of donated contraceptives. Preliminary results evidence that birth rates are significantly lower after a country receives donated contraceptives. On average, a 5 percentage-point increase in contraceptive supply coverage is associated with a 3.3 percentage-point drop in the GFR. Stratified results suggest that aid for family planning supplies may go further in countries with greater family planning need, but also in countries with more-developed health-systems.

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 Presented in Session 27. Examining the Role of Population and Reproductive Health Policies and Practices