Family Planning Programs and Fertility Preferences in Northern Ghana

Winfred A. Avogo, Illinois State University

This paper contributes to understanding the associations between a culturally sensitive family planning program and fertility preferences. Previous research on family planning programs are focused on addressing unmet need for contraception. Yet, scholars have asserted that even if the expressed need for contraception is met, fertility will remain well above replacement levels. Needed to propel low fertility are programs that influence explicit desires to limit child-bearing at low parities. This paper uses longitudinal data from the Navrongo experiment in Northern Ghana to examine the impact of a culturally sensitive family planning program on fertility preferences. Results show that change in fertility preferences are largely a function of the Navrongo experiment net of socio-economic characteristics. Involving traditional social institutions in health planning is significantly related to expressing a desire for no more children at lower parities. We discuss the implications of our findings in the context of recent policy frameworks to increase access to contraception in developing countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health