Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Population, Reproductive Health and Poverty

Progress towards goals 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health) of the millennium development goals (MDGs) has been generally slow in sub-Saharan Africa.  To meet these and other MDGs, sub-Saharan Africa’s best hope remains its vast and untapped Human Capital. Yet, about 4 million infants and children continue to die annually from preventable causes, whilst unchecked unintended pregnancy increasingly contributes to unsafe abortion and consequently poor maternal health outcomes. Emerging evidence asserts that the disparity in key family planning and sexual reproductive health indicators is widening, making it clear that our Human Capital has been and is under threat. We need to focus our efforts toward providing robust scientific evidence to guide crucial policy generation and implementation to curb the needless hemorrhage. In doing this we would not only have a fighting chance at meeting the MDGs but we would also have saved and positively impacted countless lives.

Current Project


Creating Better Economic Opportunities for Women in Nairobi Slums through Improved Childcare Options

Program: Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Almost half of all Kenyan women 15 to 49 years of age have a child under the age of five. For most of these women, participation in the labor force is dependent on concurrent childcare responsibilities. While other family members have typically assisted women in caring for children in the past, urbanization and nuclearization of the family structure have largely diminished this source of support.

The Kenyan government has made some strides in investments in early childcare and education; however, these efforts have largely stagnated in recent years. The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of subsidized and enhanced quality of childcare on women’s participation in labor markets and income generation. The study design is a randomized intervention of subsidized daycare and enhanced early childhood care and education. Following this intervention, a combination of quantitative and qualitative evaluative measures of changes in enrolment choices and the impact on women’s labor force participation will be conducted.

Examining the nature, magnitude, and impact of barriers such as high cost and low quality childcare on women’s labor force participation will generate critical evidence-based policy and practice recommendations that may increase women’s participation in the labor force, thereby closing gender gaps in earnings. The study duration of the entire project is three years, including a one year randomized implementation phase.

APHRC’s Caroline Kabiru gives an overview of the research methodologies used in the project here.

This video gives an overview of the project.

Partner Institutions

  • McGill University
  • Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD)
  • Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID)
  • Participatory Cultures Lab (PCL)

Project Period

  • 2014 – 2017


This work is being carried out with financial support under the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) initiative. GrOW is a multi-funder partnership with the UK Government’s Department for International Development, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the International Development Research Centre, Canada.

Project Funders

  • idrc

    www.idrc.ca ...

  • UKaid.svg

    http://www.dfid.gov.uk/ ...

  • hewlet



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