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Population and Poverty

The Economic Impact of Reproductive Health Outcomes

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Population Dynamics and Economic Development:
Filling the Research Gaps

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Population Dynamics and Economic Development: Elements of a Research Agenda

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In 2004, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Population Program launched a major new initiative to explore the impact of demographic trends and reproductive health on poverty and economic growth in developing countries. The Hewlett Foundation continues to fund research on these issues, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. This research will be shared with policymakers in both developing and developed countries.

In the 1960s, policymakers attempted to understand the relationship between population growth in poor countries and the impact of that growth on their economies, but were hampered by a lack of data and limits on research methods. For almost a generation, the issue went largely unstudied. This lack of research has hobbled economic policymaking in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with high rates of poverty, lagging economic growth, poor reproductive health outcomes for many women, and fertility rates that have remained high while those of many other regions have declined.

By supporting the design, funding, and dissemination of research in this area, the Hewlett Foundation and its partners hope to foster a deeper understanding of how demographic dynamics and reproductive health impact economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is for this research to inform policies and programs aimed at reducing poverty and spurring economic growth, and to highlight the role that reproductive health and population issues play in achieving those goals.

Population Dynamics and Economic Development:
Filling the Research Gaps

A paper released in March 2009 by the Center for Global Development and the Population Reference Bureau summarizes progress-to-date on the research agenda on population, reproductive health, and economic development.  A PDF version of the report is available for download here.

Funding for research in this area is available through a number of partner organizations, listed below. Unsolicitied proposals to the Hewlett Foundation are not accepted.

Funding Opportunities

Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development ("PopDev")

This call for proposals is a joint initiative of the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research ("WOTRO"), the Research Council of Norway, and the Population Reference Bureau in collaboration with The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The current request for proposals focuses on:

  1. The impact of reproductive health on women’s economic empowerment, particularly as measured by economic outcomes at the household and individual levels.
  2. Relationships between reproductive health/family planning (including population policies and dynamics) and macroeconomic outcomes at the country level.

The deadline for the submission of preliminary proposals is March 15, 2012.

For more information and to download the application form, please visit the PopPov Research Network's website:
http://www.poppov.org/Research/RFP.aspx

Hewlett Foundation/IIE Dissertation Fellowships

The Institute of International Education (IIE) accepts applications annually for the Dissertation Fellowship in Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development. The fellowship is intended for doctoral students studying at universities in sub-Saharan Africa, the U.S., or Canada. It is open to students conducting dissertation research on topics that examine how population dynamics, family planning, and reproductive health influence economic development, including economic growth, poverty reduction, and equity. Students in economics, economic demography, geography, and epidemiology are especially encouraged to apply, as well as those who are pursuing dissertations about population and development issues pertinent to the African continent.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2012-2014 Fellow Cohort. The deadline is March 5, 2012.

For more information about the Hewlett Foundation/IIE Dissertation Fellowship, please visit:
http://www.iie.org/Programs/Hewlett-IIE-Fellowship

Ongoing Research

To view summaries of current research in the PopPov Research Network, please visit:
http://www.poppov.org/Portals/1/documents/events/5thAnnConf/POP-POV2010_FINAL.pdf

The following are a few examples of the ongoing research the Hewlett Foundation is funding. The Research section of the PopPov Research Network's website has additional information about ongoing research:
http://www.poppov.org/Research.aspx

The Institut de recherché pour le Developpement (IRD) funds research projects about the economic impacts of population and migration issues in sub-Saharan Africa. This program is intended to increase knowledge about population dynamics and reproductive health issues on the African continent. 

Below is a list of the researchers who have been awarded grants through this program. Please follow the links to find more information about the funded research projects.

The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) is conducting a collaborative research project to investigate the complex interactions among reproductive health, economic growth, and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa, taking into account the initial conditions in each of the countries where case studies will be conducted. The specific objectives of the project include investigations of effects of declines in fertility and infant mortality on growth, income distribution, and poverty; mechanisms for provision and financing of reproductive health services in Africa and for improving access to these services especially among the poor; and effects of investment in reproductive health on HIV/AIDS and other welfare indicators such as schooling, maternal morbidity and mortality, child health, and longevity. More information about AERC's research is available at:

http://www.aercafrica.org/programmes/research_collab_growth-povertynexus.asp

Conferences and Events

6th Annual PopPov Research Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development

The sixth annual conference hosted by the PopPov Research Network will take place January 18-21, 2012, in Accra, Ghana. To learn more and to download the preliminary conference agenda, please visit:

http://www.poppovresearchnetwork.org/PopPovConferences/6thAnnualPopPovConference.aspx

5th Annual PopPov Research Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development

The fifth Annual PopPov Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development took place in Marseille, France, January 19-21, 2011. The Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and Agence Française de Développement hosted the 2011 meeting. For more information, to download selected research papers, or to view slides from the presentations given at the conference, please visit:

http://www.poppovresearchnetwork.org/PopPovConferences/5thAnnualPopPovConference.aspx

4th Annual PopPov Research Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development

The fourth annual conference hosted by the PopPov Research Network took place in Cape Town, South Africa, January 14-17, 2010. The meeting brought together the world's most prominent researchers on population and economic development, with a particular emphasis on African economics researchers and other researchers based in Africa. For more information, to download a conference summary, or to view slides from the presentations given at the conference, please visit:

http://www.poppov.org/PopPovConferences/4thAnnualPopPovConference.aspx


For information about previous conferences, please visit the PopPov Research Network's website:
http://www.poppov.org/