Training Africa's Next Generation of Population Scientists
Training the next generation of population experts in Africa is crucial–particularly in the sub-Saharan region–to reducing reliance on professionals from other countries to inform development policies and programs. The Hewlett Foundation's Population Program makes grants to strengthen key population-science training programs in Africa. The goal is to increase both the number and quality of master's and doctoral graduates. Hewlett funds support fellowships, dissertation research, curriculum development, and faculty exchanges in Africa and in developed countries, as well as the professional organizations that support population science in Africa and around the world.
Hewlett Foundation-Supported Institutions Offering Graduate Programs in Population Science
(Information below also available for download as a PDF)
- Brown University
- Cornell University
- University of Yaoundé II
- The Pennsylvania State University
- University of Cape Coast
- University of Cape Town
- University of Colorado at Boulder
- University of Ghana
- University of the Witwatersrand
Hewlett Foundation-Supported Networks of Population Scholars
(Information below available for download as a PDF)
- International Union for the Scientific Study of Population
- Population Association of America
- Union for African Population Studies
Hewlett Foundation-Supported Institutions Offering Graduate Programs in Population Science
The Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) at Brown University is an internationally respected research and training center offering specialized demography training as a complement to the Ph.D. programs in Sociology, Anthropology, and Economics. The PSTC does not grant degrees, but offers doctoral candidates from its three affiliated departments demography training and collaborative research opportunities in order to launch trainees early and intensively into research. The training program includes core demography courses, elective substantive seminars, a required research apprenticeship, instruction in family planning and contraceptive technology, and advanced methodological and statistical training. PSTC faculty and trainees conduct research in the traditional topics of demography, while specializing in five signature areas: spatial inquiry, fertility and HIV/AIDS, families and households, social behavior and health, and population and the environment. The majority of research associates engage in international demographic research, with roughly 40% focusing on African demography.
The PSTC is innovative in developing comprehensive programs of policy-relevant research, training, exchange and capacity-building in developing countries. The Center actively recruits candidates from the developing world, and has a strong track record of placing graduates in key research and policy positions in the developing world. The PSTC is also an active participant in the Wits-Brown-Colorado-APHRC colloquium, a collaborative effort between US and African training institutions to foster scholarly exchange and collaborative research among member institutions.
Dr. Michael White, PSTC Director and Professor of Sociology
68 Waterman St
Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA
The Population and Development Program (PDP) at Cornell University seeks to facilitate research on population dynamics by promoting multidisciplinary collaboration and by supporting both undergraduate and graduate training in demography and population studies. The program focuses on theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of population and development in both the developing world and the United States, to prepare candidates for research and teaching positions. The PDP has trained almost 125 international graduate students in population sciences since the early 1960s. In recent years, under the initiative of Associate Professor Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Cornell has extended its population training efforts to building graduate level training capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. Cornell engages in capacity building with IFORD, a regional Francophone training institution based in Cameroon. PDP works together with IFORD in three principal areas: building capacity for graduate research, improving instruction, and working with faculty on policy research. Activities associated with these projects include training in advanced research methods; improving access to research materials and data; mentoring IFORD students with their research; updating curricula; teaching summer courses; and improving expertise for policy research and research dissemination.
Professor Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue
Beebe Hall, 2nd Floor
Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
The Institut de Formation et de Recherches Démographiques (IFORD), academically linked to the University of Yaounde II, is a regional population sciences training institute, providing graduate level training to candidates hailing from 25 Francophone African states. IFORD specializes in technical demography training and offers two academic tracks for candidates: a vocational track leading to a Masters in Demography (MPD), and a second track with both master's and doctoral level training in population sciences. In its first 35 years of operations, IFORD trained nearly 500 African demographers through these two programs. IFORD has further refined its training activities to be responsive to current capacity strengthening needs by additionally deploying short courses for three to five week periods. IFORD engages in research on demographic issues and themes common to the 25 states it serves. In addition to member-relevant research, IFORD also provides member states with technical assistance with conducting censuses, socio-demographic analysis, local training activities, situational analysis, the design and evaluation of population policies, and database management.
Professor Elizabeth Annan Yao, Executive Director
BP 1556 Yaoundé, Cameroon
For more than 35 years, the Population Research Institute (PRI) at the Pennsylvania State University has supported innovative multidisciplinary approaches to population research and training. PRI's Graduate Program in Demography offers doctoral candidates a dual-track Ph.D. program, combining expertise in demographic theory, methodologies, and policy with core coursework in one of the following disciplines: sociology; economics; anthropology; human development and family studies; rural sociology; agricultural, environmental and regional economics; or health policy and administration. PRI integrates the expertise of more than 60 affiliated faculty members hailing from 18 departments to conduct research in three principal themes: family processes; individual, family and population health; and inequality and opportunity. PRI is also committed to the training of African population scientists through a partnership with the University of Ghana's Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS). This collaboration, pioneered by Dr. Francis Dodoo, engages doctoral students from Ghana for one year at PRI to refine their Ph.D. proposals, and to take advantage of PRI's course offerings, computer and library facilities, seminars, and nurturing faculty before returning to Ghana to complete their doctoral programs.
The Pennsylvania State University
601 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802, USA
The Department of Population and Health at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana provides both undergraduate and graduate level training aimed at developing the next generation of Ghanaians in population, social dimensions of health, and development. The program is dynamic by design, and gives its students training to address current challenges in population, health, and development.
The Department offers M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. programs in Population and Health. Top performing M.Phil. students can be tracked into the Ph.D. program. Linkages with Ghanaian field research sites give the students opportunities to engage with real population data highly relevant for their training and for future careers in research, policy, and development programming. Program faculty currently engage in research on adolescent reproductive health, the social dimensions of HIV/AIDS infection, and issues associated with population and the environment.
Professor Kofi Awusabo-Asare, Head of the Department of Population and Health
University of Cape Coast
University Post Office
Cape Coast, Ghana
The Centre for Actuarial Research (CARe) at the University of Cape Town in South Africa offers the most rigorous training in demographic estimation in sub-Saharan Africa. While the subject has fallen out of favor in many other institutions, the generally poor quality of African census and survey data means that indirect techniques of estimation are still required in the region. The Centre's draws students from across sub-Saharan Africa for its M.Phil. program and its research-only doctoral training program. The Centre also hosts postdoctoral fellows.
In addition to its training program, the Centre is at the forefront of demographic research in Africa, and brings the fruits of this research to bear on its teaching program. Demographic estimation, however, is only one focus of the Centre's work. The Centre has significant expertise in demographic and epidemiological modeling as well. Faculty and researchers have, for many years, maintained and developed the Actuarial Society of South Africa's (ASSA) epidemiological and demographic model of the spread of HIV, a widely used and publicly available population projection model that explicitly takes into account the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Professor Rob Dorrington, Director of the Centre for Actuarial Research
University of Cape Town
Rondebosch 7701 South Africa
The African Population Studies Research and Training Program (APS) is located within the University of Colorado's Institute of Behavioral Science, as part of the interdisciplinary, collaborative Research Program on Population Processes. APS was designed to address three key needs with regard to African population studies: 1) the shortage of population experts in sub-Saharan Africa trained to analyze the demographic components of important social and health issues affecting the continent, 2) the lack of high-quality training programs within the region, and 3) the need for increased research and teaching on African population issues within the U.S. universities. APS engages with these issues in three principal areas of activity: administering a post-doctoral fellowship program with the University of Witwatersrand ("Wits"); funding small grants for pilot collaborative research between institutions; and active participation with the Wits-Brown-Colorado-APHRC colloquium. APS post-doctoral fellows spend three years in the program, splitting their time between Colorado and Wits while engaging in collaborative research and teaching. APS also offers modest seed funding for pilot collaborative research projects, giving new researchers the means to develop their research and leverage funds to seek external grants. The Wits-Brown-Colorado-APHRC colloquium (WBCAC) provides an annual forum for sharing recent research, fostering new collaborations, and extending academic partnerships between the participating institutions. Within this framework, faculty from member institutions mentor young scholars, and administer intensive short courses to qualifying students to fill any gaps in modern methods or knowledge in their training.
Professor Jane Menken, Director of the Institute for Behavioral Science
University of Colorado - 483 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0483, USA
The Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) at the University of Ghana is a regional population sciences training institute, providing graduate level training in the population sciences to candidates from across the sub-Saharan African region. RIPS is renowned for having produced numerous generations of African demographers with masters or doctoral level training in Population Studies, including many of Africa's leading population scientists. The Institute specializes in training candidates in demographic techniques, research methodology, substantive demography, population and development, and population policy and planning. RIPS is also renowned for its work on indirect estimation and the demography of Africa. RIPS has forged strong relationships with overseas training partners, as well as demographic surveillance centers in Ghana, giving students access to current datasets and systems, sandwich year training opportunities at Pennsylvania State University, and research collaboration and mentoring.
Office of the Director
Regional Institute for Population Studies
P.O. Box LG 96
University of Ghana Legon
The Health and Population Division, housed in the School of Public Health at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, aims to offer an outstanding academic program at the masters and PhD levels, with a strong population and reproductive health research orientation. The Division's curriculum and research agenda are designed to be responsive to the fundamental population, health, and social issues confronting sub-Saharan Africa. The Division also hosts the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit. This is based on the Agincourt health and socio-demographic surveillance system covering a sub-district of some 84,000 people living in 25 villages in a border region of rural Southern Africa. The site provides reliable longitudinal health and socio-demographic data, dating back to baseline in 1992, and provides an invaluable tool for the Division's research and graduate training activities.
Research interests in Agincourt address the dynamics of ‘transition' and are at the cutting-edge of the field including child and adolescent health and development; the health and wellbeing of adults and elders; non-communicable disease and chronic care; household coping, resilience and livelihoods; and the social impacts of HIV/AIDS. The Division leads multisite research through the INDEPTH Network, with efforts focused on adult health and aging including the roles of older women, and migration and urbanization. Wits is a founding member of the Wits-Brown-Colorado-APHRC colloquium, a collaborative effort between US and African training institutions to foster scholarly exchange and collaborative research among member groups. The Division also serves as secretariat for an interdisciplinary, university-wide initiative in Population, Health, and Society.
Dr. Stephen M. Tollman, Director
School of Public Health
Parktown, Johannesburg 2193
Hewlett Foundation-Supported Networks of Population Scholars
The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) is the largest international association of population scientists. Originally founded in 1928, the Union has since grown to over 2000 members, including experts from over 140 countries and every region of the world. The IUSSP has four central objectives for its work: to stimulate and consolidate population research; to disseminate the results of this work; to build research capacity in young scholars, particularly those from developing countries; and to encourage engagement between research and policy, through collaboration with government institutions and NGOs. To this end, IUSSP organizes international scientific seminars and conferences in order to stimulate innovative research, disseminate research results, and foster research collaboration through networking. IUSSP builds capacity in young population scholars through a program called the Junior Demographer Awards, which gives financial assistance to young professionals to attend training workshops and seminars organized by IUSSP.
Mary-Ellen Zuppan, Executive Director
3-5 rue Nicolas
75980 Paris Cedex 20
The Population Association of America (PAA) is the leading organization of professional demographers in the United States and the largest population association in the world, with a diverse interdisciplinary membership of over 3,000 members. Its annual meetings provide a forum for scholars to discuss and disseminate research on standard topics, such as fertility, mortality, and migration, as well as on health, aging, marriage and union stability, race and ethnicity, education and labor force participation, and culture. The network also serves to connect scholars from around the world, fostering collaborative research and funding opportunities. To this end, PAA works to expand its global outreach by awarding travel funds for scholars from developing countries, approximately one-half of which will be made to African scholars. In addition to the annual meetings, PAA produces a quarterly journal entitled Demography, and assists in the dissemination of research findings to population professionals and, to a lesser degree, the public.
Ms. Stephanie Dudley, Executive Director
Population Association of America
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 722
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3812
The Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) is a pan-African, non-profit, scientific organization whose purpose is to promote the scientific study of population in Africa. For nearly 25 years, UAPS has fostered the networking of researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders across geographic and language barriers in order to improve research capacity and promote evidence-based policies and programs in population and development in Africa. The UAPS network of nearly 1200 members is able to link multidisciplinary scholars and other professionals for knowledge sharing and to facilitate collaborative research opportunities. UAPS has historically also provided grants and organized training workshops in order to strengthen research capacity in junior researchers. The Union also produces the African Population Studies journal, serving to increase the visibility of African population issues and scholars.
Dr. Chuks Mba
National Population Council Secretariat
First Floor, Rooms 105-107