Population, Reproductive Health and Economic Development – ‘PopDev’ (2013-2015)

The PopDev programme explores the impact of reproductive health and population dynamics on poverty and economic growth, especially in the least developed countries. Work in the UK is funded through a Hewlett/ESRC Joint Scheme. The maternal health group is involved in Pop Dev’s work through interdisciplinary research in Burkina Faso focusing on productivity, family planning, and reproductive health. The project is a follow up activity from two previous projects in Bobo-Dioulasso on the consequences of near-miss complications. LARISS (University of Ouagadougou), AfricSante in Bobo-Dioulasso, and University of Olso are collaborative partners on this project.

Mother and Baby

The aim of this project is to conduct research on the impact of pregnancy on income-generating and non-income-generating production in Bobo- Dioulasso in Burkina Faso. The project also aims to investigate how investments in reproductive health might contribute to reducing poverty and fostering economic development and equity. The project includes 3 sub-studies.

  • Sub-Study A is a secondary analysis of data collected by the Initiative for Maternal Mortality Programme Assessment (IMMPACT). Immpact collected rich data on the costs associated with delivery and household income and expenditure in this period. However, data on key variables notable family planning and birth preparedness are lacking. Therefore we will supplement these findings with new data collection;
  • Sub-Study B is a prospective cohort of around 900 women recruited around the time of delivery and followed-up for nine months. The longitudinal design and ability to design the data collection instruments to fit with our objectives will allow us to draw robust conclusions on the relationship between reproductive health and economics outcomes;
  • Sub-Study C is a qualitative study with a sub-cohort of women recruited from Sub-Study B which will provide complementary data, particularly regarding decision-making processes and motivations. In addition, Sub-Study C will collect information from the male perspective and allows us to investigate men´s role in women´s reproductive health and return to economic production.

Study objectives:

  • Document how reproductive health at pregnancy and delivery influences women’s participation in a) formal work, b) informal work, c) domestic work, d) education.
  • Describe household strategies to compensate for any reduction in the productive capacity of women during pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Extend the concept of birth preparedness to postpartum preparedness, and investigate how this facilitates improved reproductive health and a prompt return to economic production.
  • Investigate to what extent family planning uptake (or intentions to uptake) during the postpartum period is associated with labour participation.
  • Explore how women’s labour participation influences (i) household social dynamics, (ii) women’s control over household income and expenditure, and ultimately (iii) women’s sense of empowerment.

Latest update:

The dissemination workshop took place on 16th June 2015 in Ouagadougou and a policy brief was released in French.


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