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Ethiopia Challenges Assumption That Decline In Fertility Must Precede Economic Advancement

The Lancet: Scaling up of family planning in low-income countries: lessons from Ethiopia
Daniel Halperin of the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Puerto Rico and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“…[A]lthough there is widespread agreement that fertility decline is often associated with other aspects of socioeconomic development, skepticism remains in some quarters — for example, among some health economists — about whether the availability of family planning services can actually make a substantial difference towards reducing fertility rates in the lowest-income parts of the world, especially without the necessary contribution of distal factors such as education or increased wealth. Furthermore, although the London Summit underscored that there is clearly still a long way to go towards expanding service delivery in some key regions, we can learn much from successful experiences so far. Ethiopia offers an encouraging example, and one that seems to challenge the widely held assumption that a demographic transition towards reduced fertility must be preceded by broad socioeconomic advancement…” (4/5).