Family planning outcomes and school attendance in sub-Saharan Africa
Abiba L.P. Longwe, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Jeroen Smits, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
To what extent and in which ways does poor reproductive health at the household level influence educational enrollment of young children in Sub-Saharan Africa? This paper sets out to answer this question by analyzing household and district level data on 103,000 primary-school aged children in 287 districts of 30 Sub-Saharan African countries. Negative effects on school enrollment are found for children with short preceding and succeeding birth intervals, who have a very young sibling, or whose mother is pregnant. These findings remain intact when controlling for socioeconomic and demographic household characteristics and economic and health-related context factors. Interaction analysis shows that many effects of SRH outcomes depend on the context in which the household is living. This stresses the importance of a situation-specific approach. Findings indicate that helping families planning their pregnancies better increases children’s schooling chances and leads to more effective use of household and context resources.