Policy Briefs

  • Accelerating fertility decline to open the window of opportunity for harnessing the demographic dividend in Malawi September, 2016

    Malawi’s fertility rate has declined slowly in the context of a steady decline in child mortality over the past three decades. The average number of births per woman has declined from 7.6 in 1984 to 5.0 in 2014, while the number of deaths among children aged less than five years declined from 250 per 1000 births in 1984 to 85 in 2014.

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  • A well-educated and highly-skilled labour force is critical for harnessing the demographic dividend in Malawi September, 2016

    A well-educated and highly-skilled labour force is essential to propel Malawi to harness the demographic dividend and transform into the technologically-driven middle-income country envisioned in Vision 2020.

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  • Economic reforms and policies to boost job creation and optimise Malawi’s opportunity to harness the demographic dividend and accelerate socio-economic development September, 2016

    For Malawi to achieve inclusive development and maximise its demographic dividend, the government and private sector should focus on economic reforms that create adequate decent create jobs to keep pace with the rapidly rising youthful working-age population.

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  • Accelerating fertility decline in Zambia Opening the window of opportunity for the demographic dividend January, 2017

    Zambia’s fertility has declined slowly in the context of steady decline in child mortality over the past three decades. Consequently, 45% of the population is under 15 years of age, which has resulted in a high child dependency burden.

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  • Accelerating economic growth & policy reforms to optimise Zambia’s demographic dividend January, 2017

    Zambia‘s Vision 2030 seeks to turn the country into a prosperous industrial middle-income nation that provides opportunities for improving the well-being of all its citizens. The country has experienced steady economic growth in the past decade, averaging at 6.7 %, and graduated into lower middle-income status in 2012, with a per capita GDP of $1,839 in 2013.

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  • Contribution of a Science-Policy Café to a Shift in Kenya’s Free Maternity Services Policy August, 2016

    Kenya continues to record high levels of maternal deaths and poor maternal health outcomes. According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2014, the national maternal mortality ratio is currently at 362 deaths per 100,000 live births, a decrease from 488 per 100,000 in 2008. This is well above the MDG target of 147 per 100,000 by 2015. It is estimated that for every woman who dies in childbirth in Kenya, more than 20-30 women suffer serious injury or disability due to complications during pregnancy or delivery (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2014). The persistence of these undesirable outcomes despite improvements in other health indicators in the last decades is puzzling (Ministry of Medical Services and Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation, 2012). It is also widely acknowledged that public policy change is complex and often happens as a result of many factors. As such, the shift in Kenya’s policy relating to the implementation of free maternity services is a result of an interaction of many factors, one of which is the science-policy café hosted by the SECURE Health programme.

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