Resilient Families of Ethiopia: Population Dynamics in a Society in Crisis

Author: Lindstrom, Dennis P., Hogan, David P., Hailemariam, Assefa
An excellent scientific review of major medical, public health, and demographic peer-reviewed essays. Topical organization of chapters facilitates the identification of the papers of greatest substantive interest. The writing inspires both the scholar and the less technically-oriented reader to draw lessons on population demographics that will be an asset for those stakeholders and future policy-makers trying to increase human capital, promote social and economic development, and enhance family well-being in Ethiopia.


“Ethiopia has made tremendous progress in bringing primary health care to its rural population in the last ten years or so. This growth in the health care infrastructure has resulted in dramatic improvement in health indicators: maternal and child mortality have decreased, contraceptives are used at almost five times the rate they were a decade ago, new malaria infection has gone down significantly and pre- and post-natal care have improved. The deployment of over thirty thousand rural health workers known as health extension agents and the decentralization of the health program have contributed to these achievements. Ethiopia today is considered a country to be emulated by others in the region.
The research published in this volume was conducted by researchers at Brown University and at various higher learning institutions in Ethiopia, and provides insights into population dynamics in Ethiopia…the scientific and academic value of this research is important and, I have no doubt, scholars and researchers interested in the population dynamics of Ethiopia will find this book an invaluable source of information. It offers an invaluable contribution to understanding how factors including social movements, drought, war and migration, affect the health seeking behaviors of men and women. Regional variations in attitudes towards family size and family planning are explained, and many of the studies consider the influence of culture, religion and language. Any meaningful program that wants to understand how to change behavior will find these studies very useful.”
-Sahlu Haile,
Regional Advisor, Sub-Saharan Africa,
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

“The main value of this volume is the combination of secondary and primary data source analysis: the in-depth analysis of the UNFPA-funded NFFS of 1990, combined with regional primary data collection in 1994-95 in the North by Markos Ezra, and the Brown/DTRC 1997 SNNAP Community and Family Survey of the South. Advanced demographic and multi-level quantitative analytic techniques were employed judiciously. These pre-DHS (first one ins 2000) data sources are important antecedents to the series of 3 EDHSs plus the 2007 census and 2012 Intercensal Demographic Survey. We can learn a lot about the pre-demographic transition stage of Ethiopia during the 80s and 90s, and then follow-up with the three EDHSs (incorporated in the Teller/Assefa book on the Demographic Transition and Development in Africa (Springer, 2011). The other value is the combination of the senior demographers (the 3 co-editors) publishing with five of their young Ethiopian Ph.D. students and one post-doctoral student (Marcos). There is a great lack of published academic books based on primary data collection and analysis in Ethiopia, and this book will help address this shortage.”
-Dr. Charles Teller,
Adjunct Professor,
George Washington University and Addis Ababa University

“By and large, the book scientifically scrutinizes family planning and maternal and child health showing the regional variations in attitudes towards family size and family planning, and many of the studies consider the influence of culture, religion and language. Moreover, the book provides a clear research methodological approaches which are useful for other scholars and students of population studies. ..the book is essential for all those interested in populations studies, planning and policy formation. It contributes to the ongoing debates on population dynamics and understanding how factors including social movements, drought, war and migration, affect the health seeking behaviors of individuals.”
-Dr. Samson Kassahun,
Associate Professor and Academic Vice President,
Ethiopian Civil Service University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Sahlu Haile
Introduction: The Nation of Ethiopia
Introduction to Part I
1.The Proximate Determinants of the Decline to Below-Replacement Fertility in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2. The Demographic Components of Fertility Decline in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A Decomposition Analysis
3.Postpartum Amenorrhea in Ethiopia: The Role of Weaning, Child Death, and Socioeconomic Factors
4.Household Organization, Women’s Autonomy, and Contraceptive behavior in Southern Ethiopia
Introduction to Part II
5.The Effects of Breastfeeding and Birth Spacing on Infant and Early Childhood mortality in Ethiopia
6.Breastfeeding, Birth Intervals, and Child Survival: Analysis of the 1997 Community and Family Survey Data in Southern Ethiopia
Introduction to Part III
7.The Impact of Famine, War, and Environmental Degradation on infant and Early Child Mortality in Africa: The Case of Tigrai, Ethiopia
8.The Impact of War, Famine, and Economic Decline on Marital Fertility in Ethiopia
9.War, Famine, and Female Migration in Ethiopia, 1960 to 1989
Introduction to Part IV
10.Demographic Responses to Environmental Stress in the Drought-and Famine-Prone Areas of Northern Ethiopia
11.Household Vulnerability to Food Crisis and Mortality in the Drought-Prone Areas of Northern Ethiopia
12.Rural Out-Migration in the Drought Prone Areas of Ethiopia: A Multilevel Analysis
13.Social Identity and Community in the Fertility of Southern Ethiopian Women
14.Social Identity and Community Effects on Contraceptive Use and Intentions in Southern Ethiopia
15.The Impact of Postmarital Residence of Fertility, Early Childhood Mortality, and Child Health in Southern Ethiopia
16.Husbands, Wives, Sons, and Daughters: Fertility Preferences and the Demand for Contraception in Ethiopia