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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Yazmine Michelle Watts
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Political Science
Title: Degrees of Institutionalization: Family Planning Policies and Programs in Senegal, 1980-2005
Dr. J. Kevin Corder, Chair
Dr. Susan Hoffmann
Dr. Sisay Asefa
Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
3309 Friedmann Hall
Senegal’s population growth rate of 2.7% is greater than double that for the world average of 1.16%. The Government of Senegal acknowledges the population problem and has made efforts to address this issue. For over the past two decades the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has served as the predominant donor in Senegal’s health sector and has been a strong supporter of Senegal’s family planning program. The evolution of family planning in Senegal cannot be understood without considering the roles of culture, religion, decentralization and funding in the institutionalization process. This research addresses important questions concerning factors that contribute to the institutionalization of family planning policies and programs in Senegal, and it also examines how Senegal has progressed in the institutionalization of its family planning policies and programs from 1980-2005.
This project draws its analytical framework on theoretical approaches within historical institutionalism including path dependency, layering, conversion and policy drift. This research uses several methodological tools to address the research questions. Historical analysis of policy, program and evaluation documents, statistical reports, family planning studies, family planning related variables for the period 1980-2005 in addition to the use of interview, questionnaire and other data collected during field research in Senegal are employed. Four categories of independent variables are used to measure the institutionalization of family planning including culture/religion, decentralization, government aid and USAID support. In order to determine degrees of institutionalization of family planning in Senegal, three categories of measurements are used including legitimacy, knowledge and capacity-building.
Results of this study reveal that social norms block the institutionalization of family planning in Senegal, decentralization has a modest impact on the institutionalization of family planning, and it also confirms that government contributions to family planning are insufficient and reliance upon donor aid remains high. Finally, the results also indicate that progress since 1997 has waned and the Government of Senegal in conjunction with USAID needs to continue to develop innovative family planning strategies that accommodate cultural and social norms.