12/03/2015
lisa monaghan

Karunakara (2004). Displacement and Fertility in the West Nile Region of Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan

The number of people displaced, as a consequence of complex emergencies at the end of the twentieth century, is estimated to be around 25 million. Africa generates as well as hosts the majority of these displaced persons. Despite the magnitude of the problem, very little is known today about the population dynamics of forced migration. Data from a single-round survey conducted by the Demography of Forced Migration Project was used to examine the impact of forced migration on population structure, household composition and fertility. Three population groups — Sudanese refugees, Sudanese stayees and Ugandan nationals — were surveyed between 1 November 1999 and .....

March 2000. 2,521 women and 818 men from 1,831 households were interviewed in Lugbara and Arabic using structured questionnaires. Analyses of household data show evidence of demographic distortion. Refugee households were older than stayee households with more than half of the household members between ages 15 and 64. Sudanese stayees had the highest dependency ratio with more than half the population below age 15. Female headship of households is higher among the Sudanese groups and highest among stayees. Low parental survival among the Sudanese has resulted in high rates of fosterhood and orphanhood, especially among Sudanese stayees Logistic regression analysis shows that fertility is robust to experiences of forced migration or violence. Family separation, experience of child death and reduced access to food showed significant associations to fertility outcomes.

Methodologically, the results of the study indicate a tendency for the truncated birth history approach to underestimate fertility levels. A full birth history is therefore recommended for the estimation of fertility. Alternatively, a less biased and current estimate of the General Fertility Rate maybe be obtained from the percentage of women currently pregnant. Methodologically, the results of Refugees continue to experience high levels of violence and post-traumatic stress in exile. A majority of the women perceived threats from security officials and settlement employees. The physical and mental security of refugees should therefore be a priority for policy makers as well as humanitarian agencies. the study indicate a tendency for the truncated birth history approach to underestimate fertility levels. A full birth history is therefore recommended for the estimation of fertility. Alternatively, a less biased and current estimate of the General Fertility Rate maybe be obtained from the percentage of women currently pregnant.

Category: Anthropology and History, Conflict

Sub-category: Displacement and Protection of Civilian Sites, Socio-Cultural Groups and Practices