Impact of Reproductive Health Services on Socioeconomic Development In Sub-Saharan Africa: Connecting Evidence at Macrolevel, Mesolevel and Microlevel

Last updated December 2010

Ruerd Ruben

Despite a high level of economic growth, population growth in Rwanda is still outpacing the rate of poverty reduction. To create the required surplus of capital and labor needed for investments in human capital to arrive at economic development, the cycle of decreasing agricultural productivity, high population growth, and increasing poverty will have to be broken. Reproductive health could be a key mechanism to break this cycle by addressing the high levels of infant and child mortality. The central hypothesis is that reproductive health policies can bring down these levels in the short run and will create the surplus at the household level to invest in the health and education of the children. The feedback effects on the cost-recovery of public services will contribute to the required surplus at the national level, enabling the country to collect the “demographic bonus.”

Contact Information:
Ruerd Ruben,, Radboud University Nijmegen, Centre for International Development Issues Nijmegen, the Netherlands