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Contingent LivesFertility, Time, and Aging in West Africa$
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Caroline H. Bledsoe

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226058511

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226058504.001.0001

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Setting, Data, and Methods

Setting, Data, and Methods

(p.62) Chapter 3 Setting, Data, and Methods
Contingent Lives
University of Chicago Press

Reproduction is a matter of intense concern in sub-Saharan Africa. This chapter describes some of the social, cultural, economic, and historical background that shapes fertility in contemporary rural Gambia. It then turns to some of the methodological background: how the data for the study were collected and some of the many complexities that began to surface during the course of the project. The national economy reflects a combination of the country's history, ecology, geography, and status in the world economy. The Gambia faces the perpetual challenge of meager resources to meet the needs of its growing population. It also endures problems of inequality. The Gambia's health and family planning programs have had input and resources from numerous sources, both national and international. The government provides inexpensive contraceptive supplies, when they are available, through a national network of clinics and health workers.

Keywords:   reproduction, economy, fertility, Gambia, family planning

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