The Unmet Need for Family Planning In Uganda

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Executive Summary:The centrality of addressing the unmet demand for family planning is a key component of some development issues currently facing SSA, especially as there is growing evidence that suggests high levels of population growth is damaging to both economic growth and poverty reduction. Although Uganda’s level of unmet demand for family planning is similar to many other SSA countries, it is high compared to other developing countries.Analysing the trends associated with the unmet demand for family planning, we find that they vary considerably according to characteristics such as age, and level of education. Of particular note, women with no, or primary, education tend to have higher levels of unmet need for family planning. A husband/partners opposition; Not knowing where to get contraception from; and Fearing side effects of contraception are particularly common reasons for such groups not using contraception.Although knowledge of family planning methods appears quite high (98.4% for men and 96.4% for women know of at least one method), this figure falls to 86.7% for unmarried women who have never had sex. A figure that may, to some extent, partially reflect the lack of FP discussion that takes place both within the family (i.e. to sons and daughters) and between couples (less than 1 in 4 couples have talked about FP in the last 6 months).Considering the association between unmet demand for family planning and poverty/health outcomes, we find no strong statistical association between people that are poor and have higher levels of unmet level of demand. However, we do find larger proportions of stunted children with mothers who have an unmet demand for family planning. Overall, the research highlights many interesting characteristics associated with the unmet demand for family planning, and for the first time looks at the relationship with outcomes such as poverty, a mothers BMI, and child malnourishment. Based on the analysis we conclude that much more can be done to improve family planning awareness. There are potentially huge demographic and individual benefits to raising awareness and making FP discussions less ‘taboo’. A number of methods could be adopted in attaining these objectives, several of which (i.e. mobile clinics, and community workshops) have already proved successful in furthering HIV/AIDS awareness.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUganda
PublisherDepartment for International Development
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Unmet Family Planning, Gender, Uganda

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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