The Cairo approach: making RH and FP programmes more acceptable or embracing too much?
Jean-Pierre F. Guengant, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
Hantamalala Rafalimanana, United Nations
In the mid-1990s, when the Cairo ICPD was held, the average number of children per woman was around 3 in the developing countries. Also, in about half of these countries, contraceptive prevalence among women in union was already at 45 per cent or above. Thus, the fertility transition and the diffusion of contraceptive use were well underway at the global level. The adoption of the new Cairo rationale, “a broader reproductive health-cum-development approach”, may be seen at first as the mirror of this rapidly evolving context, regardless of the diversity of the situations between continents and countries. However, in this paper, we document the mixed effects the Cairo rationale have had on RH and FP programmes, and argue that it did not have much effects in most of the least developed countries because it was more adapted to the countries already well advanced in their fertility transition and contraceptive revolution.