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The Puzzle of Family Planning in Tanzania: A multi-method approach for understanding the use of family planning practices

  • January 2017
  • Dissertation
Mosha, Idda

Abstract: It was important to examine the behavioral characteristics - knowledge, communication and social networks of people and how they affect family planning utilization among women. The behavioral characteristics underlying family planning decisions are important to understand whether women will use family planning methods or not. In addition, it was considered necessary to address intra-household communication among couples and explore the extent to which communication effects family planning utilization among couples. Couples use or refrain from utilizing family planning methods after going through a process of discussion and negotiation and agreement, which then leads to a final outcomes, albeit possibly with very different levels of support from each of the spouse. 

Furthermore, women's preferences on the use of certain facilities in relation to family planning was explored and the way it contributes to family planning uptake, since there was no study which was undertaken to assess how women's preferences for facilities leads to family planning utilization. Family planning faces a lot of obstacles, including availability, (geographical) accessibility, and cost. It is hypothesized that those women residing close to facilities with family planning services will use them more compared to women living far away from those facilities. Moreover, a majority of women will prefer family planning services that are free of charge.

Finally, factors influencing the intention and the way it affects the actual use and uptake of family planning practices was explored. The gap between having an intention to use and the actual use of family planning needs to be understood for being able to support family planning utilization. However, the literature on the intention-use gap is limited. Therefore, exploring these factors will enable us to identify with greater precision the factors behind low family planning utilization. It was thus important to examine the extent to which women are making use of the family planning methods and answer the question why the majority of women still do not rely on family planning methods. This present thesis, therefore, aims at examining both determinants and barriers to utilization of family planning methods in Tanzania.

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