Examining Reproductive Health Services of Women, Female Youth, and Female Refugees in Northern Jordan with a Behavioral Economics Lens

Coordinator of the project:
Dr H.J. Prince, The University of Texas

Consortium partners:

  • Dr Y. Khader, Jordan University of Science and Technology
  • Dr B. Al-Qaseer, Jordan Ministry of Health
  • Dr K. Ready, The University of Texas

Summary of progress

With this study, researchers are examining the potential for behavioral economics interventions (monthly text messages and behavioural economics-influenced counselling) to increase the rate in which Jordanian women using 12 clinics in Northern Jordan persist in using modern family planning methods.

While the researchers will not be able to make a determination as to intervention impacts until the conclusion of the 9-month data collection period, they have identified interesting preliminary findings as they relate to the qualitative components of the fieldwork. Specifically, findings from focus groups conducted with postpartum women at the participating clinics include: a recognition among women that motherhood is “beautiful,” but that it also restricts their activities; the preferred age for having children is between 24 and 35 years, despite younger years for first births on average; that, ideally, the total number of children should not exceed 6, with 3-4 years between births; and that conscientious spacing of births is better for mother and children.  These findings are critical to the study in that they inform the potential receptiveness to the behavioural-economics based interventions. They also have policy implications in that they imply benefits from scaling up the interventions, should they prove to be effective.

Summary

Our aim is to design, implement and evaluate interventions that adhere to the Cairo consensus of ensuring women’s reproductive health and sexual rights (RHSR) and the rights of the vulnerable youth and refugee populations in the north while dramatically reducing population growth in accordance with the SDGs and Jordan’s needs. We propose to do this by using a combination of culturally sensitive anthropological practices and behavioral economic approaches.

A critical objective of this effort is to identify interventions that produce the desired outcomes cost-effectively, in order that these interventions may be institutionalized within Jordanian ministries and CSOs/NGOs and, therefore, more likely to be replicated throughout the country and sustained over time.

Details

Project number

W 08.560.013

Main applicant

H.J. Prince

Affiliated with

University of Texas System, University of Texas at Austin

Team members

Dr. B. Al-Qaseer MD, Prof. Y.S. Khader PhD, H.J. Prince, Dr. K. Ready, N. Al Sheyab PhD

Duration

01/09/2017 to 31/07/2019