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Emerging population issues in sub-Saharan Africa: Cross-checking and promoting demographic data for better action

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DEMOSTAF (Emerging population issues in sub-Saharan Africa: Cross-checking and promoting demographic data for better action)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31

Emerging population issues in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cross-checking and promoting demographic data for better action
DEMOSTAF brought together European and African research institutes as well as non-academic African national statistics offices (NSOs) in a staff exchange programme, from January 2016 to December 2019, with the aim to advance research on emerging population issues in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). DEMOSTAF was built around four major population-related themes: fertility, mortality & health, households & families and education. These themes federated the research projects conducted by the partners, and aimed to shed light on key contemporaneous questions, with the objective to inform the post-2015 development agenda framed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme focused on the articulation between quantitative data from national statistics (censuses and sample surveys) and local data (demographic surveillance systems or local vital registration). Thanks to the close involvement of NSOs, the programme consolidated and promoted public statistics. The programme funded staff mobility between partners to support research projects, while reinforcing training and skill transfers. Collective activities essentially devoted to training, data documentation and scientific dissemination were also conducted. DEMOSTAF involves 18 partners: 5 European academic institutions, well known for their African population expertise (INED, IRD and University of Nanterre in France, UCL in Belgium, Unige in Switzerland), 11 African partners from Burkina Faso (INSD and ISSP), Madagascar (INSTAT, INSPC, IPM, UCM), Mali (INSTAT), Senegal (ANSD, UCAD, UZ) and Uganda (UM). Among them, 4 are NSOs. Due to mutual interests in the promotion of demographic data, a Canadian academic institution (ODSEF) was also involved. A scientific advisory committee associated key experts and promoted international partnerships. In total, almost a hundred of individuals participated in the projet. Among them a total 68 researchers, statisticians, PhD students and librarians were involved in a total of 189 months of secondment.
This project occurring from the 1st of January 2016 to the 31st of December 2019 resulted in several achievements both in terms of research activities and staff mobility.
As described in further sections of the documents, most objectives for each of the project work packages were reached thanks to the involvement of all project partners and the consortium will carry out its collaboration beyond the project.

The number of secondments reach during the project is one of the key indicators of the results obtained in the project. Indeed a total of 198 months of secondments was achieved during the period. The secondments involved all types of staff including early stage researchers (about 29%), experienced researchers (about 46%) as well as technical staff (25%). They also included both staff from academic organisations (68%) and statistical institutes (32%). The variety of staff involved in the secondments is an important achievement in the project, since it provided opportunities for individuals with very different profiles and backgrounds to take part in the project and therefore contributed to the cross-sectoral and international added value of the project.
Additional results and achievements were reached during the second period of the project, they included the publication of working papers related to the research fields covered by each WP. WP 2 working papers will cover the issues of understanding African fertility stalls, understanding family and data collection tool on abortion safety. WP3 working papers will deal with mortality levels and trends and measurement issues, the improvement of the collection and interpretation of cause-of-death data, the investigation of the double burden of disease and the identification of health risks in mobile populations and effects of human movements on vector-borne diseases. WP5 working papers will be dedicated to Out of school children, to Nonliteracy and illeteracy and to higher education graduate.
Additionally a major emphasis will be put on communicating the projects results to the general public and to policy-makers. This will be made possible by the publication of 2 policy papers published by WP2 partners and 2 policy briefs published by WP4 and WP5. This was complemented by the organisation of a final conference, targeting the dissemination of the project results to a wide audience as well as the organization of 3 restitution workshops.
Moreove, the collaborative work conducted since the beginning of the project lead to the preparation of 2 draft collective books on data and methods SDGs by the end of the second period.
In terms of secondments goals, all efforts were made to reach the initially planned 193 months of secondments. It was ensured that the highest possible number of secondments is reach, that the secondments occur in optimal conditions. The multi-complementarity aspects remained emphasised by maintaining a balance of North / South, academic / non-academic, interdisciplinary, researcher & technical or statistician staff participants. This allowed efficient training of the involved participants through clearly defined research objectives, mutual interactions and
exchange in a common research project.