Understanding the Demographic and Health Transition in Developing Countries

The shift from high to low levels of mortality and fertility called the demographic transition occurred over a century ago in the developed world. While the reasons for the transition in Western Europe and North America are well documented, little is known about the transition in developing countries except that it is reported to be underway in many developing countries, to differ from the transition that occurred in the West, and to show more diversity than was the case in the West. Much of what we know about the transition in developing countries comes from analysis of demographic and health survey data. But, these data are limited and do not provide information on cause of death, which is very important in characterizing shifts in the burden of disease.

The INDEPTH Network collects longitudinal health and demographic surveillance data - fertility, mortality (including cause of death) and migration - from a number of sites in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania spanning several years and even decades.

This grant will allow researchers from four sites - Agincourt (South Africa), Navrongo (Ghana), Matlab (Bangladesh) and Filabavi (Viet Nam) - to determine the nature of the transition occurring in these countries and its implications for the healthcare system.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

End Date

Friday, June 24, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Mahmood, Qamar

Total funding

CA$ 517,700


Bangladesh, Ghana, Far East Asia, Viet Nam, South Africa, North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Central Asia, South Asia


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Ayaga A. Bawah



Institution Country


Institution Website