Abstracts - demography of conflict session

Session organiser: Professor Ludi Simpson, University of Manchester

Fertility responses to violent conflict: Evidence from the Second Palestinian Intifada Valeria Cetorelli, London School of Economics; Marwan Khawaja, United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia

The Occupied Palestinian Territory has one of the highest rates of natural increase in the world. The persistence of high fertility in a context of prolonged conflict and military occupation has generated considerable research interest. However, previous work has been fairly descriptive. In this paper, we examine the impact of conflict on the fertility behaviour of Palestinian women during the second Intifada (2000-2005). Compared to previous research, our study has a number of strengths. For the first time, conflict intensity is measured using detailed information on monthly fatalities. Also, fertility responses are investigated by referring to individual conceptions on a monthly basis. A Cox model is used to assess the relationship between conflict intensity and conception hazards. Implications of our findings will be discussed.

Email: Valeria Cetorelli: v.cetorelli@lse.ac.uk|

Assessing conflict-related mortality in Sri Lanka: Towards a research agenda
Sarah Lubman, University of Southampton

The paper proposes a research agenda related to studying the demographic consequences of the 1983-2009 armed conflict in Sri Lanka. Its aim is to assess the availability of data sources and methods to estimate the impact which the civil war has had on mortality. The completeness and reliability of government statistics, as well as that of other data sources including conflict databases, are explored, and discrepancies are discussed in relation to contextual information. Potential methods for estimating the impact of conflict are proposed and analysed, in order to inform recommendations for further work in this area. In particular, an index of conflict intensity which can contribute to greater understanding of mortality patterns is demonstrated. The main findings are, firstly, that conflict has been disruptive to the accurate and complete collection of reliable data on mortality in Sri Lanka; an issue which must be recognised in any analysis which is undertaken on this topic. Secondly, as a result and after exploring the methods available, an approach which applies a variety of methods and utilises a broad range of data sources has been recommended. Such an approach, based on contextual information, can provide a more rigorous and comprehensive picture of the consequences of the conflict in Sri Lanka.

Email: Sarah Lubman: sll1v07@soton.ac.uk|

Civil war and population change on Sierra Leone, 1921-2002
Amie Kamanda, University of Southampton

There is considerable uncertainty about the demographic impact of the recent civil war in Sierra Leone. Confusion stems from differences in the delimitation of the period under study, lack of discussion about the data and methodology applied to assess this impact, and fundamentally, concerns about the assumptions underpinning the estimates of the three components of population change including fertility, mortality and migration. This study aims to undertake a retrospective investigation of the components that contributed the most to population change during the period of the Sierra Leone civil war, here defined as 1991 to 2002. Using cohort component projection, the study reconstructs the population to examine the counterfactual population age structure, in the absence of the civil war. A number of data sources are used to inform the assumptions underpinning the projections, including the 1985 and 2004 Population and Housing Censuses of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey 2008, statistics on Sierra Leonean refugees and internally displaced persons documented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and documentation of human right violations, specifically killings and forced displacement in the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission database (2004). The benchmark model, which assumes no changes in the demographic rates since the 1985 census, projects the total population in 2005 as approximately 5.0 million. The model is unrealistic because it ignores change overtime in fertility rates and expectation of life. The analysis presents the analytical framework for reconstructing a realistic counterfactual population to inform the debate on the demographic consequences of the Sierra Leone civil war.

Email: Amie Kamanda: ak904@soton.ac.uk|

The demography of armed conflict: Reconstructing demographic estimates before, during and on the aftermath of the 1998-2004 D. R. Congo armed conflict
Richard Kapend, Andrew Hinde and Jakub Bijak, University of Southampton

In an effort scientifically to document and monitor the scale and scope of recent conflicts (1998-2004) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in conjunction with some of the world\'s leading epidemiologists conducted a series of five surveys in the country over a seven year period (2000 - 2007). Estimates of conflict-related mortality generated from the IRC\'s surveys range from 3.3 million between the years 1998 and 2002, to 5.4 million excess deaths in the period between 1998 and 2007. Reflecting on the IRC\'s work, this study aims to combine four different data sources - 1984 DRC Population Census; 1995 and 2001 DRC Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICSs) and the 2007 DRC Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) - to derive demographic estimates and assess the extent of change, in demographic components, to be associated with the conflict period between years 1998 and 2007. Both statistical and demographic techniques will be used for this purpose. The current paper presents selected preliminary findings of this study.

Email: Richard Kapend: richard.kapend@soton.ac.uk|