Targeting Inequalities: A contribution of the Capability Approach to population studies

Claudine Sauvain-Dugerdil


This paper introduces the objectives of the project presented in this Special Issue, i.e. to apply the Capability Approach (CA) to population studies to better understand growing disparities in human development and identify the best indicators to trace inequalities in opportunity. We present here the added value of the CA to population studies, than the characteristics of the two West African countries considered - Ghana and Mali – and, finally, the topics broached. Applying the CA implies a major shift from the classical analysis of the determinants of outcomes to a focus on the array of opportunities and disparities. The eight papers cover three major domains in social demography, especially in West Africa, and for which rich data sets are available: health, seen through risk factors and the spread of obesity; social integration expressed by professional activity and social participation; and family planning viewed in terms of contraception and birth spacing.


Capability Approach; Mali; Ghana; population and development

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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