Research Programme

Household and family demography in the Global South

Coordinated by Professor Vicky Hosegood (University of Southampton & Africa Centre for Population Health)

This is a co-leveraged research project funded by the ESRC.


Project summary

The families and households with whom we live or to which we are connected have a profound influence on our health and wellbeing across the life course. Family-orientated interventions and social policy have the potential to make major contributions to improving child and adult survival, health and development.  In the global south, the diversity and amount of change in contemporary family and household contexts is much less well documented than in other regions. This work addresses how best to;

i) improve the measurement of the family and household environment in low and middle-income countries

ii) understand the interrelationships between family processes, functioning, and health.

The collaborative studies conducted place an emphasis on the value of using and enhancing the data collected by longitudinal demographic surveillance systems. Many of the studies also conduct in-depth research with families and households in the same study communities.

The aim of this research is to positively impact public health in these regions through the design of appropriate health and welfare interventions and policies that are family-orientated and can be rigorously evaluated and implemented in resource-constrained settings. 


Project activities

Date Activity Description
18-22 July 2016 Presentations of papers authored/co-authored by Vicky Hosegood and Nuala McGrath at the AIDS Conference 2016 held in Durban, South Africa. Papers presented include: "HIV policy implementation in South Africa: evidence from a national policy review and health facility surveys in two rural demographic surveillance sites", "Alcohol use and relationship quality among South African couples: implications for couples-based HIV interventions", "The rapidly shrinking burden of HIV on adult mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa" and "When 'bad' patients transform into 'good' patients: mediating agency in the therapeutic alliance to overcome bottlenecks along the HIV cascade of care."
16-17 February 2016 Plenary session speaker at the international meeting on ‘HIV-sensitive 'care force'  planning for children’ Geneva. Organised by the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS (CCABA) in partnership with UNAIDS, UNICEF and the WHO Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. 

Vicky Hosegood was a plenary session speaker on ‘Demography of the Family Careforce for children affected by HIV and AIDS’. 

30 November-4 December 2015 "7th African Population conference" held in Johannesburg Several papers authored and co-authored by Vicky Hosegood, Nuala McGrath, Ann Berrington and Gabriela Mejia-Pailles were presented: "Reporting of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events: how reliable are Demographic and Household Survey data?", "Mortality in HIV-negative adults in Kwazulu-Natal: trends, causes and gender differences", "The school-to-work transition in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "Age and cause decomposition of adult life expectancy changes following the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in Kwazulu-Natal (2000-2013)", "Trying harder to reach ‘hard-to-reach’ parents in surveys: collecting data about and from parents who do not co-reside with their children in rural South Africa" and "Who said what? Collecting family data in longitudinal studies of child health and wellbeing in rural South Africa from multiple respondents".
30 April 2015 “Estimating Orphaning Prevalence and Incidence before and after Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) Roll-Out in Rural South Africa, 2000-2013” and  “Exploring Factors Associated with Completeness of Parental Survival Data in a Longitudinal Surveillance System in Rural South Africa” PAA Annual Meeting 2015 Papers presented by Gabriela Mejia-Pailles, Vicky Hosegood and Ann Berrington
17 November 2014 “Fuzzy fathers and hidden patrons: Population and survey data on fathers and father involvement.”  Symposium ‘Promises and Challenges of Researching Fathering in South Africa.’, Medical Research Council, Cape Town Presentation by Vicky Hosegood
8 September 2014 “A longitudinal population-based analysis of couple dynamics and mortality in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa 2001-2011”, “Children’s experiences of family dispersal in rural South Africa: The influence of union stability, mortality and migration of parents”, “Reporting of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and household surveys: Are women reliable informants?” and “Exploring factors associated with completeness of parental survival data in a longitudinal surveillance system in Rural South Africa” BSPS Conference 2014, Winchester Papers presented by Vicky Hosegood, Nuala McGrath, Ann Berrington and Gabriela Mejia-Pailles.
1 September 2014 “The role of the elderly among HIV orphans in rural South Africa” BSG 43rd Annual Conference, University of Southampton Paper presented by Gabriela Mejia-Pailles and Vicky Hosegood
20 August 2014 “Estimating Orphaning prevalence from Parental survival data in a longitudinal surveillance system in Rural South Africa”  Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies Scientific Seminar Series, University of KwaZulu-Natal Seminar presented by Gabriela Mejia-Pailles
26 June 2014 “Understanding children’s involvement in migration & implications for accessing services in rural South Africa. Transnational Families: Multi-actor, Multi-sited and Institutional Perspectives.”  Transnational Child Raising Arrangements between Africa and The Netherlands, Amsterdam Paper presented by Vicky Hosegood
1 May 2014 “The measurement of early adolescent fertility: Evidence of differential under-reporting by women 15-19 years in Demographic Household Surveys.” PAA Meeting 2014, Boston Paper presented by Vicky Hosegood





















Bennett, R., Hosegood, V., Newell, M., McGrath, N. (2015) An Approach to Measuring Dispersed Families with a Particular Focus on Children ‘Left Behind’ by Migrant Parents: Findings from Rural South Africa. Population, Space and Place, 21, (4), 322-324

Bennett, R., Hosegood, V., Newell, M., McGrath, N. (2015) Understanding Family Migration in Rural South Africa: Exploring Children's Inclusion in the Destination Households of Migrant Parents. Population, Space and Place, 21, (4), 310-321

Boyer, S., Iwuji, C., Gosset, A., Protopopescu, C., Okesola, N., Plazy, M., Spire, B., Orne-Gliemann, J., McGrath, N., Pillay, D., Dabis, F. and Lamarange, J. (2016) Factors associated with antiretroviral treatment initiation amongst HIV-positive individuals linked to care within a universal test and treat programme: early findings of the ANRS 12249 TasP trial in rural South Africa. AIDS Care, 28 (Supplement 3), Special Issue: Test and Treat, 39-51.

Channon, M., Hosegood, V. and McGrath, N. (2015) A longitudinal population-based analysis of relationship status and mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 2001-2011. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70, 56-64.

Chikovore. J., Gillespie, N., McGrath, N., Orne-Gliemann, J. and Zuma, T. (2016) Men, masculinity, and engagement with treatment as prevention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. AIDS Care, 28 (Supplement 3), Special Issue: Test and Treat, 74-82.

Conroy, A., McGrath, N., Van Rooyen, H., Hosegood, V., Johnson, M.O., Fritz, K., Marr, A., Ngubane, T. and Darbes, L.A. (2016) Power and the association with relationship quality in South African couples: Implications for HIV/AIDS interventions. Social Science & Medicine, 153 (2016), 1-11.

Hosegood, V., Richter, L. and Clarke, L. (2015) “…I should maintain a healthy life now and not just live as I please...”: Men’s health and fatherhood in rural South Africa.American Journal of Men’s Health, (In Press).

Knight, L., Hosegood, V. and Timaes, I.M. (2016) Obligation to family during times of transition: care, support and the response to HIV and AIDS in rural South Africa. AIDS Care, (Online First View).

Madhavan, S., Richter, L., Norris, S. and Hosegood, V. (2014) Fathers’ financial support of children in a low income community in South Africa. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 35 (4) 452-463.

Marston, M., Nakiyingi-Miiro, J., Hosegood, V., Lutalo, T., Mtenga, B., Zaba, B. and the ALPHA network. (2016) Measuring the Impact of Antiretroviral Therapy Roll-Out on Population Level Fertility in Three African Countries. PLoS One, 11 (3), eCollection 2016. 

Moshabela, M., Zuma, T., Orne-Gliemann, J., Iwuji, C., Lamarange, J. and McGrath, N. (2016) “It is better to die”: experiences of traditional health practitioners within the HIV treatment as prevention trial communities in rural South Africa (ANRS 12249 TasP trial). AIDS Care, 28 (Supplement 3), Special Issue: Test and Treat, 24-32.

Neal, S. and Hosegood, V. (2015) The measurement of early adolescent fertility: Evidence of differential under-reporting by women 15-19 years in Demographic Household Surveys. International Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health, (In Press).

Orne-Gliemann, J., Zuma, T., Chikovore, J., Gillespie, N., Grant, M., Iwuji, C., Lamarange, J., McGrath, N., Lert, F. and Imrie, J. (2016) Community perceptions of repeat HIV-testing: experiences of the ANRS 12249 Treatment as Prevention trial in rural South Africa. AIDS Care, 28 (Supplement 3), Special Issue: Test and Treat, 14-23.

Reniers, G. Wamukoya, M., Urassa, M., Nyaguara, A., Nakiyingi-Miiro, J., Lutalo, T., Hosegood, V. et al. (2016) Data Resource Profile: Network for Analysing Longitudinal Population-based HIV/AIDS data on Africa (ALPHA Network). International Journal of Epidemiology 2016, 45 (1), 83-93.


Media activities

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