Professor, Department of Global Development
Parfait Martial Eloundou-Enyegue's research agenda broadly addresses the interrelationships between population, social change, and sustainable development. Under this general theme, his current projects study the effects of contemporary demographic changes on global inequality, education, youth employment, health, food security and internal conflicts. Parfait's methodological work advances the use of decomposition methods to reconcile micro-and macro-traditions in quantitative sociological research and to understand the sources of social change.
Prior to coming to Cornell, he was affiliated with the RAND Corporation (Los Angeles) and earned a doctorate in Demography and Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and an advanced degree in Agricultural Economics and Development Sociology from Cameroon. He has taught across multiple continents, mostly Africa, North America and Asia, and has extensive experience with field research and policy communication. He was won teaching and prestigious research awards from the Population Association of America and from the Comparative International Education Society; and has received the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards from the College of Agriculture at the Pennsylvania State University. Between 2008 and 2017, and with support from the Hewlett Foundation and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, he led a large effort to advance demographic training in Francophone Africa, including the study of demographic dividends. He has consulted with the United Nations, the World Bank and USAID, and has worked on the Board of Directors of several professional associations and institutions, including the Population Association of America, the Population Reference Bureau, the Guttmacher Institute, and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. He recently was a member of an independent group of 15 scientists nominated by the UN’s Secretary General Panel to draft the first quadrennial report of the report on Sustainable Development Goals.
- Professor, Global Development
- Professor, Brooks School of Public Policy
- Interim Director, Cornell Institute of African Studies
- President, Recruitment, Tenure and Promotion Committee Institut National D’Etudes Démographiques (INED, France)
Awards, Honors and Service
- Coordinating Lead Author, Global Environment Outlook, 7th edition (United Nations Environment Program)
- Prospective editor of special issue of the journal Sustainability. Focus: links between population and environmental sustainability
- External reviewer, Canada Social Sciences and Humanitie Research Council; research grants (2023)
- Chair, Search committee, Schleifer Professor of Population Environment and Development; Department of Global Development (2022-3)
- Adhoc member, tenure review case, Department of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM); (2022)
- Graduate Admission Committee, Department of Global Development, (2022)
- Reviewer/Judge, FAO World Food Forum, Tranformation Research Challenge, Rome, Italy (2022)
- Editor, Global Demographic Trends; 22-chapter volume to be published by INTECH Open(2022-3)
- Advisor to OASIS Project on Fertility Trends in West Africa (Sarah Holcombe and Jacques Emina, PIs)
- The Pennsylvania University Distinguished Alumnus, College of Agriculture (2020)
- Member of United Nations’ Secretary General Panel to draft the 2019 report on Sustainable Development Goals (2016-19)
- Cornell CALS Outstanding Accomplishments in Science and Policy Award (November 2018)
- Board of Directors 2014 International Union for the Scientific Study of Population
- Board of Trustees (2018) US POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU (PRB)
- Board of Directors, Population Association of America
- Marilyn Emmons Williams Awards for Undergraduate Research Advising; Cornell University award (2008)
- Cornell CALS Innovative Teacher Award; College-wide award (2006)
- Joyce Cain Award for Research; Comparative International Education Society (2006)
- Adjunct Professor, Summer Program, Korea University (2007-2019)
- Joyce Cain Award for Research. Comparative International Education Society (2005)
- Board of Directors, Guttmacher Institute, New York
- PennState International Student Achievement Award Finalist (1996)
- Dorothy Thomas Award for Best Graduate Student Research from the Population Association of America. (1994)
- Class Valedictorian, National Advanced School of Agronomy and Development Economics, Cameroon (1985)
- Doctorate, Pennsylvania State University, 1997
- Master of Science, Pennsylvania State University, 1988
- Ingenieur Agroeconomiste (5 year college degree in Agricultural economics and rural sociology), University of Dschang, 1985
Education, Development and Inequality
Population and Development
Sociological Research Methods
Parfait's research covers three related areas that include the sociology of education, social change, and the demography of inequality. A major focus in his current work is to refine existing frameworks for estimating the effects of demographic change on human capital formation. He applies these frameworks to study global trends in socioeconomic inequality. This work contributes to current policy efforts to expand schooling in developing countries but also to unanswered scientific questions about the consequences of demographic change.
Rural Economies and the Sustainable Agenda. A half-century review. Invited article to be published in Rural Sociology; in preparation.
Beyond Economics and Culture: A Demographic Perspective on Theories of Contraception. Forthcoming in Population and Development Review (2023)”
Editor and introductory Chapter. Forthcoming volume on Global Demographic Trends. To be published by INTECH Open (2022)
Eloundou-Enyegue, P. (2022). Youth Bulges and the Turn in Cameroon Economy. Oxford Handbook of the Economy of Cameroon (eds. Celestin Monga and Justin Yifu Lin.)
Kalasa, B., P. Eloundou-Enyegue, and SC. Giroux. 2021. Horizontal versus Vertical Inequalities: The relative significance of geography versus class in mapping subnational fertility. The Lancet. LANGLH-D-21-00546S2214-109X(21)00171-6
- Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Sarah Giroux and Michel Tenikue (March 22nd 2021). Demographic Analysis and the Decomposition of Social Change [Online First], IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.96350.
- Giroux, S., Eloundou-Enyegue, P., Sipple, J., & Tenikue, M. 2020. “A Global Equalizer? Education and the Recent Economic Convergence of World Countries.” Annual Review of Comparative Education 39:113-133.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P., Giroux, S., & Tenikue, M. (Accepted & forthcoming 2020). “Educational Expansion in Africa (1965–2010): Implications for Economic Inequality between Countries.” Book chapter in Education and Development, Palgrave Macmillan
- Anthony Poon, Sarah Giroux, Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, François Guimbretiere, and Nicola Dell. 2020. Baccalauréat Practice Tests in Cameroon: The Impact of SMS-Based Exam Preparation. In ICTD ’20: Eleventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development. ACM Press, New York, New York, USA. DOI Forthcoming
- Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General, Global Sustainable Development Report 2019: The Future is Now – Science for Achieving Sustainable Development, United Nations, New York, 2019.
- Peter Messerli, Eun Mee Kim, Wolfgang Lutz, Jean-Paul Moatti, Katherine Richardson, Muhammad Saidam, David Smith, Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Ernest Foli, Amanda Glassman, Gonzalo Hernandez Licona, Endah Murniningtyas, Jurgis Kazimieras Staniškis, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele and Eeva Furman (2019): Expansion of sustainability science needed for the SDGs Nature Sustainability 2:892–894.
- Eloundou-Enyegue PM. 2019. 50 questions sur le Dividende Demographique. (forthcoming) monograph to be published by IUSSP, Paris France.
- Poon, Anthony, S. Giroux, PM Eloundou-Enyegue, F. Guimbretiere, and N. Dell. Engaging High School Students with Practice Exam Quizzes via sms and WhatsApp. 2019. CHI Conference paper. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300712
- Eloundou-Enyegue PM, Sarah Giroux, and M. Tenikue. 2017. Are Africa’s transitions even? A Demographic Kuznets hypothesis. Population and Development Review 43(S1): 59-83.
- David L. Brown and P. Eloundou-Enyegue. 2016. Age Structure and Development: Beyond Malthus and Beyond Modernization. in G. Hooks and S. Cohen (eds.) Handbook of Development Sociology. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Eloundou-Enyegue PM and Noah Hirschl. 2017. Fertility transitions and demographic dividends in Africa. The Experience of Vanguard countries ; book chapter in J. May (editor). Dividend or Disaster. Will Africa Reap its Demographic Dividend.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. 2014. “On the Mechanical Contributions of Ageing to Global Income Inequality” in S. Harper and K. Hamblin (eds.) “International Handbook on Ageing and Public Policy. Oxford, Edward Elgar Publishers.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. , M. Tenikue, and M. Kuepie. (2014). Demographic Divergence an Inequality in the Next Generation. A Framework and Partial Test. in A Mturi, S.Mensah, and J. Casterline, (eds.). Fertility Diversity in Africa.
- Beninguissé, G., P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue, P. Nsoa Mbondo and P. Tanang TchoualaA (2013), "Tendances de la Mortalité des Enfants selon le Statut Socioéconomique en Afrique sub-Saharienne", in B. Masquelier and D. Tabutin (eds.) Ralentissements, Resistances et Ruptures dans les Transitions Démographiques, Presses Universitaires de Louvain, Belgium.
- Eloundou-Enyegue P.M. and S. Giroux . “The Role of Fertility in achieving Africa’s Schooling MDGs: Early Evidence for sub-Saharan Africa” Journal of Children and Poverty 19(1):21-44.
- Eloundou-Enyegue P.M. and S. Giroux . “Fertility Transitions and Schooling: From Micro-level to Macro-level Associations” Demography 49(4):1407-1432.
- Eloundou-Enyegue P.M., M. Tenikue and and V. Kandiwa. “Accounting for Global Inequality. A Reassessment of Demographic Contributions” under 3rd review in Demographic Research. John E. Sulston et al.  (project led by Sir J.E. Sulston). People and the Planet. Royal Society Science Policy Centre Report 01-12. The Royal Society Science Policy, London,UK.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. . “Demographics and Rural-Urban Divergencen in sub-Saharan Africa.” In International Handbook of Rural Demography. L. Kulcsar and KJ Curtis (eds.) (Springer).
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and S. Magazi . Teenage Pregnancy in Kavango Region: Contributing Factors and Program Recommendations: A Policy Study conducted for the United States Agency for International Development.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and F. Makki . “Virtuous or Vicious? Revisiting the Population Development Nexus in the MDG Era”, XavierIMB International Journal of Development and Social Research. 1:66-84.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and A. Rehman . “Growing Up Global and Equal? Recent Trends in Inequality among World Children.” Journal of Children and Poverty 15(2):95-118.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M., F. Makki, and S. Giroux . “Sex versus SES: The Changing Significance of Gender in Education Attainment in sub-Saharan Africa” Vol. 10 in the International Perspectives on Education and Society series.
- S. Giroux, P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue, and D. Lichter . “Recent Trends in Fertility Inequality in sub-Saharan Africa: Differentials versus Overall Inequality.” Studies in Family Planning 39(3):187-198.
- A. Rehman and P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue . “Minding the Orphans: African Crises, Rescue Institutions, and the Economy of Orphanhood.” The Current 11(1):47-61.
- V. Kandiwa and P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue . «Evolution de la Concentration du Confiage en Afrique : l’Exemple du Ghana et de la Zambie» Sociologie et Sociétés, vol XXXIX(2): 101-118.
- S. Giroux, F. Jah, and P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue . “A Foothold in the Urban Economy: Rural Disavantage in Schooling and Labor Force Participation in Cameroon” in A. Jackson and K. Schaft (eds): Rural Education for the Twenty-First Century: Identity, Place, and Community in a Globalizing World. College Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
- McHugh, O.V., A.N. McHugh, P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue, and T.S. Steenhuis . “Integrated Qualitative Assessment of Wetland Hydrological and Land Cover Changes in a Data Scarce Dry Ethiopian Highlands Watershed” Land Degradation & Development 18(6):643-658.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and C.S. Stokes . “Demographic Transitions and Children’s Resources: Growth or Divergence?” Demographic Research 16(7):195-218.
- Yukako S., V. Kandiwa and P.M. Eloundou-Enyegue . “The Rise of African NGOs: Functional or Opportunistic Response?” The Current 10(1):47-61.
- Eloundou-Enyegue P.M. 2006. (Book review). Issues in African Education: Sociological Perspectives (ed by Ali A Abdi and A. Cleghorn). Palgrave; Comparative Education Review.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and L.B. Williams . “The Effects of Family Size on Child Schooling in sub-Saharan Settings: A Reassessment.” Demography 43(1):25-52.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and A.E. Calves. . “Till Marriage Do Us Part: Education and Remittances from Married Women in sub-Saharan Africa.” Comparative Education Research 50(1):1-20.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and D. Shapiro . “Confiage d’Enfants et Nivèlement des Inégalités Scolaires au Cameroun» Cahiers Québecois de Démographie 34(1):47-75.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. . (Book review). Kinshasa in Transition: Women's Education, Employment, and Fertility, the University of Chicago Press; Comparative Education Review.
- Eloundou-Enyegue. P.M., D. Meekers and A.E. Calves . From Awareness to Adoption: The Effect of AIDS Education and Condom Social Marketing on Condom Use in Tanzania (1993-1996) Journal of Biosocial Sciences. 37(3):257-268.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and CS Stokes . “Teen Pregnancy and Gender Inequality in Education: A Contextual Hypothesis.” Demographic Research 11(11): 305-322.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. . “Pregnancy-Related Dropouts and Gender Inequality in Education: A LifeTable Approach and Application to Cameroon.” Demography 41(3):509-528.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M., J. Orcutt and A. McHugh . “Globalization asymmetry and relative deprivation in Africa,” in R. Christie Globalization and Sustainable Communities.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and J. DaVanzo . “Economic Downturns and Schooling Inequalities: Cameroon 1987-95.” Population Studies 57(2):183-197.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. . “In the Shadow of HIV: Is Population Growth Still a Problem in sub-Saharan Africa?” RAND Population Matters.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. and C.S. Stokes . "Will Economic Crises in Africa Weaken Rural-Urban Solidarity? Evidence from Cameroon." Rural Sociology 67:278-298.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. . "Is there A Population Implosion?" Environmental Change and Security Project Report 7:133-15.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M., C. S. Stokes, and G.T. Cornwell . "Are There Crisis-led Fertility Declines? Evidence from Central Cameroon." Population Research and Policy Review 19:47-92.
- Eloundou-Enyegue, P.M. . What do The Associations Between Education and FertilityMean? Pp. 287-305 in C. Bledsoe, J.B. Casteline, J.J Kuhn, and J. Haaga, eds. Critical Perspectives on Schooling and Fertility in the Developing World. Washington DC, National Academy Press.
Parfait's teaching rotation now includes two undergraduate courses and one graduate course. At the undergraduate level, he teaches courses in social science research methods, and in education and inequality. Both courses are designed to meet key learning objectives at Cornell, specifically helping students "evaluate and effectively interpret factual claims and theories, and integrate quantitative and qualitative information to reach defensible conclusions."
At the graduate level, Parfait has taught a course on Population and Development and he is now teaching a new course on the Empirics of Development and Inequality. The course takes students through the entire research process and reviews the range of methodological choices and likely pitfalls at each step of the process. Influential papers from the development literature are discussed and students get the opportunity to draft an empirical research paper focusing on a development issue of their choice.
- DSOC 3130 Social Indicators
- DSOC 3050 Education, Inequality, and Development
- DSOC6001: Empirics of Development and Inequality
- Introduction to Sociology
Outreach & extension focus
Parfait's international outreach program seeks to strengthen social and demographic research in sub-Saharan Africa. With support from the Hewlett Foundation and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), Parfait has built an outreach program to support institutions that conduct demographic research and policy analysis throughout Francophone Africa. Their work has reached over 25 institutes in the region and nearly 150 trainees. In addition to training, they organize scientific and policy conferences in the region to disseminate key research findings about population and development.
Past efforts have also involved advising global development institutions, non governmental groups and African nations on issues regarding trends in population and schooling, and their medium-term implications for socioeconomic development.
Grant funded research
Cornell Lab of African Policy (CLAP). Proposal to submit to the Einaudi Center, to create a Summer program on the analysis, design, and evaluation of Africa’s development policies. 2023.
Harnessing Knowledge for Africa’s Development: A Training Proposal to submit to the MasterCard Foundation (to be submitted by Cornell’s IAD; on hold). 2023.
Family Planning and Women’s Empowerment. Collaborative proposal with the Gutmacher Institute, submitted to USAID, awaiting decision. (200k for our share of the global proposal). 2023.
Accounting for Food Security Among African Children: A Research and Training Project US Department of State (30,000). 2022-23.
A Second Gondwana. Demographic Trends and Inequality in sub-Saharan Africa. Polson Institute for Global Development seed grant 18k. 2022.
- The End of Schooling: Transforming Education Systems from Instruction to Cultivation ($300,000 proposal to the Spencer Foundation; Awaiting decision in November), 2020
- Harnessing a demographic dividend in sub-Saharan Africa ($100,000). Hewlett Foundation, 2017.
- Africa's Youth Bulge and Security Implications ($1,360 000). US Department of Defense, 2016
- Harnessing a Demographic Dividend in sub-Saharan Africa. Hewlett Foundation $275,000, 2013*
- Cyberboosting African Social Science. Exporting the CISER Experience. Cornell ISS Small Grants Program ($4,021); with William Block. 2012*
- Training grant to advance demographic research in sub-Saharan Africa. Hewlett Foundation ($750,000) PI: Mary Ellen Zuppan, Executive Director IUSSP. Role: Project Coordinator, Chair of the Project Panel.
- Training grant to advance population studies in sub-saharan Africa. Hewlett Foundation ($400,000). 2010*
- Training grant to advance demographic research in sub-Saharan Africa. Hewlett Foundation ($400,000) PI: Mary Ellen Zuppan, Executive Director IUSSP. Role: Project Coordinator, Chair of the Project Panel. 2009.
- Research grant to study schooling and fertility transitions in SSA..Spencer Foundation ($489,000), 2008*
- Training grant to enhance population studies in sub-Saharan Africa. Hewlett Foundation ($300,000), 2007*
- Research grant to conduct policy research on education and transitions into employment in Cameroon. Strategies for Access and Growth in Africa (SAGA Project). ($12,000). 2003
- Dissemination grant to train African policy makers in education data analysis RAND Corporation ($7,000). 2001*
- The Effects of High Fertility on Human Capital under Structural Adjustment The Futures Group Global Policy Project (18 months - ~$110 000). 1998*
- Population Growth, Economic Crisis, and Schooling in sub-Saharan Africa. Spencer Foundation (2 years - $184,921). 1997*
- Social Context, Population Policy, and Demographic Change in Cameroon. Rockefeller Foundation (2 years - $125,000). 1997*
Recent presentations (selected)
- November 2020. Key note address to present at the Conference on “Generational Economy and structural transformation in Covid era in West Africa.”
- October 2020. Africa’s Youth Bulge: Between Vitality and Violence. Insights from a Minerva Project. Presentation at the
- August 2020. Winning the Decade of Transformation. Series of Presentations at the United Nations System Staff College.
- July 2020. Inégalités sous Covid-19 : Nouvelles Distanciations? Lecture at the Marseilles IRD Summer School on Sustainable Development Goals.
- March 2020. Cultivating the Demographic Dividend. A People-Centered Approach. Presentation at the Johns Hopkins Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Reproductive Health.
- February 2020. The 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report: Summary and Implications for Africa. Presentation at the sixth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.
- October 2019. ICPD25, Demographic Dividends, and Sustainable Development: Presentation at the ICPD Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
- October 2019. The GSDR. A Milestone to the Decade of Delivery. Presentation at the UN Foundation.
- October 2019. Transforming Behaviors and Values: Levers and Leadership. Presentation at the United Nations Incheon Conference on the Decade of Transformation.
- May 2019. Leaving No One Out. Key note Presentation at the UN for the (50th) Anniversary of the adoption of the Organization of African Unity Convention on Refugees.
- April 2019. Africas in Transition. Investing in Youth. Presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center
- February 2019. National Conference on Data Journalism. Presenter and organizer of National Conference on Policy communication. Yaounde.
- January 2019. Communicating Science and the Science of Communication. Presenter and organizer of National Conference on Policy communication. Yaounde.
- December 2018. Education and the 2030 Agenda. Round table presentation at the UNESCO Global Education Meeting, Brussels, Belgium.
- November 2018. Cornell Grand Challenges, Organized by the Office of Vice Provost for International Affairs.
- May 2018. Global Economic Inequality. Trends, Drivers and Policy Implications. International Symposium on Global Inequality. Siena Italy,.
- April 2018. Polson symposium on Science-Policy Interface. Bridging Divides in the Sustainable Development Era ... A Critical Review of the Societal Gains from Evidence-Based Policy.
- January 2018. Expert presentation on the links between population, food security and poverty reduction, United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. Rome, Italy. January 2018
- November 2017: Data for Development: Building demographic data capacity in LDCs. Plenary Session. International Conference for the Scientific Study of Population.
- November 2017: Demographic Dividends and Human Capital Investments in Africa: Scientific presentation, International Conference for the Scientific Study of Population.
- November 2016. Second demographic dividend in post-transition countries. Prospects, Prerequisites and Policies. UNFPA, Algeria.
- November 2017. Monitoring the Addis Declaration on Population and Development. A Framework. UNFPA and Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- June 2016. “Priority Policies to Harness the Demographic Dividend in Africa” UNFPA high level conference on the demographic Dividend Dakar, Senegal
- May 2016. “Monitoring the African Union Resolutions on Population and Development” Policy-makers meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- March 2016. The Demographic Dividend at the Crossroads. UNFPA Summit on the Demographic Dividend. Abuja, Nigeria
- February 2016. Population and International Development. Veterinary School, Cornell University
- December 2015. A Policy Framework for the Study of Demographic Dividends. United Nations (UNFPA), New York City.
- December 2015. Education and the Demographic Dividend. Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC.
- November 2015. 50 ans de Demographie. University of Montreal, Canada.
- November 2015.The Demographid Dividend: Is Consensus Possible. Union for African Population Studies, CapeTown, South Africa.
- November 4-7, 2015. ‘"Of Populations and Power: Demography, the Rise of the BRICs, and U.S. National Security.’ Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA), The United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.
- August 2015. Divide(nd) et Impera. Demographic Dividends and Global Inequality. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
- June 2015. Population and Global Inequality: The Silly Debate? Brown University, Providence RI
- June 2015. African Fertility Transitions and Economic Inequality. National Academy of Sciences. Washington DC
- April 23, 2015. 'Mapping Research Approaches to the Demographic Dividend'. Webinar for the Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC. http://www.prb.org/Events/2015/mapping-demographic-dividend-webinar.aspx
- May 12, 2015. Generational Inequality in the Sahel a Security Risk (Woodrow Wilson Center) ,Washington, DC. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-sahel-beyond-the-headlines-population-environment-and-security-dynamics
- June 2014. Population and Development. New Perspectives. Brown University, Providence, RI.
- April 17, 2014. Growing Up Global and Unequal. World Trends in Inequality among Children (US National Academy of Sciences),Washington, DC.
- April 11 2014. MDGs and Beyond 2015: The Lion's Share. Cornell University)Ithaca NY
- March 5 2014. Africa: The Elevator narrative.(Fafanua l’Afrique, Cornell University)Ithaca NY
265 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
pme7 [at] cornell.edu
Parfait in the news
- Department of Global Development
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Global Development
- Department of Global Development
- Climate Change