19th Annual Population Research Conference "Population and Development - Policy and Programme Implementation Challenges in Pakistan"

  • -
  • 9:00 am
  • University of Peshawar

Background of PAP:

The Population Association of Pakistan (PAP) holds its annual research conference since 2000 in collaboration with leading university of the country to promote and disseminate knowledge of research in Pakistan. The conference provides an opportunity to policy makers, researchers, politicians, religious leaders, media, civil society and development partners to deliberate upon population and development related issues. Thus far, PAP has organized 18 Annual Research Conferences in the main universities of Pakistan at Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.

The past conferences have been instrumental in bringing to the attention of key policy makers a variety of social sector issues that have a direct bearing on the developmental prospects of Pakistan. The population paradigm has been discussed taking into consideration a wide a variety of parameters. The evidence presented at the conference has widely been used in the development of policy and has influenced changing perceptions and priorities at various levels of government, and development partners.

Conference theme:

Population and Development - Policy and Programme Implementation Challenges in Pakistan

Objectives of the Conference:

  • Provide a forum to discuss policy and implementation challenges of population and development agenda in Pakistan
  • Fostering population policy and programme implementation at federal and provincial levels
  • Bring to notice, for the new federal and provincial governments, the centrality of population in development agenda of Pakistan in the light of recent Population Census 2017 & PDHS 2017-18.

Pakistan started the 2nd national program on family planning in the world during early 1960s. The of family planning program experienced series of resistances and constraints and progress remained less than optimal. Program performance gained momentum during 1990s to 2005 and then stalled. The last PAP conference underscored that population of Pakistan will be more than 400 million on its 100th birthday.

The recent population census of Pakistan, highlighted the centrality of demography in human and social development. The figure of 400 million will be reflected in the denominator of all per capita development indicators of the year 2047 and ultimately wipe out the gains in development. This scenario needs to be avoided and changed. Unabated population growth seriously challenges equitable distribution of resources and will continue to haunt Pakistan unless an inclusive approach to development is adopted, and harbor evidence-based policy making with strict programme implementation.

Even with provincial population polices in place, family planning continues to face serious implementation challenges. The issues of service delivery are overshadowed by lack of governance, geographic coverage and equity. While we grapple with the snowball effect of mis-governace and implementation gaps in education, health, drinking water and population sectors new issues have surfaced. The issues of climate change are emerging and under the geo-political milieu of Pakistan may cause to evaporate the benefits of development. On the other hand, Pakistan has an increased number of young population who are graduating in unprecedented numbers from higher education institutions. The conference will invite a private sector university to bring in the case of higher education in Pakistan. PAP will collaborate with a private sector university to arrange panel discussions on both in and out of school youth and how can we contribute to the global economy in the wake of negative population growth rate in many countries and the return of unskilled labor from abroad. The age structure of Pakistan shows a very young population, that faces the challenges of induction in global economy, with lack of education and productive employable skills.

The sustainable development agenda 2030, is a call to action, with greater emphasis on reaching bottom of the pyramid first, leaving “no one” and “no place” behind. It is not new knowledge that policies the address demographic variables, directly influence the quality of life of any population. There is mounting evidence, from past several decades that family planning programs are among the most cost effective ways to address most of the stringent developmental challenges. Reduction in fertility can reduce labor market inequity, improve both mother and child health to say the least. The distance to inclusive development targets get shorter if we take the route of improving the quality and coverage of population programmes by reaching the poor segment of population particularly living in marginalized areas. When poor families have access to voluntary family planning services and means to reduce fertility, they will invest in education and health to increase human productivity and thereby help in the development of economy, thereby, making inclusive human development a reality.

Sub themes (conference sessions):

  1. Inequity issues in development process: Regional disparities and gaps in implementations of in labor market, health, education, and family planning programs
  2. FATA and KP merger. The planning and operation challenges.
  3. Climate change and water scarcity Issues
  4. Consequences of internal migration and rapid urbanization
  5. Population census 2017 results and its integration in planning process
  6. Latest evidences from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (2017-18) and its implications for achieving population policy goals
  7. Innovative approaches to stabilize population growth in all regions
  8. Youth engagement for productive and marketable skills
  9. Panel discussion and education EXPO: Preparing higher education sector for the challenges of global job market (third day exclusive with Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology, Peshawar)

Poster Presentation:

There will be poster presentations of completed MPil and PhD thesis. The interested students of all “HEC approved universities located in KPK” can take part in the poster presentation. The topic should be related to social sciences and population & development issues. The PAP and UoP will select 20 theses for poster presentation. An honorarium of Rs. 5,000/- (lumpsum) will be provided to each poster presenter. Guidelines on poster preparation will be shared separately.