This week, a bunch of us from PRB are in Accra, Ghana for the 6th Annual Research Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development as part of the PopPov Research Network. The Population and Poverty Research Network (PopPov) was created in 2005, when the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation formed partnerships with funding agencies and program implementers, bringing together researchers from leading higher education institutions worldwide. PopPov’s goal is to provide clear evidence that investing in reproductive health can provide economic benefits at both the household and country level, and how to reach policymakers and donors with these messages. This week, conference participants will present their ongoing and completed research on population, reproductive health, and economic development; identify gaps in evidence and methods that inhibit the development of sound policies on population and economic development; and discuss examples of the influence of research on policies and how to communicate research findings to policymakers.
We’re honored to be co-hosting the conference with the University of Ghana. Fred Sai, Former Presidential Advisor on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS, will give the keynote address tomorrow. I’m excited to hear his perspective on the progress and challenges since the International Conference on Population and Development (the “Cairo conference”) in 1994. (Dr. Sai was the chair of the conference’s Main Committee.) Since then, the focus of global family planning efforts has shifted to women’s rights and empowerment, for women to be able to decide the family size they desire and have control over their fertility. Donor funding and programming for family planning is increasing, but the links to economic development is not as clear. And with many other public health and development issues competing for donor and policy attention, strong evidence is needed. I expect Dr. Sai, and the conference in general, to discuss many of these issues.
Throughout the week, I’ll be blogging from Accra and interviewing researchers on various population and economic issues and their implications for public policy. Stay tuned for more posts from Accra and quite a few videos on the PRB site over the coming weeks. Want to learn more about the conference? Visit the PopPov website for the agenda, conference paper abstracts, and more.