The National Institute for Population Studies (NIPS) under the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (MoNHSR&C), the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) under the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform (MoPDR) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held the official launch of In-Depth Analytical Reports on Unmet Need for Family Planning, Child Marriage & Gender-Based Violence and National Transfer of Account (NTA), based on Pakistan Demographic & Health Survey-PDHS (2017-18), in an event in Islamabad.
The joint launching ceremony was co-hosted by the MoNHSR&C, MoPDR and UNFPA. Kanwal Shauzeb, parliamentary secretary for planning, development and reforms, attended as the keynote speaker, while Dr Nasser Mohiuddin, Director General (Technical) represented the MoNHSR&C/NIPS and Muqaddar Shah represented UNFPA at the launch ceremony.
The PDHS based in-depth analyses on unmet need for family planning, child marriage and gender-based violence in support of policy dialogue and formulation have been carried out by the NIPS, whereas, the NTA report is developed by the PIDE, with technical support from UNFPA. The in-depth analyses reports focus upon the factors contributing towards high unmet need for family planning services, socioeconomic factors leading to early and child marriages and gender-based violence in Pakistan. The NTA report demonstrated the linkages of population growth and changing population age structure with economic growth, public finances, and other important features of the macro-economy as well as gender and generational equity.
Representative from UNFPA, in his opening remarks said that population data and evidence of trends are critical for development. Without accurate data, investment and planning in the areas most in need could not be identified. “UNFPA, being one of the world’s largest funders of population data collection since 1980s, has assisted the Government of Pakistan in conducting the population censuses and other large-scale population-based surveys including PDHS, to provide quality data, crucial for developing policies and programs to foster the country’s economic growth, social justice and a measure of access to human rights.” He added.
Dr. Nasser Mohiuddin, DG (Tech), MoNHSR&C/ NIPS, highlighted that PDHS (2017-18) is the most referred report generated by the NIPS and it covers data on a number of demographic indicators including the prevalence of child marriage and gender-based violence in Pakistan. The in-depth analyses reports presented by the senior researchers from NIPS would sensitize the parliamentarians and policy makers on their causative factors and also guide them to address these important social issues.
Kanwal Shauzeb in her keynote address said, “The construction of the National Transfer Accounts for Pakistan by PIDE would help in understanding how people at different ages produce and consume, and fulfil their deficit. In addition, it would support the government in better allocation of resources as the NTA deals in detail how public and private finances are allocated and used. Evidence based policy-making is imperative for it to be sound and effective, and NTA provides evidence regarding a lot of important factors including health and education.” she said in her keynote address.