World Population Day: Understanding Health Needs to Plan Strategically
As we marked World Population Day 2010: Everyone Counts on Sunday, we were reminded of the importance of evidence and data to drive good policy, program design and implementation in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
According to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the focus of this year’s World Population Day is on the 2010 population and housing census, data analysis for development and the organization’s role in population and development. "Reliable data makes a difference, and the key is to collect, analyze and disseminate data in a way that drives good decision making," UNFPA states.
"With quality data we can better track and make greater progress to achieve the [MDGs], and promote and protect the dignity and human rights of all people," Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the UNFPA, said. She added, "If every woman received reproductive health care, maternal death and disability would cease to be the devastatingly common tragedy it is today."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also commented on the importance of collecting data on populations in order to make better decisions in terms of development. "To be counted is to become visible," Ban said, adding, "On this World Population Day, I call on decision-makers everywhere to make each and every person count. Only by considering the needs of all women and men, girls and boys, can we achieve the [MDGs] and advance the shared values of the United Nations."
K4Health is supporting these efforts by sponsoring events throughout the week to promote family planning in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malawi, and Nigeria to celebrate World Population Day and to demonstrate how participants can better access and share the latest evidence and best practices using our services and products. We want to mobilize existing family planning technical working groups, or create them, to champion a series of in-country activities to collect reliable data so that it can be analyzed and disseminated so that decisions are made based on evidence.
We hope that the World Population Day activities will spur further collaboration and knowledge exchange worldwide, as well as help develop relationships in countries to ensure essential family planning and reproductive health information reaches those who need it the most.
Chris Rottler, Senior Communication Manager