The need to integrate population concerns in development has long been recognized internationally and nationally. The 1967 UN Declaration of Population stated that the population problem is a principal element in long-range national planning. This was seconded by the World Population Conference in Bucharest in1974 which stated in its World Population Plan of Action that “the essential aim of the population program is the social, economic and cultural development of countries; it recognizes that population variables and development are interdependent; and that population policies and objectives are an integral part (constituent elements) of socioeconomic development policies.”
During the ICPD in 1994, the indisputable interrelationship of population and development (POPDEV) was given emphasis in its Programme of Action. The ICPD articulated the need to meet the needs of individuals within the framework of universally recognized human rights standards instead of merely meeting demographic goals. The adoption of this Programme of Action marks a new phase of commitment and determination to effectively integrate population issues into socioeconomic development proposals and to achieve a better quality of life for all individuals, including those of future generations. Essentially, it promoted the integration of population factors in sustainable development initiatives. Recognizing the interrelationships between population, sustained economic growth, and sustainable development is a key element of the integrated strategy.
Recognizing the importance and necessity of integrating population dimensions in development initiatives and processes, the PPMP will continue to adopt POPDEV integration as its key strategy. This key program component and strategy essentially seeks to put people – their needs and aspirations – as the main consideration in developing policy and program interventions. It promotes a mindset that explicitly recognizes people as the subject and object of development.
As a population management strategy, POPDEV integration is defined as the explicit consideration and integration of population dynamics and dimensions in the critical steps of any development initiative, such as plan and program development, policy formulation, database management and utilization, and other efforts that aim to improve, in a sustainable manner, the development conditions of the people and the locality in which they live.
The strategy seeks, in the long term, to enable institutions to create an enabling environment for people to achieve their development goals through a well-managed population. Having a well-managed population means the achievement of population processes and outcomes that are consistent with, complementary to, and facilitative of socioeconomic and human development. It is about making a connection between population factors and development initiatives to ensure integrated and sustainable development. Explicitly integrating population into economic and development strategies will both speed up the pace of sustainable development and poverty alleviation and contribute to the achievement of population objectives and an improved quality of life of the population.