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close this bookGATE - 3/91 - Impact - A Neglected Dimension of AT (GTZ GATE, 1991, 52 p.)
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International development scene

Family Planning Targets Critical for Development and Survival
The cost of meeting international targets in fertility and family planning will double in the next ten years - but the costs of missing them will be far higher, says this year's State of World Population Report from UNFPA/United Nations Population Fund.

"Reaching the targets will be critical for development - and even human survival - in the next century", says the Report.

The target is to increase the number of couples in developing countries using modern, voluntary family planning methods from 381 million in 1990 to 567 million by the end of the century, a net increase of about 50 per cent. The actual number of men and women choosing to plan their families for the first time or moving from one method of contraception to another will be about 2 billion.

Reaching the target will raise the proportion using modern contraceptive methods from 51 per cent to 59 per cent of married women of reproductive age in developing countries. The Report describes this as a "realistic" and "modest" target, but with "profound implications for programmes and policies". It was first adopted in 1989 by the International Forum on Population in the 21st Century, and is reflected in the International Development Strategy for the fourth United Nations Development Decade.

Providing these services will increase the cost of population programmes from $4.5 billion (thousand million) in 1990 to $9 billion annually by the year 2000. The bulk of resources for population programmes are found by developing countries themselves. Total development assistance for population is about $675 million. The Report envisages that international assistance will rise to $4.5 billion (including $ 1 billion from UNFPA) with $3.5 billion from governments in developing countries and $1 billion from users.

Reaching more people: Television gives opportunities to give family planning message in an entertaining way. Many countries have devised soap-operas, minidramas, jingles and slogans to reach increasing numbers of people the world over.
Illustration: Clive Offley. UNFPA State of World Population Report 1991.

The targets are based on the United Nations "medium" or "most likely" projection for future population growth. Keeping on this track implies that world population will rise from 5.4 billion in mid-1991 to 6.4 billion in 2001 and 8.5 billion in 2025. This last figure has just been revised upwards by 38 million, "a small but significant increase," according to the Report.

Projections for the more distant future may have to be revised drastically. Expectations that population would stabilize at about 10.2 billion in about 2075 are being questioned; some analysts suggest that 10 billion may be reached by 2050, and that population growth will continue for a century after that, leveling off at about 11.6 billion. Such possibilities "underscore the need for action," says the Report.

"The urgency of meeting the targets is further underscored by the extent of urban growth; the extent of environmental damage; the impending food crisis in many developing countries, the extent of infant and maternal mortality; the number of girls out of school; the continuing low status of women; and the mounting pressures of migration within and between countries," says the Report.

Signs of hope

There are signs of hope, according to the Report. "Compared with any previous generation women are saying that they want fewer children; although actual fertility is much higher than 'wanted' fertility in many countries, it is now falling in all regions of the developing world. In some countries it has fallen very rapidly. The voluntary use of contraception in developing countries has grown from 10 per cent of couples in the 1960s to 51 per cent today."

The Report points out the importance of strong programmes: "The experience of the last 20 years shows that strong, well-managed family planning programmes are highly effective. By purely voluntary means, they have achieved smaller family size, healthier mothers and children and more balanced rates of population growth in developing countries in many different parts of the world and in a wide variety of social and economic settings."

But, the Report warns, "Family planning is far more than merely contraception. It is part of an environment in which everyone has opportunities and choices. Building these opportunities begins at birth, and depends among other things on the position of girls and women in their societies. Higher status for women brings more ability to choose; where the choice is available, women will take advantage of it.

Better family planning programmes are not the responsibility of one group of countries or individuals, the Report concludes. "As an essential part of the mechanism of development, responsibility for family planning belongs to everyone. The future depends on it."

UN Information Service

For companies seeking partners in developing countries, TIPS (Technological Information Pilot System) is the vehicle to assist them. An information service of the United Nations Development Programme designed to expand technology and trade transactions of developing countries, TIPS offer daily bulletins in different sectors, and a query service to match supply and demand.

The sectors covered are agro-industries, biotechnology, building materials, business opportunities, chemicals, electronics, energy, fisheries, food processing, machinery, mining, packaging, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

TIPS maintains a database containing more than 35 000 records of South offers and requests. Its national offices, which are in daily contact with companies, are based in countries that represent more than two-thirds of the population of developing countries. Thus, TIPS open a window to a very large market.

Firms wishing to have their requirements registered in its database and featured in the bulletins can get in touch with the nearest TIPS office or

Via Panispera 203
Rome 00184, Italy
Phone: 482-6967
Fax: 4828838

CTA and Documentary Microcomputing

As part of its mission to train the agricultural information services of the ACP states, CTA organizes introductory courses in documentary microcomputing.

These courses consist of two stages: first, an introduction to the basics of microcomputing, and second, practice in the use of agricultural databases. Between the two stages each participant works individually on a project relevant to his or her particular needs, using the skills and knowledge acquired in stage one.

The main aim of these courses is to give agricultural information and documentation staff a basic knowledge of documentary computing, sufficient for them to master the essentials of computerized documentation, so that they can use, and add to, agricultural databases.

The first-level courses were held last year in Bordeaux (France) with the help of the Ecole Internationale for the French-speakers and at Lilongwe, Malawi, for the English-speakers in conjunction with SACCAR and the University of Botswana. The second level courses will be held during the second half of 1991 in Senegal and Botswana.


Congress on Medicinal Plants

A congress on medicinal plants is to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 4 to 6 October 1991. It is being organized by CETAAR (Center for the Study of Appropriate Technology of Argentina).
CETAAR has been working on the recovery of popular knowledge of medicinal plants since 1985, in order to promote their correct use and application in primary health care.

For further information please contact

Casilla de Correa 80
1727 - Marcos Paz
Buenos Aires

Training Course on Energy Management

From 7 October to 8 November 1991 the University of Twente and the International Institute for Management (both in The Netherlands) will be holding a joint training course on energy management. The course has been run every year since 1987.

The five-week course, which is designed primarily for managers of small and medium-scale industries (SMI), will cover the following main areas:

· analysis of the role of energy in production processes in relation to economic viability and environmental effects;

· availability and acquisition of energy, and the modes of energy supply;

· analysis of choice of fuels, conversion equipment and machinery;

· formulation of policy options and strategies for energy in SMI.

For further information please contact:

Course Administrator
Mrs. Ir. G. L. Stassen-te Velde
Technology and Development Group
University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
NL-7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Third International Seminar on Management of Information Related to Water and the Environment

This seminar will be held at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Trevuren, near Brussels, Belgium, on 14 and 15 November 1991.

It is being organized within the framework of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IMP) in collaboration with the Belgian National Committee for the International Hydrological Programme (BNCIHP).

For further information please contact

Secretariat Seminar
W.W. de Mes
Rapporteur, UNESCO-IMP
Loevestein 27
NL-2403 JC Alphen a/d Rijn
The Netherlands
Tel. office: (+ 31) 2510-95415
Tel. home: (+ 31) 1720-45223
Fax: (+ 31) 1720-74935

"Bibliographic Information on Development"

The Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex (UK) will be holding another seminar on "Bibliographic Information on Development" from 24 August to 11/12 September 1992.

Further information on this IDS course is available from:

The Chairman, Teaching Area, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RE
Tel.: (+ 44) 273 606261
Fax: (+ 44) 273 678420
Telex: 877997 IDSBTN G