Expert group meeting on Fertility, changing population trends and development: challenges and opportunities for the future

New York

21 October 2013 to 22 October 2013


This expert group meeting addresses key questions about fertility patterns and trends, implications for age structure changes and other population trends and effective policy responses. The meeting results will inform preparations for the forty-seventh session of the Commission on Population and Development in 2014, the theme of which is the assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

Organization of work

Monday, 21 October 2013

9:00 – 10:15

Joint with Expert Group Meeting on Priorities for Improving Survival: ICPD Beyond 2014


1. Opening of the meeting

  • John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division



2. Overviews of trends in mortality and fertility since ICPD

  • Cheryl Sawyer, Mortality Section, Population Division

  • Vladimira Kantorova, Fertility and Family Planning Section, Population Division

10:25 – 11:40

3. Fertility trends in high- and intermediate-fertility countries


  • Moderator: Amson Sibanda, Division for Social Policy and Development/DESA


11:50 – 13:30 

4. Different pathways to low fertility and effective policy approaches to address low fertility 



  • Moderator: Ralph Hakkert, UNFPA


14:45 – 16:00 

 5. Young people and the transition to adulthood

What are current challenges to young people’s transitions to adulthood (family formation, human capital and sexual and reproductive health) and policy prospects to address them?


  • Moderator: Sajeda Amin, Population Council



6. Links between fertility, reproductive rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality


  • Moderator: Patience Stephens, UN-Women


17:30 – 18:00 

7. Closing of day 1 and guidance for day 2

  • Moderator: Francesca Perucci, Population Division


Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Joint with Expert Group Meeting on Priorities for Improving Survival: ICPD Beyond 2014

9:00 – 11:00

1. Summaries and interactive discussions: key challenges and opportunities for further progress in improving life expectancy and responding to implications of fertility trends for the global development agenda.

  • Experts: Alberto Palloni, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Monica Das Gupta, University of Maryland.

    Two experts will present their views of the key points arising from the first day of each expert group meeting. Participants will engage in an interactive discussion on the key findings from the meeting, including the prioritization of issues for the global development agenda moving forward and of effective policy responses for shaping future population trends. The discussion will also identify promising future research directions.


  • Moderator: John Wilmoth, Population Division


11:15 – 13:00 

2. Interactive discussion: perspectives on how to improve accessibility and utilization of data and evidence by policymakers

  • Is getting health and population data and evidence to be used by policymakers more of a supply or demand issue?

  • What are the gaps between policymakers' needs and data availability?

  • What innovative strategies are there to get data and evidence to be used by policymakers?


  • Experts: Kirsty Newman (DFID, by videolink) and Hans Rosling, Gapminder Foundation


  • Moderator: Francesca Perucci, Population Division 


13:00 – 13:30

Conclusions and future directions:

  • John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division 


Expert papers

Monica Das Gupta, University of Maryland.

No. 2013/2 - Women’s Empowerment and Fertility: Policy Lessons

Caroline W. Kabiru, Chimaraoke O. Izugbara, Donatien Béguy, and Estelle M. Sidze, African Population and Health Research Center.

No. 2013/3 - Transitions to Adulthood in a High Fertility Context: the Case of Sub-Saharan Africa

John Bongaarts, Population Council.

No. 2013/4 - How Exceptional is the Pattern of Fertility Decline in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Suzana Cavenaghi, National School of Statistical Science (ENCE), Brazilian National Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Brazil. 

No. 2013/5 - Fertility Decline and Public Policies to Address Population Rights: Perspective from Latin America

Zoe Matthews, Sylvia Szabo, University of Southampton, UK and Adriane Martin Hilber, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland. 

No. 2013/6 - What are the population-level impacts of enabling people to exercise their reproductive rights?

Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue, Cornell University, United States of America.

No. 2013/7 - Harnessing a Demographic Dividend: Challenges and Opportunities in High and Intermediate Fertility Countries

Tomáš Sobotka, Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences and Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, Austria. 

No. 2013/8 - Pathways to Low Fertility: European Perspectives                   

Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, Australian National University, Australia; University of Tehran, Iran, and Bhakta Gubhaju, Australian National University, Australia.

No. 2014/1 - Different Pathways to Low Fertility in Asia: Consequences and Policy Implications                                                                                                                                                                      


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