The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) is organizing, in collaboration with the Office of Research Affairs of the United Arab Emirates University, a workshop on “Strengthening the Skills of Demographers and Population Experts in Demographic Analysis and its Relationship with Development”, on 5 and 6 December 2007, in Al Ain Rotana Hotel, United Arab Emirates.
Participants in the meeting, which opens at 9:30 AM on Wednesday 5 December 2007, include experts from UN-ESCWA, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UAE University, national agencies for planning and information and national councils and committees in addition to a number of experts in the fields of social science and economics. The meeting brings together as well researchers in regional research centers specialized in demography and planning and development.
The workshop is implemented within the framework of the UNFPA-supported project on the “Integration of demographic transition in the process of development planning in the Arab region”; and in line with UN-ESCWA’s continuous efforts in analyzing the demographic transition and its implications. The meeting also represents the basis for a new project, which focuses on the “post-demographic transition era”. It aims at activating the role of Arab research and academic centers in promoting new concepts, and at encouraging research centers to come up with new methodologies and to improve their role in disseminating contemporary and up-to-date knowledge.
The objective of the meeting is to discuss the outline and basic components of a guide or manual, with a view to upgrade demographic knowledge and define the indicators that should be used by researchers in research and training centers and experts in the fields of population and demography. This manual is intended to assist in understanding the complex linkages between demographic and socio-economic changes. It will also help in identifying the opportunities offered by the demographic transition and in depicting its onset and its social and economic returns. The long-term objectives of the workshop are to strengthen the scientific methods and adopt an integrated approach in setting national development policies in order to ensure an accord between economic and social policies and to improve the process of decision-making in light of the contemporary concepts of demographic analysis and the quantitative and qualitative dimensions that should be taken into account.
Participants will also discuss the theoretical and conceptual aspects of the relationship between demographic analysis, economic growth and social development; they will also deliberate the quantitative aspects including socio-economic indicators related to demographic transition, and the practical aspects including policies and the necessary institutional conditions that should be available to assimilate the expected demographic opportunities. Participants will also deal with the relationship between demographic changes and the Millennium Development Goals and present what some Arab countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are doing to deal with the challenges of demographic window of opportunity.