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Friday, 20 September 2013 00:51

World Demographic Trends

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The Global Social Change Research Project began in 2000, with a goal of bringing together knowledge of our social, political and economic world, where we are, how we got here, and where we are going.  A solid understanding of the world is the first step for improving living conditions of all people throughout the world. A major part of the project is to develop reports about global social, political and economic trends, that are easy for anyone to understand.

The most recent report is a summary of how population trends are explained by births, deaths, migration, age distributions, and infant mortality rates and total fertility. For example, the population in most regions is still increasing, because there are still more births than deaths. Age distributions also explain population trends. A larger proportion of the population that are children means more people who have yet to attain adulthood and who, in the future, are likely to have children, which means continued population growth. So, Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to other regions, has the highest proportion of children, and the highest population growth rates, and can be expected to continue to have the highest population growth rates. This summary report, and the other demographic trends reports, are based on data from the World Population Prospects, 2012 Revision, available at the UN data page.

Reports from the Global Social Change Project can help the public to understand how the world is changing, and how those changes may influence climate change.


UNFPA is supporting adaptation in developing countries through incorporating population dynamics and data in national, provincial and local climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning. There are four objectives: 1) Carry out climate change vulnerability and adaptation studies by integrating population data (particularly geographic analysis and mapping of census data and social and health survey data) and climate change risk data; 2) Develop scenario-based strategies for local climate change adaption with population data as a primary input; 3) Support developing countries in climate change adaption policy formulation and implementation; 4) Enhance national and local institutional capacity to generate evidence-based adaptation plans. Currently UNFPA is supporting efforts in Malawi and Indonesia, and will scale up to other countries. Best practices from the case studies include: the utility of census data for vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning; The importance of integrating population trends, characteristics and projections into climate response; The need to focus adaptation efforts not just on geographies of exposure and vulnerable infrastructure, but on demographic and social vulnerabilities, resilience and impacts.

Thursday, 25 July 2013 03:00

Global Sustainable Development Priorities

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The UN is looking for input from experts on priorities for global sustainable development. Here is your chance to have your voice heard in the latest Global Sustainable Development Report:

The aims of the report are to:

  • Map the sustainable development assessments and related processes, provide science digests of issues not contained in assessments, and highlight emerging issues identified by scientists;
  • Review sustainable development progress since 1950 versus goals suggested by science and in terms of trends in policy, institutions and implementation of commitments, and sketch the geography of sustainable development progress;
  • Tell the “stories” of future pathways toward sustainable development based on the literature, contrasted against a dynamics-as-usual scenario;
  • Discuss investment and technology needs to achieve the future pathways outlined above, provide a status report on the global Rio+20 follow-up processes on the “means of implementation”, and discuss the pros and cons of new measures of progress “beyond GDP” and related means of monitoring;
  • Identify lessons learnt and coherent policy menus from national, regional and global case sties of the climate-land-energy-water-development nexus; and
  • Conclude with policy issues for consideration.

The International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ICCM) will be held on 18-22 November 2013, at United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Nairobi, Kenya. The CrisisMappers Conference is the leading humanitarian technology event of the year, bringing together the most important humanitarian, human rights, development and media organizations with the world's best technology companies, academics, journalists and hackers. 

Last year's conference in Washington DC drew well over 400 active participants to define the cutting edge of humanitarian technology. The theme for ICCM 2013 is “Humanitarian Technology Innovation In and Out of Africa.” It will highlight humanitarian innovation and technology in and outside Africa to cross-fertilize lessons learned and best practices. Related themes of ICCM 2013 thus include national and regional crisis mapping & early warning projects; grassroots, people-centered mapping and development; communicating with disaster affected communities; crowdsourcing crisis information; big data analytics; social computing and information forensics; and next-generation humanitarian technology solutions.

Thursday, 18 July 2013 17:00

HLCP meeting for COP-19

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UNPFA attended the High Level Committee on Programming’s (HLCP) Working Group on Climate Change meeting on July 18, 2013. The meeting discussed the organizational aspects of COP-19 (, in particularly, the holding of UN system side events. Deadlines for submitting the side event and exhibitions proposals had been set. UNFPA proposed to organize an event showcasing UNFPA’s progress on work on data for adaptation, including on resilience, social impacts, science and knowledge, with a focus on action and implementation on the ground. UNFPA stressed the opportunity for Working Group members to use these side events as mechanism to work together outside of the COP. Detailed information about submitting side events on COP-19 can be found at


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