Planning Commission to establish Population Resource Centre

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  • The centre will ensure timely availability of demographic statistics, besides improving reliability of population-related database

ISLAMABAD: There is a growing recognition on part of the government with regard to the need as well as the importance of timely availability of quality and reliable data to guide the planning process.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his recent policy statement called for a “National Strategy for the Development of Statistics” so that the government can have access to accurate, reliable, and timely statistics and have a solid and credible base of evidence, which is critical to supporting the design and evaluation of policies.

In line with the vision of the its chairman, PM Imran Khan, who is actively being pursued by Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar and Secretary Zafar Hassan, the Planning Commission announced the establishment of a Population Resource Centre which is expected to serve as a hub, strengthening the timely availability of demographic and population statistics and improving the quality and reliability of population-related database and information for evidence-guided decisionmaking and policy reviews.

A high-level consultative forum has been called at the Planning Commission next week inviting national ministry of health service regulation and coordination, secretaries from the provincial health departments, population welfare departments as well as senior technocrats for an interactive dialogue and to discuss the modalities for the same.

The Planning Commission, being an apex planning and coordination body, is cognizant of the vital importance and magnitude of the population challenge as well as its collective responsibility towards taking measures for addressing the same.

Establishment of the Population Resource Centre is expected to strengthen the existing mechanisms and processes for evidence-guided planning, monitoring and evaluation of population projects; identifying bottlenecks for initiation of timely remedial action; continuous evaluation of population landscape and coordinating forums to generate debate on population policies and frameworks.

Dedicated resources have already been allocated in the PSDP 2019-20. National and international expertise will be engaged in its design and development.

Member (Social Sector) Dr Shabnum Sarfraz informed that the Population Resource Centre is expected to enter into an active partnership with the public and private sector universities for establishment of population policy research units.

These units will undertake valuable research in population priority areas, strengthening the evidence base for population programme planning and policy reviews, she added.

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