The issues UNFPA addresses have a powerful impact on individual lives, families, communities, countries and the world as a whole. This impact is amplified further when UNFPA empowers others to help realize the vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

In this respect, UNFPA’s engagement goes beyond service delivery. UNFPA is also strongly involved in constructive policy development, based on our experience on the ground, partnerships and the trust it has earned with governments. UNFPA further expands the scope of its work by partnering with civil society, academic institutions and the private sector.

Working at country level

In line with the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan, UNFPA work closely with – and always at the request of – governments. UNFPA  supports them in the achievement of the goals set forth in the ICPD Programme of Action – including universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning, and the reduction of maternal death and disability.  Often this includes helping them design, strengthen and implement policies, frameworks and programmes tailored to their specific circumstances. 

As the leading multilateral agency on population and reproductive health, UNFPA plays a crucial role in making sure that population-poverty linkages and the ICPD rights-based agenda are integrated into planning at the country level, in coordiation with other agencies. 

Bringing data into the picture

Information about a country's population, growth, characteristics, living conditions, spatial distribution and physical resources is vital for policy formulation, planning and implementation. For this reason, the collection and analysis of population and development data constitute a fundamental part of UNFPAs policy-related activities.

The Population Situation Analysis is one of the tools created by UNFPA to help countries integrate population dynamics, reproductive health and gender issues into national development strategies. This multimedia exhibit and e-learning course aims to help countries plan according to their own population dynamics, and been employed by a number of countries in creating their own analyses.

Regional and global advocacy

UNFPA also works at the regional and global levels to raise awareness of its issues. This takes many forms, from the annual publication of the flagship State of World Population report, to support for exhibitions such as Too Young to Wed, to participation in the Global Education First Initiative, which brings together world leaders and advocates to strengthen the global movement for high-quality education. UNFPA also works closely with civil society and parliamentarians.

UNFPA has also been active in the lead-up to a new UN development agenda that will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. At numerous regional, thematic and international forums it makes a strong, evidence-based case for why population matters and for why the ICPD Programme of Action must be firmly integrated into any international development priorities. 


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Twenty-five years ago, on 13 September, world leaders adopted the visionary ICPD Programme of Action. See how it has changed the world.
Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of UNFPA and ICPD25 on the eve of the 12th Extraordinary Session of the African Union on the African Continental Free Trade Area in Niamey, Niger.
Civil society representatives stressed the need to be involved in feeding into the Nairobi process. © UNFPA
Civil society participants say they are looking forward to the opportunity to review what has and has not worked in the past 25 years.


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