The evaluation assesses UNFPA support to population data, dynamics and development, from 2014 to 2022. This is the first evaluation of this theme at UNFPA and includes a specific focus on the demographic dividend, population ageing and low fertility. The evaluation provides evidence and lessons to inform the mid-term review of the UNFPA strategic plan 2022-2025 and the design of evidence-based population policies, programmes and strategies.
The evaluation finds that UNFPA delivers relevant and timely support to population data, dynamics and development work, including a robust focus on population and housing census and strengthening national and subnational data systems. Human rights and gender have been integrated consistently and strongly across population and development work, however, other megatrends such as migration and climate change are less coherent. UNFPA has strategically positioned and mainstreamed demographic dividend at various levels. Although ageing and low fertility are increasingly incorporated into UNFPA work, the organization should explicitly articulate how these issues relate to its organizational priorities. To strongly position UNFPA as a ‘population data’ agency, the current structure and capacity of population and development work need to be enhanced.
The evaluation recommends creating a fit-for-purpose population and development strategy that centers on data, dynamics and development, including demographic dividend, resilience and policy. The strategy should link to UNFPA priorities, especially in relation to emerging demographic shifts as a mega-trend. UNFPA should promote internal capacities and learning on the demographic dividend, resilience and policy, and continue investments in its population data portal. UNFPA should also develop a corporate data strategy and data quality assurance capacity. The organization should also enhance the human and technical capacity of the population and development work.