Press Release

UN Population Fund and The Development Gateway Launch Portal on Population and Reproductive Health

29 April 2002
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, NewYork - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Development Gateway Foundation today announced the launch of the POP/RH Portal, an Internet initiative focusing on population and reproductive health. The Portal will provide a community-built database of shared population information, including data, research, projects, ideas and dialogue. It will also seek to promote innovative knowledge-sharing arrangements among expert organizations in the field.

The POP/RH Portal is being built in collaboration with 12 partner institutions from the population community, linking it to resources on their websites and to those of other population and development organizations. It covers the key topics and actions identified in both the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) convened in Cairo in 1994 and the 1999 United Nations General Assembly special session which reviewed implementation of the ICPD.

With the launch of the POP/RH Portal, the UNFPA becomes the first United Nations agency to establish a topical website within the Development Gateway system. UNFPA will manage and "guide" the Portal with technical support from the Development Gateway team.

Notable features include a news service; a bulletin board; an events calendar; several search features; population/reproductive health project information from a shared database that includes activities by donor agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank and the UNFPA; and a discussion forum on reproductive health and population topics. Visitors to the website are able to sign up for free membership, which entitles them to receive regular updates on new resources that are added.

"UNFPA is very pleased to be working in partnership with the Development Gateway on this important knowledge-sharing initiative," said Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director, UNFPA. "We see the POP/RH Portal as a great way to connect people with the knowledge they need."

"Improved knowledge sharing and networking in the population and reproductive health fields can make a critical contribution to human development and poverty reduction in the developing world," said Carlos Braga, Senior Manager of the Informatics Program at the World Bank and head of the Bank's Development Gateway Portal team.

"The POP/RH Portal will help leverage information and communication technologies for improved information sharing and networking in this critical area, and we are delighted to be cooperating with the UN Population Fund in this important effort," he said.

Organizations cooperating in the POP/RH Portal include the Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) Program, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Family Health International; the International Planned Parenthood Federation; Ipas; the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs; PATH; Reproductive Health Outlook; and the Population Reference Bureau.

Others are the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Population Activities Unit; the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean/CELADE; the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Population and Rural and Urban Development Division, Population Information and Communication Unit; and the UNESCO Bangkok Population Education Clearinghouse and Adolescent Reproductive Health website.

The UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral source of population assistance. Since it became operational in 1969, it has provided about US$5.6 billion in assistance to developing countries. The United Nations General Assembly has welcomed the positive contributions the Fund has made since then in improving the quality of human life.

The Development Gateway Foundation (www.dgfoundation.org) is an independent, non-profit organization built on public-private partnerships, launched initially with support from the World Bank. Its broad mission is to promote the use of information and communication technologies for poverty reduction and sustainable development, and help overcome the "digital divide" in practical and dynamic ways. The Development Gateway Portal (www.developmentgateway.org) seeks to facilitate access to information and knowledge on development and poverty reduction, and provides a space where people can share experiences on development.