Population Situation Analysis

A Conceptual and Methodological Guide

No. of pages: 166

Publication date: 2011-01-01

Author: UNFPA

Publisher: UNFPA

ISBN: 978-0.89714-988-4

This guide provides the basis for an integrated appraisal of population and reproductive health dynamics and their impacts on poverty, inequality and development. By integrating a micro and macro analytical approach, the population situation analysis clarifies the interactions between individual behaviour and demographic dynamics.

The guide responds to demand by countries that international cooperation should promote national capacity-building and recognize national ownership and leadership as prerequisites for development, in accordance with the principles agreed at the International Conference on Population
and Development and the Millennium Declaration.

This guide contributes to more efficient evidence-based programming, which relies on increased capacity for data generation, new databases, the consolidation of available evidence and the promotion of the use of hard data. The knowledge generated through the process will provide UNFPA country offices and others with the factual knowledge needed to integrate population dynamics and their interlinkages with gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV into policy-making and to mainstream UNFPA’s mandate into policy dialogue with governments and other UN agencies.






How to Ensure National Ownership?

The objective of national ownership of the PSA entails extensive dialogue, interaction and search for consensus with and between key national actors. To the extent feasible, the PSA should be developed by, or at least with, these various actors. This is where the mapping exercise of the key actors proves its usefulness. The results of this mapping exercise guides the selection and respective roles of the key actors in the PSA development process. These key actors should include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Government decision makers – typically at Ministries of Planning, Health, Social Affairs, and Finance;
• National Statistical Offices (NSOs);
• Academia and other research institutions;
• Civil society organizations;
• Community of donors and I/NGOs.

Is the framework of the PSA flexible?

Yes, the PSA should be considered as a flexible framework that can be tailored to national priorities and realities. The manual should be treated as a standardized body of methodologies and procedures for obtaining comparable results and deriving common messages. Their use should be governed, on the one hand, by criteria of feasibility, availability of information and capacities; and on the other hand they should be tailored to national priorities and the process of political dialogue. Because of this, it is possible that countries will not carry out all the analyses recommended in the PSA and incorporate other priorities for the country, or shift the emphasis. 

How long does it take to conduct a PSA?

This depends on the available resources, progress in the elaboration, political dialogue, selection of topics for inclusion, the progress of the analysis, etc. We have learnt from former applications that the proper conduct of the PSA from the beginning of the poluiti8cla process to the dissemination and promotion of the national outcome document can take between eight months and 2 years. 

Can technical support be provided for the application of the PSA at national level?

Yes, the Population and Development Branch of UNFPA will try to respond to every endevour to support countries in the application of the PSA, be it by political or technical support missions, support in the analysis, the brokering of knowledge and experts who have experience in the application of the guide etc. Support will have to be decided on a case by case basis.

PSA Archive


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