The IUSSP, an international professional association of over 2000 demographic and health specialists in 140 countries, provides a forum for researchers, teachers, administrators, policymakers, and stakeholders interested in the scientific study of population and health and the improvement of global population and health indicators.
Everybody cares about health. It is overwhelmingly acknowledged as a basic "good" in public opinion surveys, and governments at all levels seek to provide health services for their citizens. Moreover, as the ultimate stakeholders, members of the public devote a significant share of their own resources to improving their health and nutrition. As a result, the health industry is one of the largest sectors in all countries, and a wide array of medical professionals, managers, administrators, service providers, and others work in this industry directed toward achieving good health for all.
The IUSSP studies demographic indicators with the goal of improving world health. This global network provides members in different countries with the information, data, and resources they need to contribute to improved population and health policies and practices. The IUSSP annually organizes several international meetings on critical health problems that bring experts together in a neutral forum.
The regular financial support that funding agencies provide toward the IUSSP's annual budget of $700,000-$1 million attests to the value that the international funding community places on the information that this association provides.
A critical component of the international health effort includes the social scientists who work behind the scenes to generate and analyze the data needed to measure international, national, and local health trends and to determine how limited health resources should be used. The social science professionals who do this research are mainly demographers working in diverse disciplines.
As the elected secretary-general and treasurer of the IUSSP, I am in daily contact with the IUSSP's five-member secretariat and regularly consult with other members of the Executive Committee and Council and with the chairs of IUSSP scientific groups. In 2003-2004 plans were made for the IUSSP's 25th International Population Conference, which will be held from July 18-23, 2005 in Tours, France. Up to 2,000 social scientists working on population and health issues are expected to attend that meeting. The meeting will be inaugurated by President Jacques Chirac of France.
Further information on the conference is available at http://www.iussp.org/France2005. Cornell University is acknowledged on the IUSSP website as one of the major contributors to the organization of the conference.
Most of the work done by the IUSSP on health status and policy generates indirect impacts. Impacts of IUSSP work can be measured by the increasing number of invitations being received by the IUSSP for data and information on population and health issues.
Other indirect impacts result from IUSSP-sponsored meetings. In 2004, for instance, IUSSP professionals contributed to the generation and analysis of the data that led to improved global estimates of HIV/AIDS trends. An IUSSP-organized seminar in Bucharest in July 2004 identified critical unmet reproductive health needs in Eastern Europe that have arisen during the transition from communism to democracy. Another IUSSP-organized seminar in Burkina Faso in February 2004 identified emerging health threats in Africa and approaches for dealing with those threats. IUSSP publications provided information to members and others engaged in scientific work on population and health regarding upcoming events and activities.
- Private (e.g., commodity groups, foundations, companies)
- bilateral agencies, United Nations
- A wide array of academic, funding, and other institutions worldwide work closely with the IUSSP. There are more institutions than can be mentioned in this brief. Institutions that regularly provide financial and program support for IUSSP activities include the French Institut nacional d'etude demografie (INED), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Overseas Development, the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA). the Wellcome Trust, the Hewlett Foundtion, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the International Social Science Council of UNESCO, and the Norwegian Agency for Development. Most IUSSP scientific meetings are held at universities and hosts of those meetings make significant staff and financial contributions toward the costs of those meetings.
- The IUSSP Council.