The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo was a watershed moment in the definition of population policies. The meeting put an end to the unproductive debate on which is more instrumental in achieving voluntary fertility decline: providing family planning (FP) services or improving social and economic development. The answer was that both are essential. The Cairo meeting also defined the most desirable services and the kind of development that was most empowering, particularly with respect to achieving reproductive choice. Despite this strong dual message from Cairo, only the call for a move away from a narrow vision of FP services to a broader client-centered reproductive health approach is widely understood. The second and equally important theme—What kind of development?—has received considerably less attention. The Overseas Development Council and the Population Council collaborated in May 1997 to host a discussion of this issue. Seventy people spoke about the promise of this idea and the frustrations in moving it forward. This report assists in a broadening conceptualization of population and attests to the value of embedding population policies within a human development framework.
"What can be done to foster multisectoral population policies? Summary report of a seminar." New York: Population Council, 1998.