Between 2006 and 2009 PSN worked with the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Population, Development and Reproductive Health on a series of hearings in the UK parliament seeking to return focus on world population growth to the international development agenda.
Initially proposed by PSN, the inquiry received evidence from around fifty international organisations, including the UNFPA, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation, government departments and a wide range of NGOs and other organisations.
PSN served on the steering group overseeing the hearings and submitted both written and oral evidence to the APPG for the original report.
The submissions overwhelmingly demonstrated that population growth is an extremely important factor undermining achievement of the Millennium Development Goals , for example by hindering poverty mitigation and aggravating environmental degradation.
Image: L-R: Viscount Craigavon, Baroness Tonge, Secretary of State Hilary Benn (DFID), Richard Ottaway (Chair of Hearings), Martha Campbell (PSN), Toby Akyroyd(PSN), Christine McCafferty MP (Chair of APPG), in front: Catherine Budgett-Meakin (PSN).
In January 2007 the report of the hearings Return of the population factor: its impact on the millennium development goals was published by the APPG and launched at an event in parliament attended by the Secretary of State for International Development at the time, Hilary Benn MP.
The findings of the Report show unequivocally that unless population growth is effectively addressed, especially in a range of poorer countries in sub Saharan Africa and parts of South Asia, the MDGs will be difficult or impossible to achieve.
The Report makes the case for the urgent necessity of addressing the unmet need for family planning that exists in developing countries.
Working with the APPG, in 2009 PSN undertook an update of the 2007 report of the parliamentary hearings, producing an updated summary report and new and updated charts.
This update was prompted by new data that showed a continued significant under-spend on global family planning services and underlined the continuing urgency of the 2007 findings, that "the current rates of population growth will make the MDGs difficult or impossible to achieve".
The updated summary report and charts were launched in parliament at an event co-hosted by PSN.
All of the publications related to the parliamentary hearings and the MDGs are available in Resources.
Building on the success of the parliamentary hearings on population growth and the MDGs, in 2008 the APPG on Population, Development and Reproductive Health undertook parliamentary hearings on maternal morbidity.
PSN contributed to the hearings, providing written and oral evidence. PSN’s input to the hearings focused on the high incidence of preventable maternal morbidity in developing countries as a violation of women’s rights, and highlighted the opportunities that exist to significantly reduce maternal mortality by increasing access to voluntary family planning programmes.