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Intv with Prof Satia on Pop 30 June 1995

The Earth Times June 30-July 14 1995

Report on Malaysia and Population NGOs

‘I see us as a catalyst…’ Satia

By Ashali Varma

Professor Jayantilal K. Satia is executive director of the International Council on Management of Population Programmes (ICOMP).  Earlier, he taught at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, and was also a consultant to the World Bank.  Professor Satia was interviewed at his office in Kuala Lumpur. Excerpt:

How is ICOMP funded and what is its annual budget?

There are several donors.  Some have contributed regularly and some fund projects.  Our annual budget is about one million dollars of which $300,000 is used for operating costs and $700,000 is for projects and programs.  Our donors include Unfpa, Swedish International Development Authority, Canadian International Development Agency, Asian Development Bank, Danish International Development Agency, governments of Norway, Netherlands, India China and Indonesia.  We also get funding from foundation which include Ford, Rockefeller, Tinker and MacArthur.

What do you think are the achievements of ICOMP?

One of our achievements in the early years was that we sensitized managers on population management issues. At first people would ask what was the relevance of management to population programs.  But after a few years it was considered necessary.  ICOMP conducted 35 training workshops in Asia, Africa and Latin America and trained about a 1000 persons on the skills required to run successful population programs.  It also brought NGOs and program managers together at meetings, workshops, through publications to share experiences in the population field.

How qualified is ICOMP to help with the implementation of the Program of Action that came out of the International Conference on Population and Development?

With over two decades of experience in the field of population management, ICOMP is qualified to take on the new goals of the Program of Action. At one level, these are women’s

empowerment and linkages between population, consumption patterns and the environment. At another level, it means that today’s family planning and maternal and child health programs will have to become tomorrow’s comprehensive reproductive health programs. There will have to more government and NGO partnership.

What has ICOMP initiated to meet these new challenges?

For youth and reproductive health we began documenting innovative programs in five countries with funding from SIDA.  We then had a workshop where these models were discussed by program managers, NGOs and government officials from 10 countries.  Other aspects of reproductive health were also dealt with, such as how to deal with reproductive tract infections, STDs; family welfare programs; how to enhance women’s role in decision making; and to enhance male responsibility.

How do see ICOMP’s role evolving in the next decade?

I see ICOMP’s role as a catalyst.  With countries drawing up National Plan of Action after ICPD, there is a growing need for well-managed population programs that take into consideration the overall health needs of people.  ICOMP can help train managers and NGOs to meet the new challenges.  We will work with various institutions to develop population management programs that will take future needs into consideration.