The Council’s work in Pakistan focuses on improving and expanding access to reproductive healthcare; advising government officials on best practices for improving policies; highlighting population issues within the context of national elections; promoting capacity-building among healthcare facilities that offer family planning services; and providing research-based technical assistance. The Population Council has been conducting operations research in Pakistan since 1957 and established a permanent office in Islamabad in 1991.
The Council was instrumental in establishing the Population Association of Pakistan, a non-profit professional organization that shares scientific knowledge on population and development. The Council played a key role in developing the 2002 National Population Policy and the draft 2010 National Population Policy that awaits approval by the government. It has also made significant contributions toward improving the country’s understanding of poverty, gender, and youth issues.
In 2008, the Council launched a five-year project called Family Advancement for Life and Health (FALAH). By working in 20 underserved districts, the project increased knowledge and practice of effective birth spacing practices and advocated for greater access to family planning services. In collaboration with UNFPA, the Council has published a book titled Capturing the Demographic Dividend in Pakistan, highlighting the economic arguments for investing in a faster fertility decline. It has also released a study on postabortion care in Pakistan, which documents the large numbers of women who face complications resulting from unsafe abortions and recommends policy and programmatic solutions.