While the population in many countries in Europe, North America and parts of Asia is barely growing and is even beginning to fall, many lower-income countries, for example in Africa, continue to grow rapidly. Countries across the world are at different stages of demographic development and are experiencing different socioeconomic challenges. Due to high birth rates, they must provide a steadily growing number of people with access to essential services such as health, education and food. In contrast, countries that have already experienced changes in their population age structure and growths in the proportion of their working-age population often struggle to provide their youthful populations with prospects such as jobs. Thus, interventions in key sectors such as health, education and employment are needed to accelerate socioeconomic progress to harness the potential of a demographic dividend.

Moving population and development forward

This is where the policy dialogues of #The4DSeries come in. Representatives from governments, civil society, academia, and youth from different world regions come together to raise awareness for the numerous levers for demographic dividends. Benefitting from a platform of exchange, participants are able to learn from one another and discover good practices. Based on this, key points for actions are developed to inform policy planning and guide governments in finding country specific solutions to move population and development issues forward. 

Scrutinize key sectors for demographic dividends

Each dialogue in the #The4DSeries focuses on a different central topic shaping population trends. These include:

  • the availability of disaggregated socio-demographic data to provide the evidence base for sustainable policy planning and to achieve a demographic dividend;
  • the supply of sufficient food and nutrition to meet the needs of a growing number of people as well as to create decent employment opportunities in agriculture;
  • access to equal opportunities for girls and boys to attend school and the provision of lifelong learning opportunities;
  • promotion of gender equality and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services, including family planning and comprehensive sexuality education.

ICPD and beyond

The foundation for sustainable population and development policies was laid by the Cairo Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community also highlighted the importance of population matters for sustainable development. At the 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, the need for accelerated progress in the implementation of these key areas was announced.

Exchange in times of Covid-19

The dialogue series is currently a virtual format due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Each dialogue kicks off with introductory remarks delivered by the hosts. A joint panel discussion follows, in which experts from around the world set the scene by sharing their thoughts on the subject dialogue’s topic. Divided into sub-groups, participants move on to discuss possible solutions from research and practice during breakout sessions to develop policy recommendations. The results from the breakout-sessions are brought back to the plenary and moulded into key points for action.


The Berlin Institute provides technical and scientific advice for the policy dialogues on demographic diversity and dividends. It contributes expertise for the topics of each dialogue and drafts input papers for discussion. The results of the whole dialogue series will be summarised by the Berlin Institute and published in a best-practice guide in late 2022.

The #The4DSeries is a series of events jointly organized by the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together with UNFPA and the AU to raise awareness of the relevance of demographic change. The eight-part series takes place on a quarterly basis up until October 2022.

Food for Thought Papers

The Berlin Institute compiles background papers (Food for Thought Papers) for each dialogue in the series. The papers review the evidence base, identify needs for action and provide a set of good practice examples. The papers are shared with all participants ahead of each dialogue to inform discussions.


Lorena Führ

Project Coordinator International Demography

Phone: +49 30 - 22 32 48 46

E-mail: lorena.fuehr@berlin-institut.org

© Berlin-Institut

Catherina Hinz

Executive Director

Phone: +49 30 - 22 32 48 45

E-mail: hinz@berlin-institut.org

Catherina Hinz geschäftsführende Direktorin

© Berlin-Institut

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