NIGER. Ordinance No. 92-035 of 19 August 1992 approving the Declaration of the National Population Policy. (Journal Officiel de la République du Niger, Vol. 59, No. 18, 15 September 1992, pp. 10-17.)

II. Fundamental Principles

The formulation of a population policy demonstrates the will of the Niger to translate by way of coherent and concrete acts agreements made by the state at the regional, national, and international level on questions of population and development.

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In addition to respecting these various agreements, the following are other fundamental principles of the Niger's population policy: a) the realization that development policies implemented heretofore have been ineffective; b) the will of female and male citizens of the Niger to take responsibility for their own development; c) the realization by the population, officials, and political and administrative leaders of the complex relation between population and development and of the need to control this process; d) the individual and collective responsibility to prepare a future for children.

III. Principles

The population policy of the Niger is based on the following principles:

1. Human resources are the most precious and certain resources of the Niger.

2. It is impossible to have economic development without the development of human resources.

3. Economic development is a complex process consisting in interactions between the population and economic variables.

4. The population policy should be based upon voluntary action, responsibility, and respect for individual and collective choice on questions of family, marriage, fertility, and migration.

5. It is necessary to improve the living conditions of the population.

6. The family unit should be the nucleus and the engine of the evolution of Nigerian society.

7. Mothers and children must be protected, and their role and status at the center of the family unit must be increased.

8. It is neceesary to take into account our social and cultural realities, as well as our regional specificities.

9. It is necessary, first, to mobilize domestic resources to finance the population policy.

10. The population policy should be a dynamic process, in the sense that it should be adapted to the social-economic and cultural evolution of society.

IV. Goals and Objectives

The population policy is an integral part of the policy of social and economic development. Thus, its essential goal is controlling demographic growth and migratory movements, as well as ensuring an appropriate balance between demographic growth and economic development, in order to improve the quality and level of life of individuals in the Niger.

A. Global objectives of the population policy:

1. To improve the health and nutrition of the population and reduce indices of mortality and morbidity;

2. To improve the quality of life of the population;

3. To improve the financial state of the educational system;

4. To improve the conditions of the most vulnerable layers of society, in particular, women, youth, and the disadvantaged;

5. To improve research and data collection on the issue of population.

B. Specific objectives:

B1. Specific objectives related to global objective 1.

1 To improve the rate of health coverage by: a) better development, management, and distribution of human resources in the health sphere; b) development of a health care sector; and c) strengthening of health services in rural areas.

2. To reduce mortality, particularly the mortality of mothers and children;

3. To improve the quality of health care benefits for mothers and children;

4. To reduce the rate of malnutrition;

5. To make family planning services available and accessible and to promote the provision of public information on family planning;

6. To increase the rate of use of contraceptives in both urban and rural areas;

7. To improve food production.

B2. Specific objectives related to global objective 2:

1. To improve conditions of hygiene and environmental sanitation;

2. To improve the access of the population to potable water;

3. To strengthen cultural and sport infrastructure;

4. To promote access to decent housing in both urban and rural areas;

5. To strive for a better spatial distribution of the population;

6. To improve the physical environment.

B3. Specific objectives related to global objective 3:

1. To improve the rate of school attendance, especially among girls;

2. To improve the rate of literacy, especially among women.

B4. Specific objectives related to global objective 4:

1. To promote the economic and legal standing of women;

2. To improve the access of youth to employment;

3. To eliminate all forms of discrimination against women;

4. To promote family-life and population education.

B5. Specific objectives related to global objective 5:

1. To promote the development of national competence in the area of population;

2. To improve the system of data collection, particularly with respect to civil status.

V. Strategies

1. Global Strategies

In conformity with the principles of this declaration, the population policy, as a product of concerted action, is based on a consistency between strategies and objectives, on one hand, and among the strategies themselves, on the other.

Its implementation requires graded program planning and the classification of activities and programs according to priority objectives.

The strategy will rely upon persuasion and dialogue in order to achieve the informed and voluntary adherence of the population to the objectives pursued; this strategy will exclude any use of coercion as a means of action.

The effectiveness of the implementation of the population policy requires the real engagement on the part of officials by means of formal support and the effective participation of the beneficiaries in the programs that are implemented

To this end, the global strategy rests upon the following axes:

1. Conformity of the objectives and strategies of the population policy to the orientations of the development policy, of which it is an integral part.

2. Development of infrastructure and services to improve the management of resources.

3. Promotion of information, education, and communication.

4. Promotion of activities to collect, exploit, and distribute demographic and socio-economic data.

5. Development of a synergy between public, private, and community sectors in the financing and implementation of population programs.

6. Decentralization of the formulation and implementation of programs.

7. Strengthening entities responsible for integrating demographic variables into population plans and programs at both the national and local levels.

2. Specific strategies

To attain the above objectives, specific strategies will be devised with respect to these various topics: health, nutrition, quality of life, education and literacy, employment, disadvantaged groups, and understanding of population issues.

2.1. Health

1. Formulation of standard rules to integrate health services for mothers and children into family planning services (SMI/PF), as well as plans of action, and documents of application.

2. Extension of health services for mothers and children and family planning services to all levels.

3. Strengthening pre- and post-natal consultations and consultations for nursing infants and extension of vaccinations.

4. Judicious distribution of human and material resources between urban and rural areas.

5. Strengthening infrastructure (the technical state of referral centers), and creation of new infrastructure, especially in disadvantaged areas.

6. Promotion of traditional medicine by its integration into the modern health system.

7. Training of numerous qualified health personnel (doctors, gynecologists, obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses, midwifes, etc.)

8. Strengthening research on the accessibility of health services.

9. Improvement of health benefits.

10. Adoption of a legal framework for the promotion of a health system, by establishing a socially acceptable policy of recovery of costs and by revising legislation relating to family planning so as to adapt it to the present situation.

11. Involvement in health programs of private practitioners, the socio-medical departments of enterprises, non-governmental organizations, and opinion makers.

12. Formulation and implementation of a program of consciousness-raising and education, including specific issues for each target group.

13. Formulation and implementation of a national strategy to fight AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and sterility, including activities relating to prevention, screening, and care provided in various health agencies.

14. Establishment and implementation of equitable criteria for motivating personnel so as to ensure that they take greater responsibility.

15. Reduction of the high level of mobility of skilled personnel so as to enable action plans to be implemented, followed, and evaluated.

16. Provision to personnel of the necessary means to perform their functions.

2.2 Nutrition

1. Raising the awareness of the population as to the importance of a nutritious and balanced diet for the growth of children.

2. Strengthening programs targeting health and strict measures relating to the prevention of, and screening for, malnutrition.

3. Improvement of systems of rural production and promotion of programs to increase national production.

4. Popularization of techniques to preserve and manage perishable products.

5. Pursuit of a policy of micro-productive enterprises.

6. Improvement of the system of rural production.

2.3 Quality of life

1. Formulation and adoption of a policy on the habitat within the general framework of urban policy.

2. Adoption of a policy for the construction of social housing.

3. Adoption of a code of leases.

4. Revitalization of programs aimed at increasing awareness of health and sanitation and at the construction of health and sanitation facilities.

5. Implementation of a policy of territorial management.

6. Control of migratory movements by creating regional economic centers of attraction, so as to bring about a better distribution of population.

7. Acceleration of the process of regionalization of investments in order to enable regions better to exploit their human potential and resources.

8. Consideration in development policies and programs of the effects of the phenomenon of migration on both points of departure and arrival.

9. Pursuit of a policy of decentralization, in the sense of fostering greater self-management in local collectivities.

10. Development of infrastructure and promotion of activities relating to leisure time--especially for youth--relying on the public sector, private undertakings, and associations.

11. Intensification of actions already initiated (reforestation, dune building, fighting brush fires, reclaiming land, fighting against industrial and chemical pollution).

12. Rational exploitation of natural resources (forests, pasture land, water, fauna, etc.) and the use of improved ways of heating.

13. Popularization of gas and petroleum heating and encouragement of their use.

2.4. Education and Literacy

1. Revitalization of the activities of the committee responsible for the reform of teaching.

2. Increasing the pace of construction of classrooms and of teacher-training, in terms of both quantity and quality, so as to improve working conditions and to fight against lost educational opportunities.

3. Formulation and implementation of a policy for population literacy within the framework of a national campaign to mobilize all potential resources.

4. Strengthening initiatives to diversify resources for financing education and encouragement of the participation of the private sector.

5. Integration of family-life education in education and literacy programs (family planning, demography, maternity without risks, responsible parenthood).

6. Adoption of teaching programs within the context of socio-economic conditions.

7. Raising the awareness of parents, and especially mothers, on the problems of schooling for girls.

2.5. Employment

1. Implementation of an employment policy designed to take into consideration all sectors of the economy and all qualifications of workers.

2. Implementation of a realistic training and employment program adapted to the realities of the country.

3. Strengthening work safety measures.

4. Promotion of a scheme to facilitate the creation of activities for disadvantaged groups.

2.6 Disadvantaged groups

1. Improvement of the social and legal status of women.

2. Improvement of women's access to productive resources (access to credit, to land, etc.).

3. Creation of new centers for apprenticeship and strengthening of existing centers.

4. Involvement of women in the management of village lands.

5. Encouragement of NGOs to increase their participation in the financing of projects for women.

6. Pursuit of consciousness-raising campaigns to enable women to carry out all income-generating activities.

7. Establishment of a daycare system adapted to the needs of mothers.

8. Adoption of appropriate laws and consciousness-raising programs to protect children against all forms of exploitation and abandonment.

9. Proposal to various groups of young persons of programs for concrete action (work, the environment, culture, etc.)

10. Reorientation of activities at the center at Dakoro and creation of a center for the education and promotion of youth with emotional problems taken into the care of social affairs agencies.

11. Implementation of an institutional framework adequate for the education, follow-up, and care of children and youth.

12. Encouragement of the creation of youth groups.

13. Development of programs to insert the handicapped into society by means of professional apprenticeship, with the goal of eliminating their dependence and begging.

14. Promoting health activities for the aged and guaranteeing solidarity with people of retirement age.

2.7 Understanding population issues

1. Creation of a system for the collection, use, analysis, publication, and diffusion of population data.

2. Performance of periodic inquiries on mortality, fertility, marriage, and migration.

3. Performance of periodic general population censuses.

4. Improvement of the collection and the exploitation of social statistics (health, education, etc.) in order to facilitate their utilization in the formulation of national and regional development plans.

5. Improvement of understanding on the interrelations between demographic factors and the variables of economic development.

6. Development of research on ways for integrating demographic variables in development planning.

7. Training officials in demography and in social sciences.

8. Raising the awareness of public authorities and partners in development as to the crucial role of research in the success of population programs.

9. Organization for planners and directors of population programs of seminars on techniques for integrating demographic variables.

10. Revitalization of civil status departments to improve the registration of facts relating to civil status and the updating of the permanent population file.

11. Production and diffusion in a regular manner of statistics on civil status.

12. Performance of specific studies on the insertion of women and youth in the process of development.

13. Increasing studies aiming at a better understanding of the characteristics of, and potential for, employment in the "unstructured sector."

14. Organization of consciousness-raising campaigns to instill respect for laws relating to civil status.

VI. Institutional Framework

This declaration of population policy has the force of law. The execution of this population policy will be assured by the following agencies:

1) Decision-making Agency

Every decision on this matter will be made by the Government and the High Council of the Republic (HCR) during the transition period, and by the national assembly after the transition.

2) Consultative Agency

The CTIP, augmented by other ministries, insitutions and associations with an interest in population questions, is established as a consultative agency, denominated the National Population Commission (CONAPO), which shall assist the Government in making decisions.

3) Implementing Agencies

The population policy is an integral part of the policy of development. Various departments of ministries are already carrying out various population programs. The major groups of programs will be divided among the various implementing agencies in collaboration with national associations and institutions interested in population questions.

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4) Implementation of the Population Policy

Implementation of the population policy will be carried out through plans of action and priority investment plans relating to population issues; these plans will set forth the precise methods and procedures for mobilizing and utilizing resources, as well as schedules for the realization of objectives and implementation of strategies.

Under the coordination of the Minister responsible for population, the directors of the technical ministries will translate the general objectives contained in this declaration into programs and activities. To this end, a first plan of action will be formulated when this population policy declaration is adopted.

5 Agency for Follow-Up, Evaluation, and Execution of Programs

The mission of the unit of demographic studies for development will be: a) to advise the Government on population issues; and b) to supervise the implementation, follow-up, and evaluation of the population policy. To this end, it is responsible for:

1. Coordinating and energizing activities to formulate and implement plans and programs on population issues;

2. Ensuring follow-up and evaluation of plans and programs on population issues;

3. Promoting and carrying out studies and research on questions of population and development;

4. Ensuring that demographic variables are taken into consideration in the various plans and programs for socio-economic development;

5. Harmonizing and coordinating the activities of IEC on population issues;

6. Ensuring the operation of the national secretariat of CONAPO;

7. Ensuring the coordination of interventions of foreign partners in population issues;

8. Ensuring the management of funds put at the disposal of the Directorate within the framework of its activities.

VII. Expected Results

Today the Niger has at its disposal a population policy declaration that will enable it to adopt measures that are adequate to socio-economic and demographic conditions and to the important problems posed by this situation.

This national population policy declaration sets objectives and indicates strategies to attain these objectives in the context of the Niger.

Thus, all activities undertaken within the framework of this population policy aim essentially at improving the quality and level of life of all social groups in the population, thanks to the realization of a better balance between human resources and the possibilities for development of the country.

Thus, all appropriate measures set forth as part of these strategies will bring about, in the medium and long term, a significant decrease in the level of general, maternal, and infant mortality, and of fertility (a reduction in the synthetic index of fertility), enabling population growth to be controlled and balanced with economic growth.

The success of the various plans and programs that will be formulated and implemented depends upon an efficient strategy for consciousness-raising. Thus, appropriate informational and consciousness-raising activities aimed at the various levels of society and relating to the challenge posed by various problems of population and development must be undertaken, particularly on questions of fertility, marriage, migration, and family life education. In this regard, it will therefore be necessary to formulate a national program of information, education, and communication (IEC) which will constitute the driving force of the various plans and programs.