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The IUSSP’s main activity is the organization of scientific seminars, workshops and conferences. These meetings serve to push population research in new directions and disseminate research results on population issues. They also foster international networks of population and health researchers working on similar issues. Meetings are organised largely by expert scientific panels set up to address specific population issues.

The outcomes of IUSSP meetings are disseminated through a wide range of publications: the IUSSP website, policy papers, edited volumes and articles in leading peer-reviewed journals. The results of its work are also communicated to international governing and policy-making institutions with which IUSSP has special consultative status, such as the Economic and Social Council of the UN, UNESCO, ILO, and UNAIDS.

In recent years the IUSSP has increased its focus on capacity-strengthening and training activities. Training is either integrated within the scientific activities or organized as a separate activity. In addition, the IUSSP Council has recently set up a Committee on Training and a Panel on Strengthening Demographic Training in Francophone Africa.

IUSSP Scientific Panels

The scientific programme of the Union is carried out mainly by its Scientific Panels, which are each responsible for a programme of work in a specific field. These panels are established by the IUSSP Council to address a scientific issue and to organize two or three meetings to consider research knowledge, data and trends, and policy implications on the topic. They consist of a small group of high level experts with an adequate regional distribution and gender balance.

Please find below a list of current panels. The 2010-2013 Council is also creating new panels and welcomes suggestions from members.

Population and Development

Population, Health and Ageing

Population Information for Planning and Policy

Population and Mobility

Population Challenges in Post-Transitional Societies

Cross-cutting issues

Seminars, cyberseminars and workshops

Most IUSSP Scientific Panels carry out their programme by organizing seminars and workshops on specific topics, with the aim of providing scientific, state-of-the-art answers to critical population questions. Researchers from different disciplines and from all regions are invited to present papers that address the topic from multiple perspectives. Participants may be invited on the basis of their expertise on a specific topic, but most participants are selected competitively through a call for papers disseminated to IUSSP members and others working in the topic area. Twenty to thirty participants are invited to attend the meeting, present their findings, and participate in the discussion of the papers, both from a scientific perspective and in terms of policy implications.

Most seminars also provide an opportunity for junior researchers and local policy-makers to attend as observers and occasionally participate in a training component. The three-four day duration of these seminars and the limited number of participants encourage intensive discussion on the research topic. These contacts continue long after the seminars have ended and often lead to long-term research collaboration between researchers from different countries and regions, reinforcing international research networks.

Some panels, such as the Population-Environment Research Network operate almost exclusively through the Internet, by organizing cyberseminars in which an average of 450 members participate, from all over the world.


For each seminar and workshop, a report is written and made available to the general public on the webpage of the panel. Papers discussed at the seminar are available shortly after the meeting on the same webpage, but access is restricted to IUSSP members. The best papers are usually published in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal or in a volume of the IUSSP collection International Studies in Population published by Springer. In addition, the IUSSP strongly encourages the preparation of an IUSSP Policy & Research Paper for each of its seminars or workshops, with a view to highlight policy relevant outcomes and disseminate these to a broader, non-technical audience.
Seminar reports, working papers and Policy & Research Papers can be accessed on the webpages of each Scientific Panel or at the following links:
Working Papers
Seminar Reports
Policy & Research Papers

Past and future activities organized by the IUSSP are listed on the calendar of scientific activities, which is regularly updated.

IUSSP Training Activities

IUSSP training activities are either integrated within the scientific activities or organized as a separate activity. The training programme includes: Junior Demographer Travel Grants, training workshops, summer schools organized jointly by the IUSSP and the MPIDR every two years. In addition, the IUSSP Council has recently set up a Scientific Panel on Strengthening Demographic Training in Francophone Africa and a Committee on Training, whose role is to oversee IUSSP training initiatives such as the recent call for proposals for a UNFPA/IUSSP Project on Demographic Estimation from Limited and Defective Data.

International and Regional Population Conferences

In addition to the activities organized by its panels, the IUSSP organizes its International Population Conference every four years. The most recent one, held in Marrakech, Morocco in September-October 2009 attracted over 2,300 participants. The next Conference will be organized in Busan, Korea in 2013.
The IUSSP also collaborates in the organization of regional or thematic conferences or in conferences organized by regional population associations.

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