The Development of Qatar's Population Policy
The Population Policy is one of the key achievements of the Permanent Population Committee (PPC) since the decree of PPC establishment was issued in 2004. The PPC has endeavored a great effort in the preparation of the Population Policy. A large number of experts and specialists from the State's various ministries and government agencies, as well as experts from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also participated in the preparation of the Population Policy.
The PPC has completed Qatar's Population Policy based on a number of background studies conducted by experts and ministerial committees on various population issues under the supervision of UNFPA experts. These studies were discussed in dedicated workshops, and the Population Policy was discussed in a national workshop attended by representatives from all ministries and government, semi-government and civil agencies involved in population issues.
Qatar's Population Policy is an ongoing project that is subject to revision and reformulation in view of the rapid changes and the ambitious development plans witnessed by the State, including the National Development Strategies for the periods 2011-2016 and 2018-2022, which have been prepared to meet the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030.
First Population Policy 2009-2014
The fundamental goal of Qatar's Population Policy is to "balance population growth with the requirements of sustainable development so as to ensure a decent life for the people of Qatar, enhance their capabilities, expand their choices and raise their level of participation in the advancement of Qatari society."
To this end, the first Population Policy Document adopted a number of axes, each of which has a main goal or goals that represent the Population Policy target to be achieved by the end of the Population Policy implementation period (2030), and sub-goals that contribute to achieving the main goal of each axis. The goals and targets are categorized according to the following axes:
The methodology for assessing the Population Policy Agenda was based on a set of tools developed by the PPC Technical Office. It was implemented and its data was analyzed in two phases for about two years, namely:
v Phase I (October 2014-October 2015): This phase included the preparation of four questionnaires:
A) Goals, targets and actions of the Population Policy from the point of view of working groups: A questionnaire aimed at working groups tasked with following up on the implementation of the Population Policy Agenda, to identify their views on the goals, targets and actions contained in this Agenda and their suggestions for development, leading to the production of a new Agenda that responds to the latest developments and population challenges facing Qatari society at present.
B) First Five-Year Monitoring (follow-up on the implementation of the Population Policy Agenda five years after implementation): In order to know the progress made in the goals, targets and actions adopted in the Population Policy Agenda for the past five years (2009-2014) the Technical Office decided to implement the same questionnaire that was implemented in 2009 as a methodological tool for the evaluation of this program. The five-year monitoring questionnaire was forwarded to stakeholders involved with the implementation of this programme.
C) National Questionnaire: A questionnaire directed at ministries and other stakeholders concerned with the implementation of the Population Policy Agenda, in addition to those who participated in the preparation of this policy, with a view to reviewing the goals, targets and actions contained in this Agenda, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2009. This review was based on the fact that the Population Policy is a continuous process of formulation and achievement of goals, and then moving to more advanced goals and so on, with correction, modification and rectification of the practical application context which can reveal shortcomings.
D) Survey of the population's knowledge of Qatar's Population Policy and the Population Permanent Committee: The questionnaire was sent via e-mail to a population sample in Qatar to learn about their knowledge of the population issues facing the Qatari society and the State's Population Policy on the one hand, and the PPC implementing this policy on the other.
v Phase II (October 2015-October 2016):
In addition to the four questionnaires applied in Phase I of the Population Policy evaluation, the PPC Technical Office in Phase II resorted to focus groups, which are meetings of groups of 8-10 people freely sharing their views on a topic in every meeting. Preparation, training and implementation of these focus groups were all done in accordance with a custom-made action program.
Key Evaluation Results
New Population Policy 2017-2022
Since Qatar faces a number of demographic challenges, such as the population size and growth rate and the State's demographic composition, a new population policy was needed to address these challenges, that are related to both Qatari and non-Qatari population.
As mentioned earlier, five years after the launching of the first Population Policy (2009-2014) and over the course of two consecutive years, PPC conducted a comprehensive and in-depth evaluation of the goals, targets and actions of this policy in response to the population and development challenges facing the Qatari society, especially, the demographic imbalance and high population growth rates.
As a result of this evaluation process, the first draft of the new Population Policy Document (2017-2022) was drawn up. The draft was reviewed by various national and international stakeholders, and then submitted to the Council of Ministers. Based on the observations of the experts and ministers, the PPC prepared and submitted the final draft to the Council of Ministers, and was approved in May 2017.
Following the Council of Ministers' approval of Qatar's Population Policy Document 2017-2022 at its Ordinary Meeting No. 21 of 2017 held on 31 May 2017, and after the publication of this document on the Qatari Population Day on 31 October 2017, the PPC Technical Office initiated the action program of Phase I (November 2017 - October 2018) of the follow-up to the implementation of the Population Policy Agenda.
Qatar's Population Policy is based on a set of principles derived from:
- Provisions of Sharia law;
- Values of the Qatari society;
- Constitution of the State of Qatar; and
- HH the Emir's statements on population issues.
As a result of the previous experience, Qatar's Population Policy Agenda 2017-2022 was drawn up to include six axes:
· Axis 1: Population and Labor Force
· Axis 2: Urban Growth, Housing and the Environment
· Axis 3: Youth Education and Training
· Axis 4: Public Health and Reproductive Health
· Axis 5: Women and Children
· Axis 6: the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities.