IPC2021 sessions viewable online

XXIX International Population Conference, 5-10 December 2021


IUSSP successfully organized its first virtual International Population Conference. Feedback from attendees on the scientific quality and organization of the conference has been excellent. For the first time in the history of the International Population Conference, all IUSSP members and student associates can now view the session recordings online. For more information on how to access the platform, read here.


The virtual conference platform leaves a legacy of 206 recorded sessions (300 hours of video), over 300 posters and 24 sponsor exhibits. It offers a wealth of recent scientific research, debate and discussion on population issues from around the globe that members can view and use for research and teaching. The sessions and posters are searchable by theme, author, or keyword, making it easy to find sessions and presentations on topics of interest. 


The platform also provides exhaustive and detailed information on attendee participation, some of which is summarized below. 


To help you sift through the enormous offerings, we recently asked IPC2021 chairs to highlight sessions they would recommend because of the quality of the research presented and the discussion that followed. The list of sessions below focuses on regular sessions on the scientific programme created from the Call for Papers. If a session you participated in is not included but merits attention, communicate this to your network of colleagues.


IPC2021 Chairs highly recommended sessions to check out on video:


  • 01. Production and Reproduction
  • 06. Demand and Unmet Need for Contraception
  • 18. Technology, Work and Fertility
  • 25. Challenges Facing the Young in India
  • 34. International Migration Projections, Determinants and Crossing Strategies
  • 43. Estimating Impacts of COVID-19 on Mortality, Morbidity, and Society.
  • 44. Health and Reproductive Health
  • 73. Gender-Based Sexual Violence
  • 79. People at Risk: Environmental Hazards and Population Vulnerability
  • 87. Communicable Diseases in the Americas
  • 88. Demographic Trends: Estimates and Projections
  • 115. Economic Policy and Health Outcomes
  • 129. Direct and Indirect Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 130. Use and Misuse of Preventive and Curative Treatments: The Role of Socioeconomic Factors
  • 136. Data Quality: From Pregnancy to Death
  • 141. Migration Experiences and Population Distributions
  • 142. The Influence of Family Structure and Dynamics on Children's Health and Wellbeing
  • 170. Understanding Migration: Applying New Data and Methods
  • 173. Population Shifts and Environmental Change: Past Trends, Current Conditions and Future Scenarios
  • 174. Socioeconomic Status and Mortality
  • 199. Augmenting Census and Other Data to Better Understand Spatial Population Distributions
  • 203. Geographic Variations in Education and Health
  • 204. Multidimensional Links: Environmental Conditions, Fertility, and Reproductive and Maternal Health


In addition, the chairs mentioned six special invited sessions they recommended others should view: 


  • 24. Inaugural Keynote: Dr. Saumya Swaminathan (Chief Scientist at WHO) Keynote on Perspectives from the Covid-19 Pandemic and Lessons Learned 
  • 69. IUSSP Panel Session: The Implications of Global Pandemics for International Migration and Migration Research
  • 70. Joint Population Association Session: COVID-19 and Early Academic Career in Population Studies. Perspectives from around the Globe
  • 108. Keynote: Twentieth Century Famines and Food Availability in South Asia 
  • 167. Keynote: Demography Fast & Slow
  • 205. Research Leader Session: Contraceptive Transition Theories (Sponsored by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Contraceptive Transition Theories)


Of course, the range of excellent sessions is broad, so do browse the conference website. The invited sessions created by the International Organizing Committee, IUSSP Panel sessions, UNFPA sponsored sessions, India Day sessions and Research Leader sessions all merit special attention.


Most viewed sessions:

The virtual conference platform provides good information on session attendance and views. Live session attendance varied between 2 and 96 participants, with an average of 30 participants. The possibility to view the sessions afterwards increased the average to 35 individuals viewing the session live or as a recording between 6 and 22 December, before all IUSSP members were given access to the virtual platform.


The sessions with the largest live and video audience were:

  • 207. Closing and Award Ceremony. IUSSP Mattei Dogan Award and Best Poster Awards. (123 viewers; 86 joined live, and 37 watched the video later.)
  • 58. Invited Session. Low Fertility: Trends, Policies and Politics. (104 viewers; 90 participated in the live session, and 14 viewed the video afterwards.)
  • 109. Research Leader Session: Good Practices, Innovative Approaches and Challenges in Streamlining and Leveraging Interventions to Respond to the Corona Virus (Sponsored by Learning for Impact USAID Project). (98 viewers of whom 96 joined the live session and 2 viewed the video afterwards.)


The session with the highest number of video views is:


  • 2. Migration, Living Arrangements and Family Wellbeing (42 video views)


Poster presentations 

In addition, there are many excellent posters to be visited in the poster gallery. Posters are by no means second rate – the organizing committee assigned excellent papers to posters that conveners could not fit into a session for reasons of timeslot or topic. Highlighted here are five posters selected as the best poster of the day. There are many more to visit in the poster gallery – some of which even include short video presentations. 


Best Poster Awards: 


  • Day 1. Poster Session 3, C-23: “Vulnerability Level of Spatial Units and Adolescent Fertility in Colombia” by Juliana Guerrero, Carlos Ramirez Hernandez, José L Wilches-Gutierrez, and Lelio A Arias-Vizcaino 
  • Day 2.  Poster Session 8, C-51: “Do income inequality and women empowerment predict obesity in Latin American cities?”  by Natalia Tumas, Cecilia Anza Ramírez, Mariana Carvalho de Menezes, Mónica Mazariegos, Kari Moore, Ana Ortigoza, Carolina Pérez Ferrer, Santiago Rodríguez López, Olga Sarmiento, Joan Benach and Mariana Lazo 
  • Day 3. Poster Session 11, B-132: “Trends in chronic child undernutrition in Bangladesh for small domains using Bayesian hierarchical time series modelling”  by Sumonkanti Das, Bernard Baffour and Alice Richardson
  • Day 4. Poster Session 16, C-78: “Age gap between spouses in South and Southeast Asia” by Premchand Dommaraju.
  • Day 5. Poster Session 23, C-68: “Does urban land expansion affect the village’s development? A geospatial study of 615 peri-urban villages of Gujarat, India” by Ankit Sikarwar, Aparajita Chattopadhyay, and Ritu Rani.


Conference Participation


Over 1,300 people registered to attend the conference. Of those, 1,221 individuals participated in the live sessions. Fifty-eight per cent attended between one and three sessions (31% attended only one session, likely the session where they made their presentation). Another 28% participated in four to nine live sessions, and 14% attended ten or more sessions.


According to the participant survey, many people who would otherwise not have attended the in-person conference in Hyderabad could participate. While appreciating the virtual platform, many also expressed disappointment that it was not an in-person conference where they would have attended more sessions and had more opportunities to meet new colleagues and exchange with old colleagues informally. While the Gather.Town live poster sessions offered opportunities for impromptu meetings between attendees, many participants did not visit the Gather.Town platform. As the joint population associations' session 70 on "COVID-19 and Early Academic Careers in Population Studies" revealed, young scholars just starting their careers have suffered from the lack of face-to-face contact with colleagues and mentors so crucial to launching their scholarly careers. This group especially benefits from in-person conferences like the International Population Conference.  


Virtual conferences are excellent for disseminating research to a broad audience; they are less effective at creating and nurturing bonds between colleagues from different world regions. While virtual events will likely become a staple IUSSP activity, we very much hope that IPC2025 in Brisbane, Australia, will be an in-person conference, with some hybrid or virtual events. 


The Secretariat is still sifting through the conference platform and the conference survey data. In March, we will post a full conference report and evaluation on the website.