Winter School in Demography Transition (DT) and Development in Rich Countries (RC) and Poor Countries (PC): Continuity and Change.

by Siaka Lougue – AIMS Alumni, PhD Student in Population studies, Statistics department, University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa

We participated to a winter school organised by the Faculty of Statistics, University of Padova, Italy from 12 December to 17 December 2011. We were residing at Santa Caterina residence and the venue of the winter school.

The school consisted of lecture sessions and case study sessions. During the lecture sessions, specialists in the domain gave courses about census and survey data quality, demography transition theory and analysis in relation with urbanisation, migration, health, etc. The lectures were interactive and covered demographic issues for both rich and poor countries. Some preselected participants (PhD students) presented their research related to the topic of winter school (case studies). These sessions allowed us to better understand the subject and learn from other students, their researches in the domain and their methodological choices.

Siaka presenting his work at the Winter School

We benefited from the winter school in terms of network, scientific knowledge and experiences. Indeed, participants at the winter school came from everywhere in the world: Europe, Asia, America and Africa. We met students from different disciplines of applied statistics (Economy, Demography, Social sciences, Mathematics-statistics, etc.). The interaction among participants was fruitful and the atmosphere was friendly.

At the end of the Winter School, our knowledge of demographic issues from all over the world and the link between demographic transition and others population issues was considerably improved.

Methodologically, we got enormous knowledge about different ways of applying demographic transition theory in Africa and in others regions of the world. In addition, we presented a case study titled “Situation of maternal mortality in the process of demographic transition in Burkina Faso” and got very good feedback from the participants and lecturers. Comments made on our presentation will definitely help us in our research

This presentation was also the opportunity for us to share our experience at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). Participants were very impress and interested about AIMS programme. Currently busy with their PhD, many of them are very interested with tutoring at AIMS after completion of their study. They were enthusiastic about sharing the information about AIMS with their friends, colleagues, relatives back home.

The school participants

To summarise, we learnt a lot during this winter school. We cannot finish this report without mentioning that we were impressed to learn that the current financial crisis in Europe has an important demographic aspect and that China could face the same problem in the near future and maybe Africa in long term if we do not learn from the experience of European countries.

We finish this report by acknowledging our immense gratitude to AIMS and Next Einstein Initiative (NEI) for the grant that we benefited because our participation to the winter school would have not been possible without it.

Siaka Lougue benefited from the AIMS-NEI alumni travel grants to take part in this winter school. For more information on the grants, see this page on the AIMS-NEI website.

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