Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe

Providing Primary / Reproductive Health Services in Asian Urban Areas with Attention to Vulnerable Populations, Especially Women and Girls


In the 1980s, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supported a series of studies and conferences focusing on urbanization, population dynamics and development. Among those, the Asian Conference on Population and Development, held in Kobe in 1987, highlighted medium-sized cities’ role in the development of their countries, their lack of financial and administrative capacities to solve issues related to population and growth, and their neglect in overall development planning. The conference declaration recommended that UNFPA support the development of a network to link officials of Asian medium-sized cities, to take action on its findings. This led to the establishment of the Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe (AUICK) in April 1989, as a cooperative agreement between the City of Kobe and UNFPA. 

Since its establishment, AUICK has facilitated the exchange of information on population and development related issues, and disseminated lessons learned on Asian cities’ changing characteristics and successful service provision practices, through in-depth studies, web-based and published reports, and training Workshops to increase the capacities of urban administrators. 

Since 2004, AUICK has worked with a core group of nine principal stakeholder AUICK Associate Cities (AACs), to build the capacities of ‘critical masses’ of trained personnel to improve service provision in each of the cities. The nine mayors of the AACs participated in the 2004 AUICK Associate Cities Conference on ICPD Tenth Anniversary Review: The Current Status and Future Challenges of Asian Medium-sized Cities, to commit to sending senior officials to AUICK Workshops and to incorporating lessons learned into their administrations’ policies. The sharing of best practices among AAC and Kobe City representatives maintains the South-South (AAC–AAC), as well as the North-South (Kobe–AAC) element to AUICK’s Program. Since 2005, AUICK Workshop participants have formulated 89 Action Plans, of which over 50% have become city government policies to improve welfare provision. 

Through its AAC network, AUICK facilitated the 2010 Research Project, Providing Primary / Reproductive Health Services in Asian Urban Areas with Attention to Vulnerable Populations, Especially Women and Girls. To conduct the Project, AUICK organized an advisory group in each AAC, formed of senior officials from each administration’s relevant department, and academic experts from local academic institutes, who also specialize in the theme of the Project (as presented in Annex II). The Project also promoted and sustained AUICK City University Partnerships (CUPs), established in the AACs. 

The 2010 Research Project was also supported and guided technically by the AUICK International Advisory Committee (IAC). In particular we appreciate very much the substantive advice and input we received from its Chairman, Prof. Gayl D. Ness, as well as Prof. Prem Talwar and Dr. Haryono Suyono. 

The first section of the report, The New Urban Challenge for Primary and Reproductive Health Care, was prepared by Professor Ness as a regional overview, summarizing the findings from the nine AAC studies. It is intended as a useful reference for busy urban administrators and policy makers. 

As a result of the emerging cooperative relationship among the nine AACs, it is our belief that the findings of the Research Project will lead to greater knowledge and deepened understanding on the issues related to primary/reproductive health care, toward the increased awareness, support and resource allocation to improve services in Asian cities and beyond. 

AUICK is supported and guided by Kobe City Government and UNFPA. We take this opportunity to express our appreciation for that strong and continued support, as well as our gratitude to the participants of the Research Project for their valued collaboration. 

Toshihiko Ono 

Executive Director, AUICK
March, 2011




Section One

The New Urban Challenge for Primary and Reproductive Health Care

Executive Summary

1. Background: Urban Growth and Urban Primary / Reproductive Health (RH) Services

2. An AUICK Research Project Report

3. Regional Findings

4. Individual City Findings

5. Summary and Implications

Section Two

Providing Primary / Reproductive Health Services in Asian Urban Areas with Attention to Vulnerable Populations, Especially Women and Girls:

Nine AUICK Associate City (AAC) Reports

6. Kuantan, Malaysia

7. Khon Kaen, Thailand

8. Weihai, China

9. Surabaya, Indonesia

10. Olongapo, Philippines

11. Chennai, India

12. Faisalabad, Pakistan

13. Danang, Vietnam

14. Chittagong, Bangladesh

Annex I.
Research Instrument: AUICK Research Project Outline

Annex II.
AUICK Research Project Participants

Copyright © 2011 Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe. All rights reserved.