Miroslav Macura holds two degrees in economics, a Diploma from the University of Belgrade and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. After graduating in 1972, he was appointed Assistant Professor at a Ford Foundation-sponsored graduate programme in population studies in Ankara, Turkey. Following this, he led an ILO-supported economic-demographic simulation modelling project at the premier economics institute in Belgrade. During the 1980s, Macura worked at the UN Population Division where he authored a three-volume manual on methods for integrating population variables into development planning. In 1990, he was appointed Chief of the Population Unit (PU) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe where, inter alia, he helped direct the coordination of the Fertility and Family Survey (FFS) project. After retiring from the UN in 2004, he taught at the University of Geneva.
Between 2000 and 2004, working closely with the three consecutive GGP project managers—Martine Corijn, Alphonse MacDonald and Andrej Kveder—Macura coordinated the launch and early implementation of the GGP. Along with other GGP pioneers, and drawing on the substantial know-how available within the PU, he helped to develop the programme’s conceptual, methodological and organizational parameters, contributing in the process ideas and proposals that made the GGP innovative, forward-looking and relevant to societal needs. The GGP’s successful take-off was not preordained. Following UNFPA’s disengagement from Europe and the ensuing shortage of financial resources, in 2000 Macura coordinated a joint effort to raise funds in European capitals and Brussels. The attempt was not successful. To their credit, the institutions represented at the GGP Consortium Board responded by rallying behind the programme, contributing resources that enabled its take-off.
Path-breaking since its inception, and more relevant today than ever before, the GGP is making a major contribution to the advancement of knowledge required for policy-making in support of the family. It is heartening to know that with continued support from European countries and the European Commission the programme can readily realize its full potential.
Click here for more information on the first GGP Consortium Board meeting in 2000 and other founders of the GGP.