The Guyana Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have entered into yet another agreement to facilitate the sixth round of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS).
MICS is a household survey programme developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring the situation of population by producing statistically sound, internationally comparable estimates of based on a number of universally accepted indicators.
However, while MICS was first developed to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of mid-decade goals which includes the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the MICS data has been used for various types of indicators including the internal evaluation of the health and family life education, the assessment of budget expenditure, evaluation of nursery education; study on violence against children etc.
Within the last ten years, UNICEF supported the government in conducting key investigations
The MICS data has been is critical in fulfilling of its obligations based on evidence informed actions.
The 5th round of MICS has been a source of data for the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) i.e. health and other sectors, plans/strategies in the country as well as Guyana’s Country Implementation Plan (CIP).
In addition, the findings of MICS were used to inform the conduct of the study on indigenous women and children and the preparation of child-friendly profiles for each administrative region of Guyana.
Further, the MICS has been used to inform and complements existing data collection methods and instruments (e.g. administrative records, censuses, vital events registration etc.
Yesterday, the government through the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with UNICEF Guyana, launched the implementation of the 6th round of the MICS.
MICS 6 was launched to provide data for indicators for under 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Last year, the survey targeted 8,700 households on the coastland and interior region, and in 2005, 5,904 households were enumerated in both coastal and interior regions. The objective of this round is to include more households.
In his overview on the MICS, UNICEF‘s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Micheal Gillis noted that two additional questionnaires have been added to the survey.
According to Gillis, the findings of MICS 6 are expected to inform new frontiers for joint action towards the realization of child rights in Guyana.
“In this round, two new questionnaires were added. Children ages 5-17, which allows for an assessment of the situation of the whole child (before there was just a questionnaire on children ages 0-5 years); water quality testing in the households for a fecal contaminant is also included in the survey.”
The Evaluation Specialist noted that new and relevant modules have been infused in the questionnaires that were used in the previous rounds — the modules on children living with disability and victimisation, are especially interesting.
“It is most relevant to mention that MICS 6 will help countries track progress towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals. MICS is the largest single source of data for monitoring the SDG i.e. provides data for indicators under 11 of the 17 SDG,” Gillis said.
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