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Last update: Sep 2008

Data Analysis

Data compilation    

UNICEF maintains a series of global databases for tracking the situation of children and women globally. The databases include only statistically sound and nationally representative data from household surveys and other sources. They are updated annually through a process that draws on the wealth of data maintained by UNICEF’s wide network of 140 field offices. The databases are available here.


Methodological development

UNICEF leads or plays an active role in a series of interagency monitoring groups that are responsible for developing new methodologies, indicators and monitoring tools; building statistical capacity at country level, developing joint estimates, and harmonizing monitoring work across partners.  UNICEF works actively with partners through several topic-related interagency monitoring groups.

Assessing progress toward international goals

UNICEF has done extensive work on indicator development for tracking progress toward development goals related to children and women. These successful efforts include monitoring the goals and targets of the Millennium Declaration, the World Fit for Children Declaration and Plan of Action, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS and the African Summit on Malaria. UNICEF is leading the effort to develop child survival indicators that are currently used in the Countdown to 2015 initiative.

Data analysis for evidence-based programming

UNICEF has led the development of new methodologies for tracking estimates in a number of areas, including education, child mortality, maternal mortality, water and sanitation, low birth weight, antenatal care, pneumonia, malaria, iodine deficiency disorder, female genital cutting, vitamin A deficiency and many other priority issues.

Capacity building

Through its MICS programme, UNICEF provides in-country technical assistance and leadership to local researchers and organizations and contributes to the improvement of national monitoring systems for children and women. It also conducts a series of regional workshops on specialized topics in conjunction with its government counterparts to enhance their capacity to understand, interpret, analyse, disseminate, and use statistics on children and women. The goals of these workshops include supporting further analysis of malaria data for improved program monitoring and management and for policy formulation, harmonizing the methodologies used to derive estimates on access to water and sanitation, and improving AIDS and child or maternal mortality coverage estimates.