UNICEF supports countries to collect data on the situation of children and women through the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) programme. Since the initiation of the programme, three rounds of surveys have been carried out (1995, 2000 and 2005-6). Altogether, nearly 200 MICS surveys in approximately 100 countries have been implemented. The next round of surveys (MICS4) is scheduled for 2009-2011 and survey results are expected to be available from 2010 on. Each round of surveys builds upon the last and offers new indicators to monitor current priorities in addition to monitoring trends.
MICS is designed to collect statistically sound, internationally comparable data on child-related indicators that are used by countries to assess the situation of children and women in the areas of education, health, gender equality, rights and protection, and to provide the data required to monitor the progress towards national and international goals and targets aimed at promoting the welfare of children. Among these international goals and targets are those emanating from the World Summit for Children, the World Fit for Children Declaration and Plan of Action, the goals of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the African Summit on Malaria, the Education for All Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MICS is now one of the largest single sources of data for MDG monitoring.
As part of the MICS global programme, UNICEF provides technical support and training through a series of regional workshops covering questionnaire content, sampling and survey implementation, data processing, data quality and data analysis, report writing, data archiving, and dissemination. Under MICS3, more than 300 experts from developing countries were trained worldwide.
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