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Last update: Apr 2009

Welcome to the first edition of Childinfo News

 

In this edition, you will find information on:

 

  • The launch of the fourth round of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey programme (MICS)1

     

  • The upcoming launch of the latest version of DevInfo (DI 6.0)2

     

  • Information on the Child Mortality Database3

     

  • Latest publications on water and sanitation4

     

  • New infant feeding graphs5

     

  • The new edition of the WHO/UNICEF immunization summary6

     

  • Coverage gap on under-five mortality7

     

  • Visit us!8
  •  

    Video



    Field testing of the new MICS4 questionnaires
    VIDEO: Watch now

    [Download the latest version of Real Player to watch the video]

    Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys

    UNICEF is currently preparing for the fourth round of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS4), which is scheduled to take place in 2009–2010.


    For the development of the MICS4 questionnaires, consultations have been held in-house and with various inter-agency groups and experts working on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) monitoring and on other priority areas of UNICEF. Consultations have also been held with the Demographic and Health Surveys project (DHS), in order to harmonize the content of the two household survey initiatives.

     

    In February of this year, a pilot survey to field-test the new MICS4 questionnaires and survey procedures was carried out in Mombasa, Kenya. UNICEF organized the survey in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and included 11 days of training of fieldwork staff and 10 days of data collection. In this way, UNICEF was able to assess the performance of the new questionnaires based on interview observations, feedback sessions with fieldwork staff and analysis of the data collected.

     

    Following the completion of the pilot survey, KNBS moved on to collect data for the Kenya MICS Mombasa Informal Settlements Survey, using the same questionnaires, which were administered by the same fieldwork staff trained during the pilot survey.

     

    Bringing together the regional MICS coordinators during the pilot survey allowed UNICEF to ensure a more standardized approach to MICS4 implementation around the world. Together with the global MICS coordination team from UNICEF headquarters in New York, the regional coordinators were able to address a number of methodological issues and other matters related to survey implementation.

     

    UNICEF is currently finalizing the MICS4 questionnaires and developing the manual and other instruments that will provide guidance to countries on how to implement MICS4. This summer UNICEF will be organizing the first round of regional workshops for countries planning to participate in MICS4. It is expected that survey implementation will begin towards the end of the year and the results should be available starting in 2010.  

     

    Introducing DevInfo 6.0

    DevInfo 6.0 will leverage innovations in social networking technology to broaden the community of users and promote the use of data to advocate for human development. The aim of version 6.0 is to help strengthen the monitoring of human development and optimize the use of information technology for the improved access, use and dissemination of human development data, particularly on the MDGs.

     

    This new version will support MS Access, MS SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. For those users interested in developing their own applications using this technology, DevInfo 6.0 will be deployed with a software development toolkit.

     

    DevInfo 6.0 builds on the technology of DevInfo 5.0. Therefore, users of version 5.0 will not need to be retrained to use the new version. In addition, DevInfo 6.0 will automatically convert DevInfo 5.0 databases to version 6.0.

     

    The new functional requirements of DevInfo 6.0 were developed taking into consideration the experience and feedback received from thousands of DevInfo users around the world. These requests for enhancements and new features were reviewed and formalized by the DevInfo Field Reference Group at a workshop that took place in December 2007 with participation from 10 UN organizations. Check out our website at http://www.devinfo.org/

     

    Inter-agency Work on Child Mortality Estimation

    MDG 4 calls for a two-thirds reduction in mortality of children less than 5 years old between 1990 and 2015. The Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) was formed in 2004 by experts from UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank, the UN Population Division and members of the Academic Council, with the goal of producing accurate and timely estimates to help countries set priorities, design programmes and monitor progress.

     

    IGME seeks to produce estimates on levels and trends in child mortality worldwide, and to improve and harmonize methods across partners. A child mortality database, CME Info, (http://www.childmortality.org/) was developed to source and share data and estimates on child mortality. IGME makes all data available in the CME Info database that is shared with users. The recommended estimates by IGME are derived from available data for each country. They are also available in CME Info. Users can easily download data and estimates from the database.

     

    Water and Sanitation

    Following the latest publication of the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) on Water and Sanitation, Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: Special focus on sanitation (2008), UNICEF, in collaboration with different partners, prepared a series of regional reports for Africa, South-East Asia, Asia and the Pacific, and the Arab States on the drinking water and sanitation situation and the progress made towards the MDG target.

     

    These snapshots and situation overviews are presented in full colour with informative and attractive graphics and have been used in a variety of high-level meetings, ranging from the Second African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene held in Durban, South Africa, in early 2008, to the Annual Meeting of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union held in Addis Ababa in July 2008 and the UNICEF–All Representative meetings in Asia and in Africa late last year and early 2009. Download the latest JMP report and the regional snapshots and situation overviews

     

    Infant Feeding

    Infant feeding area graphs offer an overview of data on infant and young child feeding practices as captured by the MICS, DHS and other surveys. WHO and UNICEF recommend that infants should be exclusively breastfed up to the age of six months, at which time complementary foods should be introduced while breastfeeding is continued up to two years and beyond.

     

    These infant and young child area graphs illustrate current feeding practices in a country by plotting the types of foods given at different ages and thereby provide a powerful basis for planning programmes for improving infant feeding practices.

     

     

    More than 30 new graphs based on recent household survey data have been added to the page over the past few months.

     

    Immunization

    As has been the case for the past 10 years, the Joint Reporting Form (JRF) was used to collect national level data from all UNICEF and WHO Member States and reporting territories on the reported cases of selected vaccine-preventable diseases, immunization coverage, vaccine supply, recommended immunization schedules and other information on the structure, policies and performance of national immunization systems.

     

    As a result, the 2009 edition of the WHO/UNICEF Immunization Summary is now available and contains figures from 2007. The summary is a reference book geared first and foremost towards programme managers. It affords quick, at-a-glance information on the state of the immunization programme in a country.

     

    Coverage gap on under-five mortality      

     

    By the end of June 2009, UNICEF expects to release the final results of the so-called Well-performing Countries Study, of which the preliminary results were presented at the end of February. Here are some highlights of the study:

     

    Study rationale:

  • Some countries are experiencing significant declines in mortality while others are moving more slowly or have even witnessed increases.

     

     


  • The study was undertaken to determine what characteristics may have contributed to achieving these mortality declines.

     

  • The study looks at the overall factors that correlate with under-five mortality and contribute to how well or how poorly a country performs.

     

  • The results show how the coverage gap index (a concept introduced in the last Countdown report) is strongly correlated with under-five mortality and how improvements in the coverage gap (indicating improvements in child health care, immunization, maternal care and met family planning needs) translate to lower mortality.

     

  • Non-African well-performing progress is strongly related to socio-economic progress.

     

  • In Africa, the well-performing countries have seen the biggest changes in health indicators, while the low-performing countries have experienced little change or have lost ground.

     

  • In general, many well-performing countries have seen declines in their levels of undernutrition.

     

  • Well-performing countries have also witnessed an increase in the proportion of doctors as skilled birth attendants.

     

    The final analysis will be done according to epidemiological profiles.

     

    Visit us!

    For those attending the 2009 annual meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) in Detroit, please stop by our booths 206 and 208 to discuss our latest work on Statistics and Monitoring.