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Last update: Jan 2010

Childinfo News: Issue # 2

In this edition, you will find information on:
• The State of the World’s Children Special Edition: Celebrating 20 Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child1

• Launch of Children and AIDS: Fourth Stocktaking Report, 20092

• Article in The Lancet on Child Disability3

• Improving Child and Maternal Nutrition4

• Diarrhoea: Why Children Are Still Dying and What Can Be Done5

• Progress for Children: A Report Card on Child Protection6

• New Estimates for Under-five Mortality7

• The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 20098

• Latest on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)9

• New Maternal Health Indicators in MICS10

Upcoming Activities

• Study on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting11

• New Study on Child Discipline12

• New Global Estimates for Water Supply and Sanitation13

• Have You Watched Our Videos?14

 

The State of the World's Children Special Edition on Children's Rights


This year, UNICEF's flagship publication, The State of the World's Children (SOWC), is a special edition focusing on “Celebrating 20 Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” The report was launched on the 19th of November. Please visit our website to access the report and the Statistical Tables which were published in a separate document. An interactive site displaying the SOWC-Special Edition database will be available very soon.
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HIV/AIDS


The Children and AIDS: Fourth Stocktaking Report, 2009 was launched on 1 December. The report highlights progress made and challenges that remain in scaling up services for women, children and young people affected by the epidemic. It calls for concerted action and continued commitments amid economic difficulties that affect all countries.

 

Also published in September 2009 was the “Towards Universal Access” report which showed some great advances in prevention of mother to-child transmission (PMTCT) and paediatric treatment.

 

Despite remarkable gains in many areas, much work is still needed to reach the global target of universal access by 2010.
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Article on Child Disability Screening, Nutrition and Early Learning: Data from MICS3

 

On 20 November 2009, an article on "Child disability screening, nutrition, and early learning in 18 countries with low and middle incomes: data from the third round of UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2005–06)" was published in The Lancet. Results from the analysis draw attention to the need for improved global capacity to assess and provide services for children at risk of disability. The authors point out that further research is needed in countries with low and middle incomes to understand and address the role of nutritional deficiencies and restricted access to learning opportunities as both potential antecedents of childhood disability and consequences of discrimination.

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Improving Child and Maternal Nutrition


A UNICEF report entitled “Tracking progress on child and maternal nutrition - A survival and development priority ” was launched in November 2009. This report offers a rationale for urgently undertaking serious, large-scale efforts to reduce the global burden of child and maternal undernutrition. It also provides information on nutrition strategies and progress made by a number of nutrition programmes such as the ready-to-use therapeutic food and the multiple micronutrient powder programmes.

 

In addition, the report presents detailed, up-to-date information on nutritional status, programme implementation and related indicators for the 24 countries whose undernourished children represent 80 per cent of all undernourished children in the world.
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Diarrhoeal Disease

 

On 14 October 2009, UNICEF and WHO launched a report that pulls together epidemiologic data on the patterns and causes of diarrhoea, as well as the latest data on prevention and treatment.

 

The report also puts forward a 7-point plan for comprehensive diarrhoea control. On that day, an article entitled "Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done" was also published in The Lancet.


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Progress for Children: Child Protection


This report is the first comprehensive compilation of data on child protection. While information gaps still exist, it represents the first time data on child protection have been incorporated into one volume.

 

This PFC edition reveals that progress is being made in some areas of child protection.  For example, in the 29 countries where the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting is common, its prevalence is declining. Data also show that the overall median age of child marriage has increased. However this report also illustrates a worrying lack of data in many important areas. Better data will provide more accurate assessments of the scale of abuses and help identify vulnerable subgroups and the causes of their vulnerability, thereby providing sound evidence to inform policy and programming for children.
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Levels and Trends in Under-five Mortality


New regional and global estimates for under-five mortality generated by the Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) were released on September 10, 2009. More recently, the country level estimates were published and trend data are now available from 1960 to 2008. The updated data are also reflected in CME Info, a database containing the latest child mortality estimates based on research from IGME. An article in The Lancet entitled "Levels and trends in under-5 mortality, 1990–2008" was also published on September 10, 2009.

 

The total number of under-five deaths in the world has declined from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. This means that 10 000 fewer children are dying every day than in 1990, the baseline year for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, the rate of decline in under-five mortality is still grossly insufficient to obtain the MDG goal by 2015, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and it is alarming that among the 67 countries with high mortality rates (40 per 1000 or more), only ten are on track to meet MDG 4.
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The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009


The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009 was presented to the public in Geneva by the United Nations Secretary-General on 6 July and released (along with its accompanying database--MDG Info 2009) at the General Assembly on 23 September.

 

Less than six years away from the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs, the report warns that despite many successes, overall progress has been too slow for most of the targets to be met by 2015. And major advances in the fight against poverty and hunger have begun to slow or even reverse as a result of the global economic and food crises.
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Latest on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)

MICS Compiler Launched

UNICEF recently launched MICS Compiler, an online tool that compiles results from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). MICS Compiler has been developed using DevInfo technology and makes survey results easily accessible through a user-friendly interface, allowing the information to be displayed in the form of tables and graphs.

 

The indicators that are included in MICS Compiler use standard definitions for international comparability. At present, MICS Compiler includes information from 26 MICS3 surveys, on 39 indicators.

 

MICS Compiler will be progressively populated with the remaining MICS3 surveys and indicators. MICS4 survey results will also be included once they become available. MICS Compiler development is ongoing and a second version of the tool will be released during the first quarter of 2010. Users can look forward to a number of new features, including a mapping capability.

MICS4 Roll-out

The fourth round of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys was launched in February 2009. During the course of the year UNICEF organized seven regional workshops (five on Survey Design and two on Data Processing), which were attended by 275 participants, from 76 countries. Twenty-four MICS4 surveys are currently confirmed and an additional 20-25 countries are expected to join the MICS programme during the next few months.

 

The first country to carry out data collection and to complete it is Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Mali, Chad, and Democratic Republic of the Congo have begun, or will begin shortly, data collection. The majority of surveys will be carried out in 2010.

 

A second edition of the MICS4 questionnaires will be released at the end of January 2010. The MICS4 questionnaires and the MICS4 indicator list can be found here.
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Maternal Health

 

Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 focuses on improved maternal health and calls for a reduction in maternal mortality as well as universal access to reproductive health. The fourth round of the MICS survey programme includes a number of new maternal health indicators related to MDG 5. Questions on adolescent birth rate, early childbearing (young women who give birth before age 18), antenatal care during pregnancy (at least four visits), unmet need for family planning and Caesarean-section are now part of the standard MICS programme.

 

For more information on maternal health as well as data on other long-standing MICS indicators such as births attended by a skilled health professional and at least one antenatal care visit during pregnancy, please visit our website where updated databases were posted in November.
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Upcoming Activities

 

Study on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

 

A new report on FGM/C will be prepared in 2010, starting from January. The objective of this study will be to present estimates of prevalence levels across and within countries, as well as the circumstances surrounding the practice. The report will provide a global assessment of FGM/C levels and examine differentials in prevalence according to socio-economic, demographic and other proximate variables, including type of FGM/C, practitioners and attitudes. Results will be disseminated in September 2010.

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New Study on Child Discipline

 

The Statistics and Monitoring Section of UNICEF is currently finalizing a study on Child Discipline, conducted in collaboration with the American Humane Association’s Child Protection Research Center and its partner, Chapin Hall. The study will analyze levels of violent discipline in 33 countries, and provide recommendations on improving the measurement of child discipline in household surveys. UNICEF’s information about child discipline practices is mainly obtained through the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) program. The study will be launched at the beginning of 2010.

 

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New Global Estimates for Water Supply and Sanitation

 

In April 2010, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) will publish the new global estimates for the proportion of the population with access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The new estimates, country files, maps, graphs and tables will be published both on the JMP website as well as on our website.

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Have You Watched Our Videos?

 

If an image is worth a 1,000 words, imagine a video! Watch our videos and learn more on what we do and how we do it. Videos currently available include those on DevInfo and MICS. We are finalizing a second video on MICS which should be ready within weeks and available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese on childinfo.org. It will address the more technical aspects of how MICS is implemented in the field with UNICEF's technical and financial support.
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