Measuring Progress for Children
Statistics are essential to know what difference is being made in the lives of children in Botswana. For example, we need to track progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2016, through the use of statistical data.
As a starting point, we need to know how many children there are. In the 2001 population census, the total population of Botswana stood at 1,680,862 of which 44% were children (733,134, of which 50.2% male). Population projections for 2011 estimate the total population to be 1,826,022, of which 41% are children (748,297, of which 50.4% male), i.e. under 18 years of age.
UN bodies, like Governments, use statistics from a number of sources. These include census data, such as the National Population Census carried out every 10 years in most countries (the Botswana Census is due in 2011), or population surveys, collecting data from a representative sample of the population, and extrapolating the results across the whole population. In relation to UNICEF’s data needs these include such surveys as the Botswana Family Health Survey (last carried out in 2007), the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (2008), the Botswana Demographic Survey (2006), the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2002/03), the Labour Force Survey (2005/06) and others. These surveys are all produced by Statistics Botswana (the former Central Statistics Office). In addition smaller-scale surveys, usually carried out by eg the University of Botswana, NGOs or the Botswana Institute for Development Planning Analysis (BIDPA), also produce data that are useful for UNICEF.
Also, government ministries are also responsible for gathering data from health facilities, schools, social workers, police and so on. These provide information on use of these services and the most common needs of children when in contact with these services.
UNICEF Botswana uses the statistical data thus produced for a number of purposes. These include the production of national reports and advocacy documents, such as Thari Ya Bana, as well as inputs into international reports and documents, such as State of the World’s Children. In addition UNICEF carries out further (secondary) analyses of nationally produced data, focusing particularly on children and their issues. In such analyses data can be broken down further into looking at issues affecting children by gender, location, orphan status, or parental education.
All data and analyses are then used to provide information to the Government to Botswana and other stakeholders to support their development of policies and programmes for children and women.
This data can also be used for advocacy for changes in resource allocations or policy priorities as well as to hold service providers to account for their performance.