Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey rolls out in Kazakhstan
Fourth round of survey to quantify needs in Kazakhstan
ASTANA, Kazakhstan, 14 February 2011 – UNICEF has begun the fourth round of its ambitious survey to determine needs of women and children in Kazakhstan, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, or MICS.
From the capital, and many other places, MICS 4 is in full swing – and UNICEF-trained surveyors are overcoming differing challenges to collect data that will help to provide better care for women and children in need.
Challenges in Kazakhstan
The MICS fieldwork in Kazakhstan is challenging because the country is vast and under-populated, and has a long, severe winter.
The Kazakhstan survey covers about 16,000 households. Its aim is to present updated and disaggregated data on many indicators concerning health, nutrition, education and protection. This year’s survey in the country follows the first MICS, which took place in 2006.
“That MICS which was conducted in 2006 did play an important role in the development of the public policies that are implemented now,” says interviewer Shargul Takhtarbekova. “People have also changed since the last MICS. They understand the importance of such surveys in changing their lives, so they respond to questions more willingly.”
Committed to accuracy
This survey is unique because the Government of Kazakhstan has provided almost half of the funds for the survey. The field work, which started in early November 2010, is being implemented by 16 teams – one team per oblast (sub-national administrative unit in Kazakhstan).
It is also the second survey in which many of the interviewers have participated in. Because they understand the importance of the previous survey for Kazakhstan, these interviewers are even more committed to getting accurate information on the situation in the country.
Unlike the interviewers in rural areas, teams working in urban areas – such as Almaty, Astana and Taraz cities – face difficulties in gaining access to households due to lack of trust. “We have to try different strategies to be able to talk to the household head,” says Zhambyl Oblast supervisor Inga Shevtsova.” If we are able to have the door opened, the rest goes smoothly.”
Survey brings benefits
The survey covers a wide variety of topics, such as child survival and health, child nutrition, maternal health, newborn care, water and sanitation, education, child protection and HIV and AIDS. It also probes life satisfaction, tobacco and alcohol use, and access to mass media and information and communication technology.