UNICEF launches child well-being study in Kazakhstan
ASTANA, Kazakhstan, 19 April 2011 – A study on the well-being of children in Kazakhstan will be conducted by jointly by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Academy of Public Administration under the Kazakh President. The initiative was made public today at a workshop “The assessment of children’s well-being in Kazakhstan” at the Academy of Public Administration.
“This study is of high relevance for UNICEF, the Academy of Public Administration and other state institutions in Kazakhstan since there has been no comprehensive analysis of the state of children in our country,” Rector of the Public Administration Academy under the President of Kazakhstan told the seminar.
Kazakhstan has made great economic progress over the past decade. Major improvements were also achieved in terms of human development and towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
Despite some progress, the standards of living of many women and children in Kazakhstan are lagging behind. Large differences in living standards between oblasts and among rural and urban areas remain. Rural poverty is twice the urban one, and malnutrition of children in the least prosperous oblasts is 5 times of children in the capital city Astana.
“Economic development requires that efforts are put in place so everyone benefits of the economic growth. This requires that every child is given the opportunity to quality health care and quality education, and those who lack access to services are also provided with social protection. People say that children are our future, but we say children are also our present and we have to invest in them now and today, and this will pay off in their brighter future and well-off economy full of opportunities for all people,” UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan Ms Hanaa Singer said in her opening speech.
The Study of Child Well-being is set to contribute to a better understanding of the vulnerabilities that children in Kazakhstan have. The purpose of the research study is to strengthen the profile of children at the national policy level. In particular, the Study aims to influence the economic and social policies that affect resource allocations, and to make children are a priority in national programmes.
The Academy of Public Administration and UNICEF Kazakhstan developed a joint cooperation agreement to conduct the research project. Technical support will be provided by the Institute of Development Studies (in the United Kingdom) and Maastricht University (in the Netherlands).
UNICEF experts Franziska Gassmann (University of Maastricht, the Netherlands) and Keetie Roelen, (Institute of Development Studies, the UK) said that they would help with the methodological part, whereas the national experts from the Kazakh party would contribute to the comprehensive analysis of state of children in Kazakhstan applying the knowledge about the situation in Kazakhstan.
Some of the questions that will be addressed in the study are:
The study will apply a mixed-method approach combining literature review, quantitative data analysis, qualitative data collection and analysis and poverty mapping. A technical working group composed of line ministries, the Agency of Statistics and different actors in the field of child policies will provide the feedback and ensure that national priorities are addressed throughout the project.
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