UNICEF is committed to changing the world for children. It strives to protect their rights, improve their health, and nurture their development through sound planning and monitoring of policy results.
UNICEF measures the situation of children and women and tracks progress through data collection and analysis. It maintains and updates global databases and promotes dissemination of evidence-based data for planning and advocacy. UNICEF is the lead United Nations (UN) agency responsible for the global monitoring of the child-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Supporting data collection
UNICEF assists countries in the collection of data through Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), the international household survey programme it developed following the 1990 World Summit for Children. Since the mid-1990s, the MICS has enabled many countries to produce statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of a range of indicators in the areas of health, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS. MICS findings have been used extensively as a basis for policy decisions and programme interventions, and for the purpose of influencing public opinion on the situation of children and women around the world. To learn more about MICS, watch our videos.
Starting in 2009, MICS is implementing the fourth round of surveys (MICS4). Results from MICS4 surveys, carried out in 2009-2011, will become available from 2010 onwards. MICS4 data will allow countries to better monitor progress toward national goals and global commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the target year 2015 approaches.
MICS provides statistically sound, internationally comparable estimates of indicators. MICS serves as a major source of data for monitoring national and international development goals and commitments.
Leading data analysis
UNICEF has done extensive work in developing new methodologies for tracking estimates on child mortality, low birthweight, antenatal care, vitamin A deficiency, pneumonia, malaria, iodine deficiency disorder, female genital cutting and many other priority issues.
UNICEF also maintains a series of global databases on key indicators. This effort goes through a rigorous and ongoing process to ensure data quality. The databases, updated annually with the assistance of UNICEF’s vast network of field offices, are found at http://www.childinfo.org/
By leading and playing an active role in inter-agency monitoring groups, UNICEF contributes to the development of indicators and monitoring tools on topics such as water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, child and maternal mortality, malaria and immunization. UNICEF produces joint estimates with its partners and works to harmonize global monitoring efforts.
Enhancing data dissemination
UNICEF data is used for a variety of planning and monitoring purposes. They appear in UNICEF flagship publications such as The State of the World’s Children and Progress for Children. UNICEF data are presented in a number of sector-specific reports including Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done; Tracking progress on child and maternal nutrition - A survival and development priority; Countdown to 2015; Malaria and Children; and Pneumonia: The Forgotten Killer of Children.
Researchers, program managers and legislators worldwide count extensively on UNICEF data to assess the situation of women and children, and to implement programmes and plan policies on their behalf. The media, both locally and internationally, use the data to write stories stressing the unique situation of children and women.
UNICEF's childinfo website contains UNICEF’s statistical information, including data used in The State of the World’s Children and Progress for Children. Also here are technical resources for conducting UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), which are a major source of global development data.
Visit http://www.childinfo.org/ to access the latest UNICEF statistics.
UNICEF also promotes data dissemination through DevInfo, a powerful database system that tracks progress towards the MDGs and monitors commitments to sustained human development. DevInfo offers an easy-to-use structure that quickly generates tables, graphs and maps, even for trend data. It is an excellent advocacy and planning tool for national statistics offices, UN agencies, donors and civil society, contributing to greater MDG awareness and knowledge at the country level and to evidence-based policy-making.
In the latest version of DevInfo [DI 6.0] users will find significant improvements in the ways they can generate data views and produce presentation objects, as well as many new, powerful features to make user experience much more enjoyable.
The software can be downloaded at http://www.devinfo.org/