|© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2067/Nicole Toutounji|
|A woman reads about the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to children, at an event commemorating World Statistics Day at UNICEF House.|
Reliable data on the situation of children are needed to inform the development and implementation of policies, legislation, and actions for the prevention and response to violence, exploitation and abuse of children.
UNICEF maintains global databases for a number of child protection indicators, as well as some regional databases such as the TransMONEE. The main sources of data include nationally representative household surveys, such as Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Reproduction Health Surveys (RHS) and AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS), as well as vital registration systems.
While large scale household surveys are important sources of data on child protection, they are not suitable to monitor the prevalence and incidence of certain particularly sensitive or illegal issues, such as sexual exploitation. Additionally, these data sources do not provide information on children living outside households such as street children and children living in institutions. Data gained through other means, such as administrative records, qualitative studies and ad-hoc surveys, are necessary to provide relevant information to help contextualize the numbers.
Data collected, compiled and analyzed by UNICEF on child protection are disseminated in a variety of ways including through The State of the World’s Children and Progress for Children, as well as through www.childinfo.org, where users can access UNICEF’s key statistical database on child protection with detailed country-specific information.
Reliable data are also needed to ensure the monitoring and evaluation of UNICEF’s programmes. UNICEF maintains an evaluation and research database that contains abstracts and full text reports of evaluations, studies and surveys related to UNICEF’s programmes.
As highlighted by numerous reports including a child protection meta-evaluation carried out by UNICEF in 2008, monitoring and evaluation and research in child protection can be further strengthened. The Child Protection Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (CP MERG) - launched in 2010 and co-chaired by UNICEF and Save the Children - aims to strengthen the quality of monitoring and evaluation, research and data collection, through the development of standards, ethical guidelines, tools and methodologies which are relevant to realities in the field.
Sheeran Consulting, Inc , UNICEF child protection meta evaluation, 2008