Children behind the numbers - better data collection to monitor and advance child rights

09 April 2024
Kindergarten children lay on the floor drawing with backs facing camera
UNICEF/North Macedonia/Georgiev/2019

Skopje, 9 April 2024: The State Statistical Office and UNICEF launched the “Profile of Children in the Republic of North Macedonia” compiling for the first time all available data on children in the country in one publication.

At the panel discussion today, participants raised issues on the importance of national stakeholders to improve the ability to collect, interpret and produce disaggregated data on children and create evidence-based policies for children. 

“A data-driven policy can improve the functioning of policies and can influence budget decisions leading to cost-saving and optimum utilization of resources for every child,” said Patrizia DiGiovanni, UNICEF Representative.

“By coordinated work of all stakeholders together, we can use data to the benefit of children. Good child policies need good data. Developing policies aimed at promoting children’s well-being require a solid information base on the multiple domains of children's lives, including physical and mental health, socio-emotional outcomes, learning and educational outcomes,“ emphasized UNICEF Representative.

Marina Mijovska, advisor in the State Statistical Office said that in the future, the cooperation with UNICEF, as well as the knowledge of international practices in this field, can open a new direction in the development of statistics and make child related data available at one place.

While data on children are available in the country, they are scattered, located in different institutions, frequently not available publicly and in a raw form.

The publication “Profile of Children in the Republic of North Macedonia” brings together data on children from the 2021 Census and administrative data produced by state institutions on a range of areas, including children in alternative care; children receiving social assistance and services; child marriages and births among others.  The report provides a one-stop-shop of data on situation of children and insights into future trends to assist the government in developing evidence-based policies.

This initiative is one of many efforts designed to support the country in fulfilling its commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The latest Concluding Observations for North Macedonia released by the Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee emphasized the need for comprehensive, disaggregated and reliable inter-sectoral data collection mechanism. It also calls for intersectoral coordination in the process of formulation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes for children. 

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