Tonga boosts nationwide data on women and children with the release of MICS results

20 October 2020
Guest of Honour, Hon. Speaker, Legislative Assembly of Tonga, Lord Fakafanua (right) handing over the MICS results to the Minister for Finance, Hon. Tevita Lavemaau at the official
UNICEFPacific/2020/Pongi

Suva, Fiji, 20 October 2020 – More than 70,000 Tongan women and children will benefit from an increase in access to resources and services with the launch of a nationwide survey results to inform the government on development areas that need the most support, including education, child protection, health as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.

Today, as the small Pacific Island country celebrates World Statistics Day, the Government of Tonga, supported by UNICEF and UNFPA, in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC), officially launched Tonga’s nationwide data on children and women from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS).

“I believe that World Statistics Day has the greatest opportunity to mark the valuable contribution of statistics towards development in Tonga,” said Tonga Government Statistician, Dr. Viliami Konifelenisi Fifita. “The fact that MICS contains high quality and reliable statistics that are essential for measuring progress in reaching development goals as well as provide essential information on the effectiveness of policies and programmes, its official launching on the Statistics Day marks its significant contribution to the Kingdom of Tonga.”

Developed and supported by UNICEF, MICS is the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on women and children worldwide. It aims to strengthen the country’s progress towards national goals and global commitments to promote the welfare of women and children.

Led by the Tonga Statistics Department, the Survey has collected data on health, nutrition, child protection, education, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as domestic violence amongst other topics. It provides disaggregated data for identification of disparities to inform policies aimed at social inclusion of the most vulnerable population.

“We are proud to be supporting the Government of Tonga, along with our partners, in taking a step forward to ensure that we all have the required information and data to steer our work going forward for the overall achievement of national development plans and global Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett.

There are 232 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators from which around one-third can be generated by household surveys. Out of all household survey based SDG indicators, 33 are covered by MICS.

The survey results have also been launched at an opportune time as the global pandemic, COVID-19, has affected some Pacific Island countries. The newer data will support the government in their preparedness and response activities to support the country during this global crisis.

‘We commend the Government of Tonga for prioritising the collection of data to better understand the current situation of women and young people. The survey results provide the Government of Tonga with critical data to further shape evidence based, inclusive responses to address the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, adolescents and youth, and to ending gender based violence, leaving no one behind,” said UNFPA Pacific Director,  Dr. Jennifer Butler.  

 

Notes to Editors:

About Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS):

MICS is an international household survey programme developed and supported by UNICEF. Since its inception in 1995, MICS has become the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on women and children worldwide.

Over 25 years, more than 350 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys have been carried out in more than 110 countries, generating data on key indicators on the well-being of children and women, and helping shape policies for the improvement of their lives. MICS has evolved to respond to the changing data needs, expanding from 28 indicators of issues pertaining to children and women in the first round to 200 indicators in the current sixth round.

For more information: http://mics.unicef.org/

 

About the Tonga Statistics Department:

Tonga Statistics Department’s (TSD) vision is to be Tonga’s centre of excellence in delivering quality, integrity and expertise in providing statistical services. TSD’s mission is effective coordination of the national statistical system and provide quality demand-driven statistics that supports policy, decision making, research and development initiatives leading to better lives of our people.

 

About UNFPA:

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. The organization was created in 1969, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared “parents have the exclusive right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”

UNFPA’s Pacific Sub-Regional Office located in Suva, Fiji, supports 14 countries and territories.  For more information on UNFPA Pacific and its work on women and young persons, follow UNFPAPacific on Twitter and Facebook.

 

For more information, please contact:

Telekaki Latavao, Tonga Statistics Department Office, tlatavao@stats.gov.to

Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 7157586, zukhan@unicef.org

Navinesh Kumar, UNFPA Pacific, Tel: +679 993 2259, nkumar@unfpa.org                                                          

Media contacts

Zubnah Khan
Communication Officer
UNICEF Pacific
Tel: +679 330 0439 Ext. 175
Tel: 715 7586

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/pacificislands/

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