Good intentions do not substitute for measurable success. Analysis of data allows UNICEF to scale up programmes that are effective and invest in campaigns that will produce high returns.
UNICEF developed the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey in 1995 to generate precise data in a timely, cost-effective manner. This household survey is a key tool for monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Survey results contribute to the accuracy and thoroughness of Progress for Children, UNICEF’s series of ‘report cards’ on the Millennium Development Goals.The two reports issued in 2006 focus on nutrition, and water and sanitation.
A Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey in 2006 found the under-five and maternal mortality rates in the Central African Republic to be unacceptably high. The survey’s results are helping to generate a proposal for a national child survival and development programme. In Niger, a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey allowed the country to monitor its progress in decreasing under-five mortality and promoting exclusive breastfeeding by comparing figures from 2000 and 2006. And in Thailand, the 2006 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey is helping the government quantify educational disparities between the general population and ethnic minorities, migrant children and other vulnerable groups. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey is utilized
UNICEF ANNUAL REPORT 2006
in 55 countries and, starting in 2006, will be conducted every three years, an increase from the previous five-year time frame.
In addition to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, UNICEF generates data through Demographic and Health Surveys and has invested in the creation of DevInfo, software that can assist countries in monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and other development benchmarks. Solid data form the backbone of UNICEF’s annual flagship publication The State of the World’s Children, which is a vital resource for development specialists and child rights advocates.