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Round table on presenting findings of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in Belarus
On 30 January 2020, the results of the sixth round of the multiindicator cluster survey to assess the situation of children and women in Belarus (MICS 6) were presented in Minsk. The event was attended by representatives of the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Ministry of Information and other government bodies and organizations, UN organizations, public organizations and scientific institutions.
The MICS is a global initiative of UNICEF and is one of the largest international household survey programmes. Dozens of questions were answered by more than 8.7 thousand Belarusian families, with special emphasis on those with children under 5 years of age (about 3.4 thousand families). This study allows to characterize the situation of children and women in recent years since the previous MICS rounds, which were held in 2005 and 2012. In addition, the survey provided objective information and monitoring of progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (data on 21 SDG indicators). The study presents the following sections:
- Infant and young child feeding,
- early childhood development,
- school education and parental involvement,
- children disciplining,
- a child's physiology,
- gender equality.
A separate section of the study is devoted to indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the following Goals and indicators are analysed.
Goal 1: Eradicate poverty in all its forms everywhere. Estimated indicators: Proportion of the population living in households with access to basic conditions (99%) and Proportion of the population covered by the minimum level/systems of social protection (64%).
Goal 3: Ensure a healthy lifestyle and promote well-being for all at all ages. Estimated indicators: Proportion of births attended by skilled health workers (100%), Coverage of basic health services (93-100%), Proportion of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) whose family planning needs are met by modern methods (66 %).
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Estimated indicators: Percentage of children and youth in grades 2-3 who have achieved at least a minimum level of proficiency in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics (81-66 %); Proportion of children under 5 who develop without impairments in health, learning and psychosocial well-being (87 %); Level of participation in organized learning (one year before the official age of school entry) (94 %).
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Estimated indicators: Proportion of women between the ages of 20 and 24 who were married or in union before age 15 and before age 18 (below 1% and 5%).
Goal 6: Ensure the availability and sustainable use of water resources and sanitation for all. Estimated indicators: Percentage of population using safe sanitation services (98 per cent).
Goal 7: Achieve universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern sources of energy for all. Estimated indicators: Proportion of the population with access to electricity (100%), Proportion of the population using mainly clean fuels and technologies (84%).
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Estimated indicators: Proportion of children aged 5 to 17 years who are engaged in child labour (4 %).
Goal 10: Reduce inequalities within and between countries. Estimated indicators: Percentage of people who reported having experienced discrimination or persecution in person in the past 12 months on grounds that discrimination is prohibited under international human rights law (4 % men, 5 % women).
Goal 16: Promote a peaceful and open society for sustainable development, ensure access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and participatory institutions at all levels. Estimated indicators: Proportion of people who feel safe walking alone on the street in their neighbourhood (65 % women, 95 % men); Proportion of children aged 1 to 14 years who have experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by their caregivers in the last month (57 %).
The survey was conducted in 2019 by specialists from the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus as part of an international technical assistance project with the financial support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the European Union, the World Bank, the Government of the Russian Federation and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.