By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia Bureau of Statistic (GBoS) yesterday convened a press conference on the sixth edition of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS6) at its headquarters in Bakau.

The conference was meant to give stakeholders particularly the general public, a deeper understanding and increase awareness of the survey. Thus facilitating the smooth running of the exercise which starts today, targeting 7,800 households nation-wide.

Speaking during the conference, Statistician General Nyakassi MB Sanyang, said the survey is conducted through the collaboration of GBoS, the Ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs, Health and Social Welfare and Basic and Secondary Education together with the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) and UNICEF, the Government of the Gambia, UNICEF, Global Fund, EU and World Food Program, as the sole sponsors.

“MICS was originally developed in response to the world’s call for children to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of MDG goals”, he said. He said the MICS is an international household survey program, developed and supported by UNICEF and is designed to collect estimates of key indicators that is used to assess the situation of Children and Women; that for the past 20 years, it has expanded from 21 to 200 indicators in the sixth round, making it a key source of data on child protection, early childhood education, child health and nutrition.

“Today close to 200 MICS have been carried out in more than 100 countries and Gambia has been participating in this exercise since its inception in 1995 to date. We could not participate in the 2013 survey as it coincided with the demographic and health survey therein, because these two collect the same data”, said SG. He said MICS is well positioned to play a central role in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development data outlines and data landscape, alongside demographics, health and socio-economic surveys among other key surveys.

SG Sanyang implored on the populace of their fullest cooperation with the data collectors, without which the exercise will be doomed and challenged the press to actively play its role as it is key in the crusade.

UNICEF Representative Sandra Lattouf, stated that UNICEF in collaboration with development partners supports the Gambia Government in conducting this exercise and the results of the exercise will inter alia, provide information for the implementation of the national development plan. “The results of the survey will be used by all the decision makers to generate correct information in the national development plan”, she noted.

She appealed for the cooperation of the general public in providing the collectors with the relevant information needed, noting that it is a collective effort. She thanked the stakeholders for their support towards this activity.

Similar remarks were made by NaNA’s Acting Director Malang L Fofana and the Director of the Policy Analysis Unit, Fabba Jammeh. They all lauded the support of the partners and urged the public to cooperate with the data collectors to assist them accomplish their mission.

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