The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released the findings of the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (NMICS) 2014 on February 25. The findings included data on child mortality, nutrition, child health, water and sanitation, reproductive health, early childhood development, education and literacy, child protection, HIV and AIDS, access to mass media and used of information and technology, well-being and tobacco and alcohol use.
According to a press release issued by UNICEF, MICS is an internationally agreed household survey program developed by UNICEF and constitutes of one of the world's largest sources of statistical information on children and women. It assists countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development in general and the situation of children and women in particular.
The round 5 of MICS was conducted by CBS in all 75 districts of Nepal from January to June 2014 with technical and financial support from UNICEF. The previous round of NMICS implemented in 2010 covered only the mid and far western regions (24 districts) of Nepal.
During the current round, NMICS tested water quality from sampled households (the second country globally to test water quality in MICS) and also measured children's weight and height for the first time to estimate the nutritional status of children below five.
Member secretary of National Planning Commission Suhresh Man Shrestha said this is an important document which ultimately helps Nepal government to frame the national policy on women and children.
Addressing the program, UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi said that the report was delayed for almost a year because of earthquake. “This report will be useful for the government to know the progress achieved in various sectors related to children and women. Nepal has made great progress in MDGs particularly reducing under-five child mortality rate. This report shows progress and shortcomings in the areas of children and children,” said UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi.
NMICS 2014 provides valuable information and evidence on the situation of children and women in Nepal before the country was hit by 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. The findings of the survey also fed into the Government’s Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to identify the financial needs of post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. The NMICS survey findings will also contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s report to the UN General Assembly on the achievements of Millennium Development Goals.
The survey presents the data from an equity perspective by showcasing disparities concerning sex, region, area, education, household wealth, and other characteristics. The national survey of 12,405 households included interviews with 14,162 women aged 15-49 and 5,349 mothers/caretakers of children under five years. In addition, water testing was also performed in 1,492 households.