Fiji launches first-ever national MICS to monitor the well-being of all children and their families – Fiji

Suva, Fiji August 4, 2022 – Today, the Fiji Bureau of Statistics officially launched Fiji’s first-ever Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021 to help the government provide reliable data to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

These include data on infant mortality, health, nutrition, education, child protection, women’s health care, including prenatal and postnatal care, family planning and empowerment of women, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene. Many indicators are produced for the first time, including the quality of drinking water, children‘s learning abilities and child functioning.

“The Government of Fiji recognizes the results of the MICS 2021 survey to assist in informed decision-making by all key stakeholders, as well as development partners,” said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Mr. Shiri Krishna Gounder. “The information gathered will inform policies aimed at the social inclusion of the most vulnerable population, help identify disparities and enable international comparability.”

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

The survey findings indicate considerable national progress in terms of safeguarding the interests and well-being of Fijians living in the country. Among the countries in the region, Fiji has the highest coverage of antenatal care, with 98% of women having at least one medical visit during their last pregnancy.

In addition, 89% of students aged 5-24 in school in Fiji received school-related support, such as transport assistance, free textbooks or free school fees during the year. school year 2021. This is the highest coverage rate in the Pacific compared to the four MICS reports published so far in the region.

“I would like to congratulate the Government of Fiji for taking an important step with this MICS,” said UNICEF Representative for the Pacific, Jonathan Veitch. “While progress continues to be made in important areas of child development, the data reveals a mixed picture across the country with rural/urban, gender and age disparities. It is therefore important to focus interventions and resources on closing these gaps, so that all Fijian children can maximize their chances of surviving, thriving and reaching their full potential.

The survey also reveals areas for further development. For example, 81% of children in Fiji aged 1-14 years experienced violent discipline, where caregivers used either physical punishment or psychological abuse to discipline children. In addition to the physical harm it can cause, the stress associated with abuse in early childhood can permanently alter brain development and damage other parts of the nervous system.

Fiji now joins Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Samoa in the Pacific region with the release of MICS data, which continues to assist the government in its response activities during the global pandemic.

“Congratulations to the Government of Fiji on the release of the MICS 2021 results,” said Saira Shameem, UNFPA Deputy Director for the Pacific. “The availability of digitized data on the health and well-being of women and young people offers decision-makers the opportunity to align the services provided with people’s needs and understand who is being left behind in their ability to access all services, including sexual and reproductive health services.

The Fiji MICS 2021, led by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, is funded by the Government of New Zealand, with additional financial and technical support provided by UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund. Additional technical support was also provided by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Notes to editors:

About the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS):

MICS is an international household survey program 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 around the world.

In 27 years, 350 multiple indicator cluster surveys have been conducted in more than 118 countries, generating data on key indicators of the well-being of children and women, and helping to shape policies for improving their life. MICS has evolved to meet changing data needs, growing from 28 indicators of children’s and women’s issues in the first cycle to 200 indicators in the current sixth cycle.

For more information:

About the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS):

The FBoS, as implementing agency, will continue to collect and provide reliable, timely and relevant statistics through increased engagement with data providers and users. We work to produce statistics that are easily understandable and useful to a wide range of users. Better access by having more data available on our website will lead to greater use and appreciation of statistics. The demand for details is increasing with the growing complexity of Fiji’s economic transactions. With evidence-based planning now a requirement for our development partners, we, as an organization providing the evidence, will continue to face major challenges. The help and cooperation of all our stakeholders will allow us to continue to improve the delivery of our services.

About UNFPA:

UNFPA is the United Nations agency for sexual and reproductive health. Our mission is to create a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The organization was established in 1969, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared that “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 about UNFPA Pacific and its work on women and youth, follow UNFPA Pacific on Twitter and Facebook

For more information please contact:

Meli NadakucaFiji Bureau of Statistics, tel. : +679 801 3999 [email protected]

Zubnah KhanUNICEF Pacific, Tel. : +679 998 8137, [email protected]

Navinesh KumarUNFPA Pacific, Tel. : +679 993 2259, [email protected]

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