Tuesday, February 15, 2011 -
A United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) survey of women and children in Kazakhstan, part of an international assessment of their current needs, is one-of-a-kind owing to financial support offered by the host country, UNICEF said on Tuesday.
Central Asia’s largest country is included among dozens of developing nations worldwide that are included in the global body’s fourth round of assessments, called the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), UNICEF said in its press release.
“This MICS is unique because the government of Kazakhstan has provided almost half of the funds for the survey,” the global body noted.
Some 16 teams are visiting homes across the vast republic, half the area of Europe, to gather the latest information on health, nutrition, education and protection. It also probes life satisfaction, alcohol and tobacco use, access to mass media, and information and communication technology.
Despite its size, the country is sparsely populated. The World Bank estimates the population at only 15.8 million in 2009.
Teams began field work in November and intend to survey around 16,000 households through the long winter months.
Interviewers have reported difficulties in gaining the trust of householders.
“We have to try different strategies to be able to talk to the household head,” the report quoted Zhambyl province supervisor Inga Shevtsova as saying.” If we are able to have the door opened, the rest goes smoothly.”
The last survey of conditions in the ex-Soviet republic was taken in 2006.
“That MICS which was conducted in 2006 did play an important role in the development of the public policies that are implemented now,” said interviewer Shargul Takhtarbekova. “People have also changed since the last MICS. They understand the importance of such surveys in changing their lives, so they respond to questions more willingly.”