Participating in its sixth round of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), Guinea-Bissau plans to use the findings from this survey to inform public policy decision-making and programmatic interventions, influence public opinion about the situation of children and women in the country, and update national and global SDG indicators. This is the first time in Guinea-Bissau that the surveys will be conducted using tablets.
Forty-eight Guinea-Bissauan interviewers were hired to survey 7,500 households in all nine regions of Guinea-Bissau over a four-month data collection period. Interviewers will gather information from households in urban and rural areas, focusing on a wide range of topics related to health, education, child protection, water, hygiene, nutrition, access to the media, HIV / AIDS, and others.
To formalize the large-scale survey and emphasize participation country-wide, Guinea-Bissau organized an official launch event on November 23rd, 2018, two weeks after the start of data collection. On this occasion, Mrs. Ainhoa Jaureguibeitia, UNICEF Guinea-Bissau Representative, a.i., illustrated the importance of the survey, stating:
“The current moment of Guinea-Bissau is characterized by a context of great challenges, aggravated by the global financial crisis, lack of donor presence and partners. For this reason, the new MICS presents an opportunity to review the results and better adjust the programmes being implemented to improve the lives of women and children in the country.”
Survey managers anticipate that the interviewers may face two main obstacles: (i) limited access to selected households in remote and hard to reach areas; and (ii) the unavailability of the targeted household members during the planned cluster visit time.
Such issues will be mitigated by fieldwork-relevant information, communication strategies, and the involvement of community leaders. Many of these issues will be solved based on the extensive experience of the country, having participated in all rounds of MICS.
Once the data has been collected, the survey finding report will be released in July 2019. The findings will allow Guinea-Bissau to measure the progress on the situation of children, adolescents, and women. Due to the lack of timely, quality, and reliable data in the country, the information provided through MICS is key for the majority of development partners, including United Nations agencies and other donors.
The Guinea-Bissau MICS is being carried out by the government, with the assistance of UNICEF, and in partnership with the European Union, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).