For early February, the weather is unseasonably warm, and the sun is shining, so one would think it requires some effort to spend a week in the offices of the Kyrgyz National Statistics Committee (NSC), attending the Kyrgyzstan MICS workshop on Data Interpretation and Report Compilation (DIRC) and work through the more than 100 indicators in around 200 tables compiled through the 2018 MICS.
But the meeting room is full of enthusiastic specialists, eagerly seeing fresh data from the survey which completed fieldwork in November 2018.
A new workshop format introduced by the Global MICS Programme in the current 6th round, the DIRC workshop operates as a tool for national experts to validate findings of the survey and is timed to follow approximately 3 months after fieldwork allowing time for completion of data editing and tabulation preparations. Workshop participants can assess findings with the objective of producing a validated first draft of the Survey Findings Report and the accompanying thematic Statistical Snapshots.
Working through every table in detail, including reviewing data quality of the survey overall and in specific areas, bring specialist eyes on every data point and, regardless of any amount of dedicated work preceding the workshop, always bring forth minor issues in a few tables, observations on trends and discussions on new never-before seen data on topics included in the survey.
In Kyrgyzstan, the room listens attentively to the NSC survey manager, Galina Samohleb and the national MICS consultant, Larisa Praslova, facilitating the workshop proceedings. Despite most work being done in small thematic groups, progress can quickly derail from the objective of compiling everything in one week. But they keep the group together.
NSC colleagues participate in all groups. The Global MICS Programme provides technical support through the presence of two survey consultants roaming the room, accompanying Muktar Minbaev, the UNICEF M&E Officer, holding the strings of the UNICEF support to the survey.
Galina mentions that she is happy with the output of the workshop and the engaged participation of specialists, who despite a busy schedule at work, manage to attend many sessions and make their mark on the work. Both she and Larisa are enthused by the feedback they have received and the many interesting discussions. One in particular has dominated the week: What is the impact of the large increase of labour migration, national and international, on different aspects of statistical data, ranging all the way from composition of households to a variety of social sector indicator outcomes?
In the 6th round of MICS the goal is to publish all the results of the survey within 6 months of completion of fieldwork. This sounds easier than it is, but given the commitment and pace witnessed in this meeting room, the Kyrgyz team will achieve this objective. Report, snapshots and data should therefore be available no later than May 2019. Galina and Larisa smile at that thought, thinking back at the one year it took to complete reporting from the previous Kyrgyzstan MICS 2014, and the much-deserved breathing-room they can then enjoy. For now, they are enveloped in the excitement of the room and the new data.