20 February 2019

Workshop participants gained insight into the Indian data landscape and the role of MICS in monitoring the SDGs

Between 25 and 28 January 2019, the UNICEF India Country Office with support from the Regional Office for South Asia as well as the MICS team organized a high-level workshop in Hyderabad. Decision-makers, data experts and statisticians from various ministries and departments of the Government of India and National Statistics Office attended to gain insight into the following:

  1. The Indian data landscape with a special focus on child-related SDGs. This includes the gaps faced in terms of assessment of the status and progress towards achieving the SDGs;
  2. The various household surveys, administrative data systems and other sources of data the country generates and what is planned for the next 4-5 years;
  3. The UNICEF MICS methodology and an understanding of how sustainable development monitoring in India might benefit from the existing modules, innovations, protocols and surveys under the MICS programme.

Representatives attending the workshop came from various line ministries including Women and Child Development (MoWCD), Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS), and the Ministry of Social Justice MoSJ). High representation was also present from the National Sample Survey Office (part of MoSPI) and representation from the Planning Departments of the Governments of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. Several UNICEF colleagues from the country office and several field offices were also present.

The workshop was opened by the Chief Statistician of India and Secretary, MoSPI, Additional Director General of the Social Statistics Division of the NSO, Ms. Shailaja Sharma and head of the UNICEF Hyderabad field office, Ms. Meital Rusdia. The objectives of the workshop were laid out by Dr. Ashutosh Ojha, Deputy DG, MoSPI.  Most of the sessions during the first day were aimed at gaining insight into the data landscape, data gaps and data sources as well as the state of SDG reporting.

The second day’s agenda focused on various data sources for monitoring and tracking progress toward the SDGs. The second half of day 2 and most of day 3 and 4 were spent explaining the various survey modules of MICS. New modules in MICS6 were introduced along with technical aspects of the programme including sampling, fieldwork, data quality assurance, field check tables, tablet-based data collection (CAPI) and support covenants.

During the fourth and final day, participants were asked to brainstorm about the possible way forward in their respective contexts and how MICS can be used to strengthen the data ecosystem. Following brainstorming, the participants in their groups reported back to the plenary what they would be taking back to their respective teams and how they envisioned strengthening the systems around data for the SDGs as well as possible avenues to strengthen their cooperation with UNICEF and the MICS programme. Mrs. Shailaja Sharma and Ms. Meital Rusdia closed the session with an appreciation for the highly professional and engaged participation.