10 July 2020

Due to travel restrictions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants joined the stakeholders in Apia, Samoa remotely.

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Samoa, a small Pacific Island nation, conducted its first ever MICS during October 2019 and February 2020, collecting information from 3,675 sampled households. The survey was implemented by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, with support from the Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF. The Data Interpretation and Report Compilation (DIRC) Workshop was held from 23 to 26 June 2020, which was the second such workshop to be held in the Pacific during the sixth round of MICS. The first Pacific island nation to complete MICS6 was Kiribati.

Samoa had conducted a USAID-supported Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in 2009, and a more recent DHS in 2014, which was not part of the USAID-supported DHS programme. The MICS in Samoa was named DHS-MICS to indicate continuity of most of the content with previous surveys, although the USAID-supported programme was not involved in the survey.

Taiaopo Faumuina, Samoa Bureau of Statistics Assistant Chief Executive Officer at the Census, Surveys and Demography Division, and Aliimuamua Malaefono Tauā-T.Faasalaina, Survey Coordinator, opened the workshop. Talei Cama, UNICEF Pacific Social Policy Officer, made opening remarks together with Sandra Paredez, UNFPA Population and Development Adviser, and Kim Robertson, SPC. All speakers pointed out the importance of the survey in producing data and new evidence on child mortality, health, nutrition, child protection and domestic violence-related indicators that are internationally comparable. The survey also collected data on many other indicators including drinking water quality, learning skills of children, child functioning, and physical and sexual violence against women at the population level.

Due to travel restrictions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants joined the stakeholders in Apia, Samoa remotely, from various locations worldwide, including from Fiji and Vanuatu. Members of the UNICEF MICS Team for this survey, from UNICEF’s Pacific Multi-Country Office, as well as UNICEF’s Global MICS Team members joined from Headquarters in New York and the Regional Office in Bangkok. 

Experts from the SBS, Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, Nuanua o le Alofa (NOLA), Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa Water Authority, Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Ministry of Police and Prison Services, Office of the Ombudsman, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Samoa Family Health Association, Pacific Community and UNFPA attended the workshop to review the survey results and to start work on the Survey Findings Report and Statistical Snapshots, which are expected to be released in August.