3 February 2021

Data from the first two waves focuses on COVID-19, distance learning and nutrition.

More than 3 in 4 people in Mongolia say they wash their hands often and 4 in 5 people wear a mask, to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to the latest data from the country’s MICS Plus survey. The National Statistics Office of Mongolia and UNICEF launched data from the first two waves (rounds) of MICS Plus during a virtual event which was attended by national and local government officials and representatives of international agencies and countries from Asia-Pacific region. 

MICS Plus is a longitudinal, representative household survey that collects real-time data over an extended period of time, with direct phone calls to sampled households. Understanding the situation of children and households and how it evolves during emergencies is critical to formulating timely and relevant interventions and policy decisions. Mongolia’s MICS Plus sampled 2,200 households and has generated data on COVID-19 self-protection practices (such as mask wearing and hand washing), household characteristics (including energy use and water and sanitation), government benefits and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on household income, distance learning, and nutrition, during the first two waves of data collection.

Wave 1 of the survey was carried out between 18 September and 25 October 2020 and had a response rate of 97 per cent. This first wave focused on COVID-19, government benefits and distance learning. On the latter, the data showed that 67 per cent of children age 2-17 who attended school/kindergarten before the COVID-19 pandemic watched or listened to TV/radio lessons, for an average duration of one hour per weekday. A lower percentage was observed for children age 2-5 years (39 percent). 37 per cent of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with distance learning, but 24 per cent expressed dissatisfaction.

Wave 2, carried out during a 15-day period (1–14 December 2020) concluded with a response rate of 92 per cent. This wave focused on COVID-19 impact, such as household income, and children’s nutritional status. The data show that as high as 57 per cent of households had declines in their income since February 2020, when the pandemic-related restrictions were introduced. For more than a quarter of households that reported income loss, household income decreased by more than half. As coping strategies, respondents often reported cutting down on household expenses (81 per cent), reducing food consumption (62 per cent) and borrowing from family and friends (45 per cent). In addition, 74 per cent of the respondents who heard about COVID-19 would accept receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

The MICS Plus survey will follow the same households in all subsequent data collection waves, aiming to measure how their situation changes over time. The next wave will focus on distance learning and child protection, and contents of future waves will be identified based on emerging data needs.

An interactive dashboard, snapshots, methodology and more can be found here.