The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) Launched

    Muzaffarabad/Islamabad, February 25, 2022 – Findings of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted in AJ&K (in year 2020-21), disseminated during a ceremony held here today which was presided by the Prime Minister of AJ&K Mr. Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, as the Chief Guest.  
    The survey was conducted in all 10 districts of AJ&K by the Bureau of Statistics (BoS)/Planning and Development Department, AJ&K during year 2020-21 using the MICS6 global methodology, with the technical support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
    MICS is an international household survey programme used by the Government of AJ&K as a source of important and reliable information on women and children, based on a comprehensive set of socioeconomic indicators to help make informed decisions for people of the province. 

     Quote by the Chief Guest
    The first AJ&K MICS was conducted by UNICEF in year 2007-08. This is the second round of MICS, was conducted by BoS/Planning & Development Department AJ&K, first-ever survey by BoS/P&D Department itself through indigenous efforts. These surveys have proved to be imperative tools for development initiatives and in determining public budgetary outlays, particularly for the social sector. 
    With its strong commitment towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Government of AJ&K undertook MICS 2020-21 as one of the largest exercises of its kind with the sample of 7,600 households in the region, provided estimates at district-level too. 
    Findings of MICS AJ&K are being used to fill in the data gaps for monitoring human development in general and the situation of children and women, in particular. The survey provides statistically sound and internationally comparable data on more than 170 socio-economic indicators, including 33 SDGs indicators. 
    The sample of the AJ&K MICS 2020-21 was designed to provide estimates about children and women in the province, for urban and rural areas, divisions and at the district-level.
    Results of some key indicators have revealed that: 
    •    Total fertility rate has declined from 4.0 (in AJ&K MICS 2007-08) to 3.4 per women, age 15-49 years 
    •    Health indicators have improved considerably since the last MICS in 2007-08 such as the number of skilled birth attendants has increased from 69 per cent to more than 89 per cent 
    •    Child mortality rates showing a declining trend since reported in AJ&K DHS (in year 2010)
    •    Education indicators also showed positive increase since last MICS
    •    Infant and Young Child Feeding indicators show an improvement trend, including considerable improvements observed in the nutritional status of children under age 5 year, as stunting is       decrease from 38 percent in last MICS to just above 24 percent in this MICS survey
    •    Eight out of ten households are using basic drinking water services and also having basic sanitation facilities in the households 
    •    Prevalence of child marriage among female (of age 20-24 years) are higher (11 percent) as compared to men (2 percent)
    “Launch of the provincial MICS is a great achievement which places the Government of AJ&K in the top tier having internationally verified and comparable data to make informed decisions for its people,” said Dr. Inousa Kabore, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Pakistan. “ I thank and commend the commitment and leadership of the Bureau of Statistics, Planning and Development Board, for meeting international standards in conducting the survey and hope that the findings go a long way in steering the development work in the province in favour of most marginalized children, adolescents and all other citizens. While UNICEF continues to assist the government, it encourages researchers and policymakers to access and use the MICS data for further secondary analysis, and policy development,” he added.