The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), one of the largest household surveys worldwide, kicks off in Georgia this week. It will last for three months and collect high quality, internationally comparable data about the situation of families, children and women throughout the country. The survey will also check the quality of water and examine lead prevalence in children.
The survey is conducted by the National Statistics office of Georgia with technical and financial support from UNICEF and the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. Financial support to the survey is also provided by SIDA, USAID, AFD, SDC, UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, the World Bank, and the Italian Institute of National Health.
The MICS will collect data on education, health, child development and care, parenting, early marriage, use of energy, environmental protection and infrastructure, as well as the situation of children with disabilities, internally displaced persons and national minorities. The survey will provide nationally and regionally representative data on 48 per cent of the Sustainable Development Goal indicators.
The results of the survey will help the Government of Georgia with evidence-based decision making and policy planning to improve the life of vulnerable families and children and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The MICS data collection fieldwork begins on 20 September and lasts until 20 December 2018. It will be conducted in over 14,000 households in Tbilisi and the ten regions of Georgia.
The testing of lead prevalence in children’s blood will involve taking venous blood samples from approximately 1,500 children aged 2-7 throughout the country. The samples will be sent to one of the leading European laboratories in Italy. Families will receive lead test results individually and in cases where a high level of lead is identified, they will also get free consultation from the National Centre for Disease Control.
The water examination in households will be tested for e-coli (bacterium of human intestines) by taking samples of drinking water from every fourth family. The results will provide information on the quality of drinking water countrywide, as well as in each region.
The team from the National Statistics Office that will visit families will include 1-3 interviewers, a measurer who will take the water sample, measure and weigh all children under five and an experienced phlebotomist who will take the venous blood sample from children. Before the blood testing, all parents and children will be asked whether or not they agree to provide a blood sample.
In parallel to the data collection fieldwork, a large-scale communication and community mobilization campaign will be initiated to raise awareness about the MICS, its objectives and procedures, and to gain public support and mobilize the participation of households in the survey.
The results of the MICS will be publicly available in spring 2019.