Thirty persons from across the public sector will gather for a two-day workshop next week to analyse the results of a Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) on women and children in Barbados.

The session, to be hosted by the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), will be held on Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4, at the Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael. Participants will be drawn from Ministries and agencies that work closely with women and children, including the Bureau of Gender Affairs, the Ministries of Education, Labour, Health and Social Care, the Child Care Board and several non-governmental organisations.

Director of the BSS, Aubrey Browne, said the field work for the survey, which started last May and ended five months later, had been completed. "We are at the stage where we have processed the information, tabulations were produced and we are getting the key stakeholders together to analyse the tables so we can formulate a report on the survey for Barbados," he disclosed.

Mr. Browne continued: "The report should be completed by June or July this year and then it will be available to all decision-makers within government, the private sector and members of the public."

Underscoring the importance of MICS, he noted that such surveys would generate critical information needed to help policy-makers better tackle issues relating to women and children. "The MICS data will assist Barbados in fulfilling its international reporting obligations by providing disaggregated data on its progress towards the Millennium Development Goals," he disclosed. ??

He pointed out that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provided most of the funding for the survey and assisted from the planning stage through to dissemination.

Mr. Browne explained that his Department had to fine-tune and finalise the questionnaires to suit Barbados. He stated: "These (MICS) are international surveys so there is a standard format for the questionnaires and we had to test them in the field to see which questions were relevant to Barbados and which ones we needed to tweak so they would be understood by the population."

He said three questionnaires were used to gather information about households, females living in the household between 15 and 49 years-old and children under the age of five.


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