While the survey team introduces themselves to the family in an apartment in central Pyongyang, DPR Korea, 9-year-old Kim Yong Ok* senses a new audience and wastes no time sitting at the family piano. After arranging some music sheets she plays a tune before jumping up and bowing to accept applause.
Survey teams will be visiting around 8,500 family homes throughout the country over the coming months to gather data on the situation of children and women. They’ll be visiting families in both urban households, like here in Pyongyang, and some of the hardest-to-reach rural areas to ensure they get a real snapshot of family life throughout DPR Korea.
After introductions are made the team gets to work. Kim Yong Ok is invited to sit down in a private room with a female survey team member to be asked questions ranging from her reading ability to her general health.
Question by question, the team member inputs Kim Yong Ok’s responses on a new tablet. For the first time in the country, the data from the field will be quickly transferred to a central office using the country’s intranet network, ensuring quick, safe delivery of data.
While the family answers the questions a second survey team member opens a ‘portable laboratory’ kit to test water quality. Inside the kit is everything required to test the household water supply to see whether it is clean and safe to use.
“Data informs UNICEF’s work for children throughout the world and it is no different here in DPR Korea,” said Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, UNICEF DPR Korea Representative. “These numbers will give us and the Government a real, accurate insight into the lives of children and women and provide evidence for action.”
Ensuring quality data
UNICEF is working with DPR Korea’s Central Bureau of Statistics to conduct a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). These standardized, household surveys are carried out to internationally recognized, high technical standards and capture representative information about families’ lives and ensure UNICEF and partners can use its resources effectively to help children and women have better lives.
“Data from this household survey enable Government, UNICEF and partners to understand the circumstances and living conditions of girls and boys from all parts of society,” said Tatjana Karaulac, a UNICEF MICS Specialist working closely with the Central Bureau of Statistics. “It helps everyone better understand how children are born and cared for, and how they grow and learn.”
UNICEF’s international technical experts have access during all survey phases (survey design, data collection, quality control and analysis) and the Survey Findings Report is due to be finished and published by early 2018. The results will also help form a baseline for measuring progress towards to Sustainable Development Goals.
* name changed