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Child Well-Being Index in Kazakhstan

18.02.2022

On February 1, 2022, the Child Well-Being Index of Kazakhstan was approved by Order of the Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

On October 22, 2020, at a meeting of the National Council of Public Trust, the President of the country, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, proposed to develop and implement a national monitoring mechanism - the Child Well-Being Index in Kazakhstan from 2022.

The Children Rights Protection Committee under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan is responsible for promotion and implementation of the Child Well-Being Index of Kazakhstan (hereinafter - the Index); Economic Research Institute JSC is the main developer of the Index Methodology. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) provides technical support.

This Index is designed to assess child well-being and degree of effectiveness of national policies aimed at creating favorable conditions for children in various areas, which is especially relevant in the context of the "new reality" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. 

Introduction of this Index will make it possible to identify in a timely manner all constraints to the effective implementation of measures aimed at improving the situation of children in various areas. The well-being of children will be examined regionally, taking into account the views of parents and children, and in accordance with the sustainable development principle of "Leave No One Behind.

Since the signing of the trilateral joint plan (April 1, 2021) to implement the Index, Economic Research Institute has conducted comprehensive work to analyze the situation of children in Kazakhstan, focusing on key aspects of well-being, including health, education, monetary poverty, and other indicators of well-being by regions of Kazakhstan. Thus, to conduct the analysis, common and globally used indices of child well-being were studied (more than 10 world indices were studied), as well as domestic research of child well-being. 

For reference: 10 international Indices and 1 Kazakhstan Index have been studied: Moore Index (USA), Bradshaw and Richardson Index (EU), UNICEF Index (2013 and 2020), OECD Index, IRSSV Index (Slovenia), Wales Child and Youth Wellbeing Index (UK), Child Poverty and Deprivation Index in the Kyrgyz Republic, Canadian Child and Youth Wellbeing Index, Child Wellbeing Index in India; Child Wellbeing Index (Sange, 2018).

From May to October 2021, a large-scale effort was made to explain and test the Child Well-Being Index Methodology among the population. Two rounds of online and offline discussions were held with the participation of more than 1,000 experts, NGOs, parents, educators, and government agencies. In total, more than 120 proposals were received from experts and the public on the integration of new indicators and finalizing the draft Index Methodology. In addition, in order to allow the opinions of more stakeholders to be taken into account, online voting on proposed indicators has been conducted on the website of ERI. More than 18 thousand people from all over Kazakhstan took part in it.

During the discussion there was also constructive criticism of individual indicators, name of the index and methodology of calculation. For example, the Index was originally called the "Kazakhstan Child Happiness Index" (or KIDS for short) so that the index could always be associated with children. However, many experts and parents felt that happiness was an "ephemeral" concept and impossible to quantify, so they decided to call it the Child Well-Being Index in Kazakhstan (CWBIK).

Based on public suggestions and voting results, the initial set of indicators was adjusted to the requirements of stakeholders. Thus, out of the 58 indicators originally proposed by ERI, 19 were excluded and new 17 indicators were included, which were proposed by the expert community and the public of Kazakhstan.

For the possibility of testing the draft Index Methodology, during the period from September 11 to September 29, 2021, the testing of survey indicators of the draft Index Methodology was conducted in 10 regions of the country (including regional centers, districts, villages, small towns). Experts interviewed more than 9,500 children and their parents. 

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Innocenti Research (Innocenti, Italy) were of great assistance in this matter, helping to obtain ethical approval for the Index sociological study methodology from the Health MediaLab Institutional Review Board (HML IRB).

The Index Methodology was also scientifically reviewed by Kazakhstani and foreign experts. Nine letters of recommendation were received from Doctors of Science, Professors, PhDs, and Candidates of Sciences.

Introduction of Child Well-Being Index in Kazakhstan will allow government agencies to respond to issues related to child well-being in a timely manner, and to take into account all results of child well-being assessments when shaping policy initiatives that will have a positive impact on the effectiveness of measures taken by government agencies. 

Economic Research Institute JSC expresses gratitude to all partners, experts of state bodies and non-governmental sector, teachers, parents and children who took an active part in the development and testing of the Index Methodology.

 



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Saved: 08.08.2022



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