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The inaugural assembly of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Steering Committee represents a significant milestone in Sierra Leone's advancement towards enhanced data collection and analysis.

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) is an international household survey programme developed by UNICEF in the 1990s which is now in its seventh round in Sierra Leone.

Chaired by Dr. Sartie M. Kenneh, Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health, the session congregated key stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, Statistics Sierra Leone, UNICEF, UNFPA, other partner organizations and Government Agencies.

Commencing with prayers and introductions to foster a collaborative environment, Dr. Sartie M. Kenneh delivered the opening speech, reaffirming the Ministry's commitment to supporting the MICS-7 endeavour.

This dedication was re-echoed by the UNICEF Representative at the meeting, Mona Korsgard, and the UNFPA Deputy Representative, Sibeso Nwluluma, underscoring the indispensable role of data in guiding the endeavours of international organizations in providing development assistance.

Mr. Moses Williams, Chairman of the Stats SL Council, shared insights from prior MICS surveys going as far back as MICS-1, demonstrating a willingness to provide expertise if needed.

Mr. Andrew Bob Johnny, the Statistician General, expressed appreciation and recognition of the ongoing commendable work and extended gratitude to all for their contributions towards MICS 7, assuring continued support until the project's successful completion.

Dr. Francis Smart from the Ministry of Health outlined the committee's roles and responsibilities, emphasizing the importance of each member's involvement in the success of MICS 7.

The session's objectives were elucidated by Statistics Sierra Leone's MICS focal person, Acting Director of Demographic, Health and Social Statistics, Mr. Mohamed Koblo Kamara, highlighting the necessity for alignment and cooperation among stakeholders.

Eleanor Keeble, the MICS Consultant, introduced the selection process for MICS 7 questionnaire modules, guiding committee members through crucial areas of customization.

Discussions ensued on tailoring the questionnaire to meet specific needs and priorities in Sierra Leone, setting the stage for further refinement.

Concluding the meeting, the proposed next steps encompassed finalising the questionnaire and establishing a Technical Working Group.
A timeline for the MICS 7 process was proposed, delineating significant milestones and deliverables to ensure timely implementation.

The meeting was adeptly moderated by Mr. Samuel Asumana, Stats SL’s Director of Communication & PR, facilitating seamless proceedings and active participation from all attendees.

The MICS 7 Steering Committee embarks on its mission with a united sense of purpose and dedication to leveraging data for informed decision-making and positive societal impact. With well-defined objectives, collaborative efforts, and effective leadership, Sierra Leone is poised to attain new heights in digital data collection and analysis .

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