UNICEF Oman, together with the National Centre for Statistics and Information, have released a landmark report titled 'Child Well-being and Empowerment Index,' (CWEI), that assesses the lives, wellbeing and empowerment of children in Oman in relation to other countries, and at a governorate level, in relation to each governorate.
"UNICEF, in cooperation with the National Centre for Statistics and Information, released a Child Welfare and Empowerment Index, which assesses the Sultanate of Oman's achievements in the area of protection of children, their welfare and empowerment. This achievement was the result of coordinated efforts among various sectors of the country for the future society," said HE Dr. Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Barwani, Chief Executive Officer of NCSI. He said, "The Sultanate is among the top five percent of countries in the world to provide comprehensive health coverage free of cost to its citizens. Although its ranking comes after 38 countries in income and after 59 countries in consumption, it is evident that Omani people enjoy a higher level of health benefits and protection than citizens of most high-income countries do."
Oman's CWEI relates to children and adolescents from birth to 18 years of age and comprises of component indicators covering five domains representing material well-being, education, the home environment of the child, risks and behavior issues, and health and nutrition. These domains are called (i) Attain Material Well-Being, (ii) Learn and Achieve, (iii) Enjoy a Decent Home, (iv) Stay Safe and Protected, and (v) Survive and Thrive.
The purpose of such an index is to assess child wellbeing holistically, rather than through single indicators. International efforts to develop such composite indices over the years have compared countries, regional country groupings, or areas within a country. In preparation for the report, the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) led a workshop on 'The Sustainable Development Goals and Children in Oman,' in order to agree on indicators most relevant to reflect and monitor the situation of Oman's children. The approach used in Oman's CWEI is an adaptation of standard methodologies employed by the United Nations.
Lana Al Wreikat, UNICEF Representative, said, "This report is a key research piece as Oman is the first country in the Middle East region to map child well-being and empowerment with a composite index that it developed for its own use. The methodology used has contributed to the identification of sub-regional disparities within Oman, which in turn allows for more targeted interventions to better outcomes for children across the Sultanate. On a global level, it is apparent that Oman has seen significant achievements for children's well-being, outperformed only by industrialized nations."The review and analysis of child well-being indices confirms Oman's remarkable achievements for children. When compared with other countries, most of Oman's indices in the five domains and Oman's final CWEI are high. Oman scores high, 82.08 out of 100, with a rank of 23 of the 94 countries that have data on 16 CWEI indicators. By governorate, Al Wusta has the lowest CWEI, followed by Dhofar, while Muscat and Musandam are the top performers.
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