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Wakefield Awarded Funding to Lead UNICEF & UW Research on Subnational Mortality Among Children Under 5

Posted: 10/22/2021 (CSDE in the News)

CSDE affiliate and Executive Committee Member Jon Wakefield will lead the work on a Programme Cooperation Agreement between the University of Washington and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Evidence-based estimation of child mortality is a cornerstone for tracking progress towards child survival goals and for planning national and global health strategies, policies, and interventions. Subnational child mortality estimates are vital indicators for targeted interventions and are highly demanded by countries. These estimates can be used to identify geographic areas or populations with high risk of mortality as the first step to identify bottlenecks and prioritize key interventions to save children’s lives. UNICEF is collaborating with the University of Washington (UW) to further develop robust methods to generate subnational child mortality estimates and tools to apply the methods. Admin-1 and admin-2 are nested geographical partitions of a country (for example, in the USA, states correspond to admin-1 and counties to admin-2). Jon and his group have been working on developing methods for subnational under-five mortality at admin-1 and admin-2 levels and has advanced experience and skillsets in the relevant estimation area. The UW’s work has been approved and published by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) for 22 countries and received excellent comments from countries. Due to high demand from countries, further work is needed (e.g., to extend the method to neonatal mortality rates, and generate estimates for more countries). Funding provided through this agreement is to develop and improve methods on subnational mortality, generate admin-1 and admin-2 level neonatal and under-five mortality estimates, and develop tools and provide technical support to countries.