The IGME was formed in 2004 to share data on child mortality, harmonize estimates within the UN system, improve methods for child mortality estimation, report on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and enhance country capacity to produce timely and properly assessed estimates of child mortality. The IGME, led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), also includes the World Bank and the United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs as full members.
The IGME’s independent Technical Advisory Group, comprising leading academic scholars and independent experts in demography and biostatistics, provides guidance on estimation methods, technical issues and strategies for data analysis and data quality assessment.
Generating accurate estimates of child mortality poses a considerable challenge because of the limited availability of high-quality data for many developing countries. Complete vital registration systems are the preferred source of data on child mortality because they collect information as events occur and they cover the entire population. However, many developing countries lack fully functioning vital registration systems that accurately record all births and deaths. Therefore, household surveys, such as the UNICEFsupported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and the US Agency for International Development– supported Demographic and Health Surveys, are the primary sources of data on child mortality in developing countries.