Consultant, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 (MICS4)

United States
Apply by 13 April 2012
Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 5 April 2012

Job Description

Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 (MICS4)




UNICEF assists countries in collecting and analysing data in order to fill data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women through its international household survey initiative, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). MICS enables countries to produce statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of a range of indicators in the areas of health, education, child protection, water and sanitation and HIV and AIDS. MICS findings are typically among the most important sources of data within a country used as a basis for policy decisions and programme interventions, and for influencing public opinion on the situation of children and women. As part of the global effort to increase the availability of high quality data, UNICEF is committed to work with countries to complete the MICS surveys that were initiated in the fourth round of surveys (MICS4) and to develop the survey tools for the next round (MICS5 in 2012-2014). MICS surveys are usually carried out by government organizations, with the support and technical assistance of UNICEF. The independent evaluation of MICS3 in 2008 demonstrated that when countries were in full compliance with the MICS protocols and recommendations and made use of the tools provided, the survey process was very smooth and quality data was produced. However, in many countries, the provision of survey tools alone was not sufficient without the additional support of personnel providing technical assistance. Since 2009, UNICEF has created Regional MICS Coordinator position at all the Regional Offices to coordinate MICS activities in their respective regions, and to provide technical assistance, either directly or by mobilizing technical experts in the region. In LAC, there is an urgent need to support a large amount of MICS work that is being undertaken in 11 countries[1], which are at different stages of MICS implementation, ranging from planning and design to report writing. While support to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and elsewhere, is a continuing need, activities are now also in place for the development of new survey tools for MICS5. These activities include, but are not limited to, development of new questionnaires, the conduct of the global MICS pilot survey in Bangladesh, and the development of various other survey tools (e.g. data processing materials, tabulations, report templates). To ensure that the specific features of countries of the LAC region is appropriately represented in the new cycle of MICS programme, the incumbent of the current contract will be needed to take an active part in the aforementioned activities.

The consultant will be primarily involved in supporting MICS activities in the LAC region and in the development of MICS5 tools during the first part of the duration of this contract. Thereafter, the consultant will focus on supporting MICS activities in all regions, and on the drafting of a paper on the history of MICS, which will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal before the end of the year.

In summary, UNICEF will hire a household survey consultant to

  • Continue to coordinate and support MICS implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Support UNICEF HQ in the development of MICS5 survey tools
  • Support the production of a paper on the history of MICS

Purpose of the Job

Under the overall supervision of the Global MICS Coordinator in UNICEF New York and the Regional Chief of Monitoring and Evaluation in LAC, the consultant will have the responsibility of

1) Supporting the preparation, implementation and completion of the MICS in LAC countries. Under the joint guidance and supervision of the Global MICS Coordinator and the M&E Chief in LAC, the consultant will work closely with the UNICEF Country Offices in LAC and (wherever appropriate) implementing partners during survey planning, questionnaire design, sampling, training, field work, data entry, data processing and report writing, ensuring that MICS guidelines[2] and protocols are being followed at all times.

2) The Household Survey Consultant will respond promptly to MICS related needs and issues as they arise and communicate effectively with LAC, with UNICEF HQ, the Regional Sampling and Data Processing Consultants, the UNICEF COs, the UNICEF MICS Consultants and the implementing partners. Working closely with the HQ and Regional MICS teams, the Household Survey Consultant will, from afar, carry out technical reviews and advice Country Officess (COs) and implementing agencies at key moments in the survey process. The Household Survey Consultant may also carry out a series of country visits, in order to monitor progress and be present at critical stages of survey implementation.

3) Support the Global MICS Team in UNICEF New York in the development of MICS5 survey tools, particularly questionnaires, tabulation plans, and report templates

4) Collaborate with the Global MICS Team in New York in the preparation of a paper on the history of MICS, to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal

Main tasks Related to the Job

  1. From afar and in coordination and collaboration with LAC and UNICEF New York, provide review and feedback to COs on the following documents, in order to ensure that they comply with MICS standards;
    1. Survey plans (including budget and training plans)
    2. Adaptation and customization of questionnaires and manuals
    3. Sample design (in collaboration with the Regional Sampling Consultant)
    4. Adaptation and customization of data entry, editing and recoding programmes (in collaboration with the Regional Data Processing Consultant)
    5. Review of customized tabulation plans
    6. Review of datasets and tabulations (in collaboration with Regional Data Processing Consultant)
  1. At the request of LAC, Regional Office, carry out field visits to countries in the region at the following stages of MICS implementation
    1. Questionnaire design
    2. Fieldwork training and initiation of fieldwork
  1. Data analysis
    1. Report writing
  1. Provide support to LAC countries on report writing through assistance from afar or at workshops organized for this purpose at regional level
  1. Review the preliminary and final reports produced by LAC MICS countries
  1. Provide support to Regional Workshops: facilitate selected sessions and work with countries on putting the final touches to the final reports, dissemination plans and support countries on documenting the surveys (development of the archives)
  1. Provide regional status up-dates to LAC and HQ.
  1. Support the development and review of MICS5 survey tools, including active participation in the design and implementation of the Global MICS pilot study scheduled to take place in Bangladesh in May 2012
  1. Develop the contents of, and support the drafting of a paper on the history of MICS


  1. Report for each survey design reviewed outlining key recommendations and proposed changes and how the survey plans meet or do not meet MICS technical standards;
  2. Country visit reports for each country visited;
  3. RO and HQ visit reports;
  4. Regional workshop trip reports;
  5. Global MICS5 pilot study trip report
  6. Presentations and training materials used in workshops and trainings;
  7. Report on each survey report reviewed;
  8. Outline of paper on the history of MICS
  9. First and final drafts of the paper on the history of MICS


The Household Survey Consultant should maintain the confidentiality of the MICS data as well as any country specific or global MICS documents that will be produced throughout the MICS process. The Consultant can only use the MICS related documents and the datasets for the tasks related to these terms of reference.


The consultancy will start on April 18th, and will take place over 6 months.


The consultant may be expected to travel up to three countries to LAC three times, to HQ two times, and participate in two regional MICS workshops. Two visits to different locations worldwide may also be undertaken, within the context of development of MICS5 tools.





HQ and LAC will provide quality assurance and oversight for the consultant’s work with substantial feedback on the quality of the reviews and documents prepared.


The consultant will work from a distance with the exception of the trips outlined above.


If the reports and documents are not submitted according to the deliverables stated in this TOR, the monthly payments at the end of May, June, July, August, September, and October may be withheld until completed.

Qualifications and Competencies


At least a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Demography, Statistics, Epidemiology, or other related technical field with significant measurement or analysis component.

Skills and Experience

  • At least 5 years work experience in relevant fields
  • Expertise in statistical analyses (familiarity with data processing and data analysis software, SPSS highly desirable);
  • Experience in survey report writing;
  • Fluency and excellent oral and written communications in English and Spanish;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability and willingness to travel globally.

Other competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective relationships with national partners;
  • Demonstrated leadership, managerial and supervisory ability.


Qualified candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV and P-11 form (which can be downloaded from our website at to with subject line “Consultant, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4” by 13 April 2012. Please indicate your daily/monthly rate and availability to undertake the terms of reference above. Please note that the selected consultant will not receive additional funds to cover living expenses while in New York. Applications submitted without a monthly rate will not be considered.

[1]Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay as well as Haiti (DHS with significant UNICEF funding)

[2] All guidelines are provided in the MICS manual and MICS pages at

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