Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) Sampling Consultancy

UNICEF
United States
Apply by 15 August 2014
Mid-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 7 August 2014

Job Description

1. Background:

Statistically sound and internationally comparable data are essential for developing evidence-based policies and programmes, as well as for monitoring countries’ progress toward national goals and global commitments. Since 1995, UNICEF has supported the implementation of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), assisting countries in generating high quality data on the situation of children and women. Over the last two decades, 240 MICS surveys have been conducted in more than 100 countries during the first four rounds of 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. For many countries, MICS surveys are among the most important sources of data used for situation analyses, policy decisions and programme interventions, and for influencing the public opinion on the situation of children and women.

During 2013-2015, UNICEF is supporting the fifth round of MICS surveys. MICS is generating information for over 20 MDG indicators and will be, along with other nationally representative household surveys, critically important for final MDG reporting. MICS surveys that will be conducted during the next few years will also contribute to the establishment of the baselines for the post-2015 agenda.

MICS surveys are usually carried out by government organizations, with the support and technical assistance of UNICEF. When countries adhere to the MICS protocols and recommendations, and make use of the standard tools provided, the survey process goes very smoothly. However, in many countries, the provision of survey tools alone has not been sufficient without the additional support of experts providing technical assistance. As part of the MICS5 programme, UNICEF has continued to strengthen the technical support, so that implementing partners can receive the required level of technical assistance at critical survey stages, on a timely basis.

The number of countries conducting MICS5 surveys in 2013-2014 has already exceeded 40, and will increase further as countries decide to conduct MICS for monitoring of national development plans. UNICEF HQ will, therefore, hire an experienced sampling consultant to provide added expertise in facilitating Survey Design Workshops, advise countries on draft sampling plans, provide feedback on data analysis (calculation of sample weights) and report writing (review of sampling related components of final reports), and review global MICS tools related to sampling to maintain the quality of the aforementioned tools, and potentially improve those for the immediate future.

2. Purpose and main tasks:

(a) As indicated by the independent MICS3 Evaluation and the vast experience gained during the implementation of MICS4 since 2009, special attention needs to be paid to issues related to survey sampling, as this is a highly technical field on which countries require a significant amount of support. It is essential that sampling guidance to countries is given in a standard manner and of the highest quality, and that countries receive the guidance and assistance that they need in order to develop and implement appropriate sampling strategies for their surveys. Specifically, country level support will be needed in the following sampling-related areas of work:

  • Calculation of the sample size and overall sample design
  • Sample selection
  • Assessment of suitable sample frames
  • Updating of sample frames (Listing)
  • Calculation of sample weights
  • Calculation of sampling errors

(b) For the provision of good quality support to countries implementing MICS, sampling tools and documents need to be disseminated to implementing agencies during Survey Design Workshops as well as during the planning of the surveys.

(c) Sampling support needs to be provided both from a distance and by means of visits to the countries at the critical stages of survey implementation.

To these ends, UNICEF HQ needs to work with a sampling expert who can provide such support at the global level as well as at regional and country level, whenever needed. Due to the highly technical nature of the work involved, it is essential that an experienced international expert who will follow specific recommendations of the MICS programme is mobilized.

In order to meet these objectives, UNICEF requires the support of external sampling expertise. The assignments under this contract will be to:

1) Review, revise, and send feedback about the sampling plans developed by the statistical agencies designing MICS surveys during the contract period,

2) Review, advise or, if necessary, calculate the sample weights for countries after the data collection is completed before they proceed with the data analyses,

3) Visit MICS implementing countries to discuss the sampling plans and sampling weights

4) Review the relevant chapters of the MICS country reports.

5) Facilitate sampling related sessions of the MICS Survey Design Workshops and support the participating survey teams regarding their sampling plans via bilateral meetings.

6) Review the sampling tools used in MICS5 and advise for improvements for the next round of MICS

3. Expected results: (measurable results)

  • Reports on reviews of sampling plans, sample weight calculations and sampling chapters in MICS country reports
  • Trip reports from the Survey Design Workshops attended
  • Trip reports from country visits
  • Report(s) on review of MICS sampling tools

4. Confidentiality of Data and MICS Documents

The Sampling Consultant must respect the confidentiality of the MICS data as well as any country specific MICS documents that will be produced throughout the MICS process. The consultant can use the documents and the datasets only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.

5. Consultant’s Work Place

The consultant will work from home using own equipment and stationery. With the exception of participation to the Survey Design Workshops and visits to MICS implementing countries, work can be done from a remote location.

6. Duration:

Start date: 1 September 2014

End date: 31 July 2015

Total number of working days: 147 days

7. Travel:

Two trips to MICS5 Survey Design Workshops are envisaged. Tentatively, the workshop venues will be Panama City (Panama) and Istanbul (Turkey).

Six trips to visit MICS implementing countries to discuss sampling plans and sample weights are envisaged. The specific countries that will need in-country support in these areas will be determined during the course of the contract. Tentatively these countries are Kazakhstan, Haiti, Tunisia, Nigeria, Thailand and Belize.

8. Activities, resources, deadlines

  • Review, revise, and send feedback about the sampling plans developed by the statistical agencies designing MICS surveys during the contract period

Deliverables: Report with feedback and suggestions for each country

Number of working days: 20 days for 10 country/survey sampling plan reviews

Deadline: All the reviews will be submitted before or by 31 July 2015

  • Review, advise or, if necessary, calculate the sample weights for countries after the data collection is completed before they proceed with the data analyses,

Deliverables: Review Reports

Number of working days: 30 days for 15 countries/surveys

Deadline: All the reviews will be submitted before or by 31 July 2015

  • Visit MICS implementing countries to discuss the sampling plans and sampling weights

Deliverables: Review Reports

Number of working days: 42 days for 6 countries/surveys

Deadline: The visits will be done upon request, as need arises (but no later than 31 July 2015)

  • Review the relevant chapters of the MICS country reports.

Deliverables: Review sampling related chapters of the MICS Country Reports

Number of working days: 30 days for 15 country/survey reports

Deadline: All the reviews will be submitted before or by 31 July 2015

  • Participate to two MICS5 Survey Design Workshops

Deliverables: Workshop presentations and trip reports following each workshop.

Number of working days: 20 days (Two days for preparation and follow up and eight days for the workshop days)

Deadlines:

10 November 2014 (after completion of the Survey Design workshop – location: Panama City, Panama)

10 May 2015 (after completion of the Survey Design workshop – location: Istanbul, Turkey)

  • Review the global MICS sampling tools.

Deliverables: Review report

Number of working days: 5 days

Deadline: The review will be submitted before or by 31 July 2015

9. Key skills, technical background, and experience required:

  • At least a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Survey Sampling or Statistics with special expertise in survey sampling
  • At least 10 years’ experience in designing samples for household surveys
  • Must have expertise with the sampling methodology of household surveys like MICS or DHS (Demographic and Health Surveys)
  • Demonstrated training experience
  • Experience of working in developing countries
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in English and at least one of the following languages: Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment

10. Estimated Cost of the Consultancy

Consultancy daily fee:

  • Level P4+
  • Total of 147 working days
  • Travel: Estimated 8 trips

11. Payment Schedule

Tied to satisfactory submission of deliverables, payments will be based on submission of four consultancy reports detailing number of days/hours spent on assignments. The reports are due 15 November 2014, 28 February 2015, 30 April 2015, and 31 July 2015.

12. Application Procedures:

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV and P 11 form (which can be downloaded from our website at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html) to pdconsultants@unicef.org by 15 August 2014 with subject line: MICS Sampling Consultancy.

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

For additional information regarding MICS, please visit http://www.childinfo.org/index.html

More information

MICS_HQ_Sampling_Expert_2014-15_TOR_2014-07-24.doc

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