Monday, August 10, 2009

MICS4 Questionnaires and Indicator List Version 1.1 Released

Versions 1.1 of the MICS4 Questionnaires and Indicator List were released on August 12th, 2009.

The Household, Women's and Under-5's Questionnaires, and the MICS4 Indicator List can be found here.

The new indicator list includes 109 indicators, categorized according to the following topics:

Mortality (2)
Nutrition (20)
Child Health (22)
Environment (4)
Reproductive Health (9)
Child Development (7)
Literacy and Education (10)
Child Protection (15)
HIV/AIDS, Sexual Behaviour and Orphans (20)

There are many changes in the questionnaires, some very significant. The module on "Chronic Illness" has been dropped. The module on Vitamin A has also been dropped, but the questions have been modified and moved to after the Immunization module. New modules on "Desire for Last Birth" and "Unmet Need" have been added. There are changes in the wording of many questions, mainly to harmonize with other survey programs, such as the DHS. There has also been re-numbering of questions, which means that any use of the questionnaires should be based on versions 1.1.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

MICS4 Questionnaires and Indicator List Version 1.0 Released

The new MICS questionnaires and indicator list, for the 4th round of MICS surveys, was released in July, 2009. The documents can be found here.

This first version (1.0) of the questionnaires and indicator list were finalized at the end of a long process where the MICS3 questionnaires underwent an intense review process. The following contributed to the finalizations of the questionnaires and indicator list:

  • Observations and reviews of the Global MICS Team, of the MICS3 questionnaires
  • Findings of the MICS3 Evaluation, carried out independently by John Snow Inc.
  • Review and comments by the DHS programme experts
  • Consultations with several interagency groups, various sections of the UNICEF Programme Division in New York, other UN and non-UN agencies, UNICEF Regional Offices
  • Comments and contributions of the experts in the Statistics and Monitoring Section, UNICEF New York
  • Consultations with experts working in the field of household surveys

The new indicator list entertains 108 indicators, many of which were included in MICS3. The same three questionnaires are retained from MICS3 - the Household, Women's and Under-5s questionnaires. There are several new topics included, while some modules that were in the MICS3 questionnaires have been dropped.

Plans are already under way to release Version 1.1 of the documents, on August 10th, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Constructing Free Maps Through Household Surveys

Maps in most of Africa are hard to come by and it is even worse to find free GIS data. A wiki style project - - emerged a few years back to map the world free for all, but until recently it has failed to make major impact in Africa. Things are now progressing rapidly as you will see in various gif-animations and other material on their website.

As part of the MICS4 pilot in Mombasa, Kenya, a GPS unit was left on at all times during field monitoring. This was done to test how feasible it would be to upload the collected tracks and then edit data into a road network in and around Mombasa. You may follow the progress here.

Please note that Mombasa was almost unmapped before this excercise.

You may be aware that Google offers pretty much the same service on online maps - however, these maps are copyrighted and are not flexible in use. For comparison here is Google's map of Mombasa and surroundings.

Google has an office in Nairobi, so their coverage is very good here, unlike in the rest of Africa.

The test was done for a number of reasons:

  • Many survey coordinators have been asking for advice on how to utilise GPS units further. Handing units to field team supervisors to mark cluster locations has long been used to attach data to geographic locations, but why not keep the units on at all times (using the cigarette lighter)? This way you can track the location of vehicles at all times (checking mileage and fuel consumption) and create an almost full coverage map of the survey location.
  • Another idea is to equip listing teams with units and have all households marked and numbered on maps, thus making location much easier for interviewers.
  • Further, we could ask all interviewers to mark all households visited, making it very unattractive to take a day off filling questionnaires under a tree...
  • Finally, it seems very unproductive to leave field team drivers without anything to do for entire days.

Should you be interested in participating in bigger pilots, in discussion on how to best employ GPS units, or in any related matter, feel free to contact Bo Pedersen, ESARO MICS Coordinator, at