UNICEF assists countries in collecting and analyzing 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 Surveys (MICS).
MICS surveys are typically carried out by government organizations, with the support and assistance of UNICEF and other partners. Technical assistance and training for the surveys is provided through a series of regional workshops where experts from developing countries are trained on various aspects of MICS (questionnaire content, sampling and survey implementation, data processing, data quality and data analysis, and report writing and dissemination).
Since the mid-1990s, the MICS has enabled many countries to produce statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of a range of indicators in the areas of health, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS. MICS findings have been used extensively as a basis for policy decisions and programme interventions, and for the purpose of influencing public opinion on the situation of children and women around the world.
MICS1 (1995) - The MICS was originally developed in response to the World Summit for Children to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of mid-decade goals. The first round of MICS was conducted around 1995 in more than 60 countries.
MICS2 (2000) - A second round of surveys was conducted in 2000 (around 65 surveys), and resulted in an increasing wealth of data to monitor the situation of children and women. For the first time it was possible to monitor trends in many indicators and set baselines for other indicators.
MICS3 (2005-2006) - The third round of MICS, which was carried out in over 50 countries in 2005-06, has been an important data source for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals with 21 MDG indicators collected through MICS3 (particularly indicators related to health, education and mortality). MICS3 was also a monitoring tool for other international goals including the World Fit for Children, the UNGASS targets on HIV/AIDS and the Abuja targets for malaria.
MICS4 (2009-2011) - In response to an increased demand for data all over the world, starting from MICS4, UNICEF will be prepared to provide assistance to countries at more frequent intervals - every three years instead of every five years. This will provide the opportunity for countries to capture rapid changes in key indicators, particularly the MDGs.
The MICS 2006 has the following primary objectives:
- To provide up-to-date information for assessing the health situation of women and children in Ghana;
- To present the current level of knowledge and behavioural indicators regarding HIV/AIDS and malaria;
- To furnish data needed for monitoring progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, and the goals of A World Fit for Children (WFFC) as a basis for future action; such as the US Presidentfs Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
- To contribute to the formation of baselines for the GPRS II and the Ministry of Health (MoH) Plan of Work 2007-2011, and to provide progress monitoring for other policies and programmes in Ghana;
- To contribute to the improvement of data and monitoring systems in Ghana and to strengthen technical expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of such systems.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
The scope of Ghana 2006 MICS includes:
- Household listing form (demographic information)
- Water and sanitation
- Household characteristics
- Insecticide treated mosquito nets
- Working children
- Child discipline
- Salt iodization
INDIVIDUAL WOMEN QUESTIONNAIRE
- Infant/child mortality
- Tetanus toxoid (TT)
- Maternal and newborn health
- Security of tenure for the women
- Female genital mutilation/cutting
- Attitude towards domestic violence
- Sexual behavior (women age 15-49)
- HIV/AIDS (women age 15-49)
CHILDREN UNDER 5 QUESTIONNAIRE
- Birth registration and early learning
- Childhood education
- Vitamin A - children 6 months and older
- Care of illness
- Malaria for under-fives
INDIVIDUAL MEN QUESTIONNAIRE
- Sexual behavior
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Attitude towards domestic violence
Producers and sponsors
Ghana Statistical Service
United Nations Children's Fund
MEASURE DHS/Macro International
Technical assistance and funding
United States Agency for International Development
Ghana AIDS Commission
The sample for the MICS 2006 was designed to provide estimates on a large number of indicators of the health status of women, men, and children at the national level, for urban and rural areas, as well as for the 10 administrative regions in the country.
A representative probability sample of 6,302 households was selected nationwide. The list of enumeration areas (EAs) from the Ghana Living Standards Survey 5 (GLSS 5) served as a frame for the MICS sample. The frame was first stratified into the 10 administrative regions in the country, then into urban and rural EAs.
The MICS 2006 used a two-stage stratified sample design. At the first stage of sampling, 300 census enumeration areas (124 urban and 176 rural EAs) were selected. These are a subsample of the 660 EAs (281 urban and 379 rural) selected for the GLSS 5. The clusters in each region were selected using systematic sampling with probability proportional to their size.
The distribution of EAs between regions is not proportional to the 2000 Population and Housing Census, mainly due to over-sampling in the number of EAs for Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
A complete household listing exercise covering all EAs in the GLSS 5 was carried out in May through July 2005 with a few selected EAs listed in early 2006. At the second stage, a systematic sampling of households was selected based on this list. The MICS households were selected systematically from the household listing provided by GLSS 5 after eliminating from the list households previously selected by the GLSS 5 (20 per EA). The reason for selecting different households is that the GLSS 5 interviews are long and demanding for respondents. It therefore seemed preferable to keep the two household samples separate in order to avoid respondent fatigue and possible high rates of refusal in the households falling in both samples as they were being conducted concurrently. For the MICS, 20 households per EA were selected except for rural EAs in Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, where 20 households per EA were selected per urban EA and 25 households selected per rural EA. The objective of this exercise was to ensure an adequate number of complete interviews to provide estimates for important population characteristics with acceptable statistical precision per region. Due to the fixed sample size per EA, the disproportional number of EAs and different sample sizes selected per EA among regions, the MICS 2006 household sample is not self-weighting at the national level. For reporting national level results, sample weights are used.
A more detailed description of the sample design can be found in Appendix A of the report available as external resources.
Response rates are important as high non-response may affect the reliability of the survey results. Table HH.1 presents information on the results of the household and individual interviews. A total of 6,302 households were selected for the MICS. Of these, 6,264 were found to be occupied and interviews were completed for 5,939 households which represents a 95 percent response rate. A total of 6,240 women age (15-49) were identified from every selected household, while 1,909 eligible men (age 15-49) from every third selected household were identified for the individual interviews. Interviews were successfully completed for 5,891 women and 1,743 men, yielding response rates of 94 percent and 91 percent respectively. In addition, 3,545 children under five years were listed in the households. Questionnaires were completed for 3,466 children, corresponding to a response rate of 98 percent. Taking into account the non-response at the household level, the overall response rates for women, men and children under five were 90 percent, 87 percent and 93 percent respectively.
Regional differentials in response rates regarding household interviews, eligible women, and children were similar (around 90 percent or higher). However, overall response rates for women, men and children varied slightly by place of residence. The response rates are higher for the rural than the urban sample and among women than men. The main reason for nonresponse among households and eligible individuals was the failure to find these individuals at home despite several visits to the households.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Supervisors and interviewers were selected based on their performance in the field practices, participation in class, assessment tests and fluency in the Ghanaian languages.
Data Collection Notes
A total of 80 interviewers and 10 data entry operators participated in the main fieldwork training, conducted from 17th - 31st July, 2006. Data entry operators were invited to the main training to get a better understanding of the questionnaires and the survey techniques. The training included lectures on interviewing techniques, discussion of the questionnaires, and mock interviews among trainees to acquire skills in asking questions. All interviewers were further trained in testing iodine in salt and taking the height and weights of all under-five children. Towards the end of the training period, trainees spent three days conducting field interviews in 16 EAs (8 urban and 8 rural). Urban and rural areas were selected to provide the field staff a better understanding of working in different environments.
The data were collected by nine teams; each was comprised of four interviewers, one driver, one editor (who edited the questionnaires and took height and weight measurement) and a supervisor. Fieldwork began in August, 2006 and lasted for three months.
Four sets of questionnaires were used in the survey:
- a household questionnaire which was used to collect information on all de jure household members and household characteristics and to identify eligible individuals;
- a women's questionnaire administered in each household to all women aged 15-49 years;
- a men's questionnaire administered in every third selected household to all men aged 15-49 years; and
- an under-5 questionnaire, administered to mothers or caretakers of all children under five years living in the household.
The questionnaires included the following modules:
o Household Listing
o Water and Sanitation
o Durability of Housing
o Malaria -related questions
o Child Labour
o Child Discipline
o Salt Iodization
o Child Mortality
o Tetanus Toxoid
o Maternal and Newborn Health
o Marriage and Union
o Security of Tenure
o Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence
o Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
o Sexual Behaviour
o HIV Knowledge
o Marriage and Union
o Sexual Behaviour
o HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
o Birth Registration and Early Learning
o Child Development
o Vitamin A
o Care of Illness
The questionnaires are based on the MICS model questionnaires and modified to fit the Ghanaian survey standards and conditions. The questionnaires were pre-tested in the Greater Accra Region in June 2006. The training for the pre-test was conducted by GSS staff for 22 interviewers for 13 days. This was followed by the formation of four teams consisting of a supervisor and four interviewers that conducted the pilot survey in four selected localities (2 urban and 2 rural) in the same region to test the entirety of survey procedures.
Based on the results of the pre-test and pilot, further modifications were made to wording and flow of the questions and the survey plan.
In addition to the administration of questionnaires, fieldwork teams tested the salt used for cooking in the households for iodine level, and measured the heights and weights of all children less than 5 years (0-59 months).
Data were captured using the CSPro software. The data were entered on 10 computers by 10 data entry operators and two data entry supervisors. In order to ensure quality control, all questionnaires were double entered and 4 secondary editors complemented the efforts of entry supervisors to perform internal consistency checks. Procedures and standard programmes developed under the global MICS Project and adapted to the Ghana questionnaire were used throughout the processing. Data processing began shortly after the commencement of fieldwork on 23rd August, 2006 and lasted for three months.
Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software program and the model syntax and tabulation plans developed by UNICEF.
MICS Programme Manager
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Global MICS Coordinator
Statistics and Monitoring
Division of Policy and Practice
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