The first round of the MICS Surveys includes 63 surveys from 60 countries.
Since its inception in the mid-1990s, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys programme, known as MICS, has become the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on children and women worldwide. In countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Thailand, Fiji, Qatar, Cote d’Ivoire, Turkmenistan and Argentina, trained fieldwork teams conduct face-to-face interviews with household members on a variety of topics – focusing mainly on those issues that directly affect the lives of children and women. MICS is an integral part of plans and policies of many governments around the world, and a major data source for more than 30 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators. The MICS programme continues to evolve with new methodologies and initiatives, including MICS Plus, MICS Link, MICS GIS and the MICS Tabulator.
Unit of Analysis
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 (MDG) and End-Decade Goals (Year 2000 Goals).
The information obtain through MICS1 surveys measure up to seven Mid-Decade Goals:
1. Elevation of immunization coverage of six antigens of the Expanded Programme on Immunization to 80 per cent or more in all countries.
2. Virtual elimination of vitamin A deficiency. (At least 80 per cent of all children under 24 months of age in areas with vitamin A deficiency receive adequate vitamin A.)
3. Universal salt iodization in IDD-affected countries.
4. Achievement of 80 per cent usage of ORT (increased fluids) and continued feeding as part of the programme to control diarrhoeal diseases.
5. Reduction of 1990 levels of severe and moderate malnutrition by one-fifth or more.
6. Strengthen basic education so as to achieve reduction by one-third the gap between (a) primary school enrollment and retention rates in 1990 and universal enrollment and retention in primary education of at least 80 per cent of the school-age children, and (b) primary school enrollment and retention rates of boys and girls in 1990.
7. Increased water supply and sanitation so as to narrow the gap between the 1990 levels and universal access by the year 2000 of water supply by one-fourth and of sanitation by one-tenth.
To learn more about the topics covered in MICS1 and the complete list of indicators, visit the Tools pages.
The majority of MICS surveys are designed to be representative at the national level. Sample sizes are sufficient to generate robust data at the regional or provincial levels, and for urban and rural areas. In MICS1, subnational surveys, covering specific geographical areas (such as the Northeast zone of Somalia and West Bank and Gaza Strip of State of Palestine) within countries were also conducted.
Producers and sponsors
Bureau of Statistics
United Nations Children's Fund
Design of survey and technical support
The sample for the MICS1 was designed to provide national estimates of indicators for the Mid-Decade Goals. Additionally, most countries also used the survey to provide subnational estimates – for example, at the level of regions, areas, states, provinces or districts. These data may be used for detecting areas where greater efforts are required, as well as for programming and evaluation purposes.
MICS1 reports routinely disaggregate data by location of residence. More details on particular sampling design can be found in the survey final reports.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Helping countries in the process of planning and carrying out a survey was an important way to strengthen upcoming national monitoring efforts. In August of 1994, a global workshop on the multiple-indicator surveys was hosted by UNICEF Bangladesh in Dhaka, where an interagency team, supported by Bangladesh’s Bureau of Statistics as well as by regional and international centers of excellence, prepared all UNICEF regional advisers in monitoring and evaluation to put in place regional support for such surveys. Additionally, UNICEF prepared a technical handbook intended to assist UNICEF staff in their work with national counterparts to measure progress toward the Mid-Decade Goals. Along with the handbook, UNICEF made available complete EPI INFO program package for data entry, checking and analysis.
Fieldwork was conducted by teams of interviewers, editors, measurers and supervisors. A detailed description of team composition and specific tasks is provided in the final report. Data entry and validation were carried out simultaneously with data collection.
MICS questionnaires were designed by implementing agencies, typically the National Statistical Offices. In each country, MICS questionnaires were based on an assessment of the country’s data needs. The starting point was the standard MICS1 questionnaire designed under the guidance of the Planning and Coordination Office, all relevant technical clusters within UNICEF and the Evaluation and Research Office, with assistance from the United Nations Statistical Office, with support from UNFPA, and in consultation with other United Nations agencies, especially the World Health Organization and UNESCO. Countries chose from the MICS modules in the standard MICS questionnaires. All survey activities, from sample and survey design, to fieldwork and report writing were carried out by the implementing agencies – with limited technical support from UNICEF regional advisors in monitoring and evaluation.
The MICS1 standard questionnaire was set up as a series of modules:
Household Information Panel
Mother and Child Listing Form
Water and Sanitation Module
Salt Iodization Module
MODULES FOR MOTHERS:
Tetanus Toxoid Module
Care of Acute Respiratory Illness Module (optional)
MODULES FOR CHILDREN UNDER FIVE YEARS OF AGE:
Vitamin A Module
Breastfeeding Module (optional)
MORTALITY MODULE (alternative)
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.