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Consultancy - Regional Household Survey

Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Terms of Reference for an Individual Consultant

Regional Household Survey Consultant (English Speaking)

1. Background:

UNICEF places a high priority on the availability of recent and reliable information for monitoring the situation of children, young people and families, for developing evidence-based policies and programmes, as well as for assessing countries' progress toward national goals and global commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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, nutrition, 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, for informing public opinion on the situation of children and women and influencing the public debate.

MICS surveys are usually carried out by government organizations, with the support and technical assistance of UNICEF. The type of support required by countries at different stages of a national household survey requires specialized skills. Therefore, UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean will tap on the expertise of experienced consultants, who will be able to provide MICS countries with the necessary technical assistance at critical survey stages on a timely manner.

As round 4 of MICS is coming to an end and round 5 starts, several MICS4 surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will need support with finalisation of their MICS reports while countries joining round 5 of MICS will need to be provided with technical assistance during the stages of questionnaire design, pre-test and fieldwork training, fieldwork monitoring, data analysis and report writing.  

This consultancy is part of the Regional Office (RO) strategy for providing technical support and quality assurance to Country Offices (COs) undertaking MICS. This consultancy will focus on supporting the preparation, implementation and completion of MICS surveys in the region.

2. Objective:

Under the overall supervision of the Regional Monitoring Specialist, the MICS Regional Household Survey Consultant will have the responsibility for supporting the preparation, implementation and completion of the MICS in selected countries in LAC.

3. Activities and Outputs:

1)    Support the Regional Monitoring Specialist in providing technical assistance for MICS surveys;

2)    In coordination and collaboration with the Regional Monitoring Specialist, review and provide remote feedback to COs on the following documents to ensure that they comply with MICS standards; 

a.    Survey plans (including budget and training plans)

b.    Questionnaires, Indicators, Manuals, Training agendas

c.    Sample design, if needed (in collaboration with the Regional Sampling Consultant when relevant)

d.    Data entry, editing and recoding programmes (in collaboration with the Regional Data Processing Consultant)

e.    Review of tabulation plans

f.     Review of datasets and tabulations (in collaboration with the Regional Data Processing Consultant)

3)    Carry out field visits, when necessary and when required, to MICS countries at the following stages of MICS implementation;

4)    Questionnaire design (approximately 5 days);

5)    Fieldwork training and initiation of fieldwork (2-3 weeks);

6)    Data analysis (approximately 3 days);

7)    Report writing (approximately 5 days);

As needed, the Regional Household Survey Consultants might need to take part in missions carried out by the Regional Monitoring Specialist to support UNICEF COs in negotiating, promoting and presenting MICS to governments and other partners. 

8)    Review the preliminary and final reports produced by MICS countries;

9)    In collaboration with the Regional Monitoring Specialist, prepare regional status up-dates to RO.

The Regional Household Survey Consultants will advise UNICEF COs and implementing partners during survey planning, questionnaire design, sampling, training, field work, data entry, data processing and report writing, ensuring that MICS guidelines and protocols are being followed at all times.

4. Deliverables:

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 (including presentations and training materials) for each country visited;

3)    Recommendations on improvement of the fieldwork based on observations and fieldcheck tables, as applicable;4)    Regional workshop trip report(s) including key recommendations;

5)    Design presentations and training materials to be used in workshops and trainings;

6)    Report on the fieldwork training and data collection activity in each country;

7)    Report on each survey final report reviewed;

8)    Report on data dissemination and data archiving.

 For each task, the number of days and deliverables will be specified agreed upon on the basis of specific short ToRs.

5. Qualifications and Competencies:


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

Skills and Experience

  • Minimum 8-10 years of experience in the coordination and/or management of quantitative household surveys. (Prior MICS/DHS coordination experience highly desirable);
  • Expertise in statistical analyses (familiarity with data processing and data analysis software, SPSS highly desirable);
  • Experience in survey report writing;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability and willingness to travel to all countries across LAC.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective relationships with national partners.


Fluency in English (oral and written); Spanish is highly desirable.

6. Duration of the contract:

The contract duration is estimated from 15th of July 2013–15th June 2014. It is estimated that 60 days of household survey consultancy will be required throughout this period; however, a more precise calculation will be made when the exact number of countries conducting MICS in 2013/14 will be known. The number of contract days in each contract will depend on the profile/expertise and location of the consultant, the type of support expected as well as the expected availability during the year for MICS related assignments.

7. Official travel involved:

This is a home-based consultancy; however, the consultant will be expected to travel to 1-2 countries in the period of the consultancy and to co-facilitate at the MICS 5 regional survey design workshop, if organised. Expenses related to the travel costs will be covered by UNICEF as per its rules and regulations.

8. How to apply:

Qualified candidates are requested to email a cover letter, CV and P11 form (attached) as well as the attached MICS Consultancy Profile form to by June 30th., 2013 with the subject line "Regional Household Survey consultant."

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




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