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Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) - Regional Data Processing Consultant

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office



UNICEF is looking for qualified and experienced professionals for providing data processing-related technical support to MICS surveys in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).


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 17 years and four rounds of MICS, 240 MICS surveys have been conducted in more than 100 countries.

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 2012-2015, UNICEF supports the fifth round of MICS surveys. MICS has generated information for over 20 MDG indicators and has been, along with other nationally representative household surveys, critically important final MDG reporting and to set the baselines for the new Global Development Agenda post 2015.

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 tools provided, the survey process goes very smoothly. However, in many countries, as the MICS previous  evaluations also confirms, the provision of survey tools alone has not been sufficient without the additional support of experienced personnel providing technical assistance to MICS implementing partners.

As part of the MICS5 programme, UNICEF will continue to strengthen its MICS technical support mechanism at the regional level so that country offices can receive the required level of technical assistance at critical stages of the survey and are in a better position to support the implementing partner.

Across LAC, current plans suggest that in 2015 planning, preparation and fieldwork for MICS surveys will be initiated Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay and Suriname. The number of countries planning to conduct MICS may also increase as countries finalize their MDG reporting plans or decide to conduct MICS for monitoring of national development plans. Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office (LAC-RO) will, therefore, hire experienced data processing consultants to provide data processing-related technical assistance and capacity development to country offices and their partners in a timely manner.


1.     Review the adapted data entry programs (CSPro) for selected MICS surveys in LAC taking the MICS guidelines and final versions of questionnaires as a basis;

2.     Review the adapted data processing programs (SPSS) for each MICS survey in LAC  advising on compliance of the tabulation programs with MICS guidelines and of the output tables with the adapted questionnaires for the survey;

3.     Compile reports with technical comments and recommendations highlighting proposed changes, if any, to the data entry and data analysis programs;

4.     Facilitate the data entry and analysis training sessions during the MICS regional workshop (Data Processing) and discuss and advise countries attending the workshop on their data entry and data analysis approach;

5.     Provide in-country support to selected countries in order to assist the implementing partner in adapting the data entry and analysis programs (including providing technical support to data cleaning, recoding, analysis and tabulation of country-specific modules and/or questions).

Suggested timing of country visits:

·         Before the beginning of fieldwork, during data entry clerk training, into the first few days of fieldwork - to advise on set up of the Data Processing System;

·         At the end of the fieldwork, during the editing, cleaning, exporting process, including the first run of tables;

·         A few months later, for finalizing all tables, including production of sampling error tables;

·         If necessary, for supporting partners with data archiving.

During the country visit, the activities should include:

·         Supporting the PDA/tablet pre-test (when relevant);

·         Presentations on MICS data entry and analysis approach to UNICEF MICS focal points and the data processing experts from the implementing partner;

·         Review of necessary documents to support the data processing activities;

·         Support and advise on the use of ‘Supervisor’s menu’ during data entry;

·         Support data editing and recommend the use of double data entry;

·         In collaboration with the implementing partner, put together the final datasets and standard as well as country specific tables.

Further activities in support to selected countries may include:

·         Participation in the setting up of the data entry room;

·         Establishing a backup system;

·         Adding weights to datasets;

·         Creating wealth index;

·         Finalisation of datasets;

·         Training in data entry program immediately following the main fieldwork training. Topics include, but are not limited to:

o        certification of the data entry facility,

o        installation of data entry equipment,

o        training data entry supervisor,

o        certification of 100% double data entry process,

o        verification of consistency checks and correction of inconsistencies,

o        training for how to code the ʻotherʻ answers,

o        questionnaire verification, and

o        running data quality tables. 

·         Archiving.


6.     Review the data processing related parts of the final report. Provide technical comments and recommendations highlighting proposed changes, if any to the relevant chapters. 

7.     Support the data archiving and anonymisation of the MICS datasets in each country.

8.     Respond to ad-hoc data processing queries from countries.


1.     Documented review of each MICS survey data entry program (CSPro) and data analysis (SPSS) package reviewed outlining key recommendations and proposed changes and how the data processing approach meet or do not meet MICS technical standards – within 5 days after submission by the country.

2.     Country visit reports (including presentations and training materials) for each country visited – within 7 days after the visit.

3.     Regional workshop trip report – within 7 days after the workshop

4.     Presentations and training materials used in workshops and trainings – within 7 days after the workshop/training.

5.     Documented review of the final datasets and syntaxes produced in each country – within 7 days after the submission by the country.

6.     Documented review of each survey final report from a data processing point of view.

7.     Documented review of data archiving produced for each country – within 7 days after the submission by the country.

8.     Evidence of other distance technical support through e-mail.

9.     Monthly activity log with the name of a country, type of support, date and time spent for each task specified clearly.



At least a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Information Technologies, Statistics, Demography, or any other related technical field with special expertise in data management/processing is required.

Skills and Experience:

·         At least 8 years’ experience in data processing for household surveys;

·         Extensive knowledge of CSPro and SPSS softwares.

·         Familiarity with the IHSN Microdata Management Toolkit (DDI Metadata Editor or Nesstar Publisher) an asset

·         Must be familiar with the data processing approach of MICS and/or Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS);

·         Demonstrated training experience;

·         Experience of working in developing countries;

·         Oral and written fluency in English or Spanish (both languages are considered an asset)

·         Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;

·         Ability and willingness to travel to all countries across LAC.

Other competencies:

·         Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective relationships with national partners;

·         Demonstrated leadership, managerial and supervisory ability.


The MICS Regional Coordinator of LAC-RO.


LAC-RO Monitoring Section will provide quality assurance and oversight for the consultant’s work with substantial feedback on the quality of the work.

For each assigned MICS survey country, the consultant will work in close collaboration with the UNICEF MICS Focal point, the UNICEF MICS Consultant and other UNICEF Regional MICS Consultants, and data processing expert of the implementing partner in that country. During country visits, the consultant will be expected to implement capacity development activities with the implementing partner as required and organized by the UNICEF Country Office (CO). 


Regional Data Processing Consultant will work from home using own equipment and stationary. During country visits, UNICEF CO or the implementing partner will provide working space for the consultant.


The consultant will be expected to travel to countries and to facilitate at the regional MICS data processing workshop, when required by LAC-RO.

Expenses related to these travels will be covered by UNICEF and paid to the Consultant as per UNICEF travel rules and regulations. Consultant will make its own travel arrangements, with prior authorization of the supervisor. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) (CF/AI/2013-001, and Amend. 1, p. 6.31).


The contract will have a maximum duration of 11.5 months. Monthly payments based on fees agreed on the basis of days worked and upon submission of an activity log and invoice. If the number of days worked is less than 5 days, the payment will be made every two months.


The Regional Data Processing 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 Regional Data Processing Consultant can use the documents and the datasets only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.


UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/output is incomplete, not delivered, or for failure to meet deadlines.


Candidates with qualifications should send an email with a cover letter, updated CV and P11 form (downloaded from and the MICS Consultancy Profile Form (attached) to, with the Subject "Data Processing consultant".

Please provide the relevant experience, availability, and the daily fee following the terms presented here.


5 May 2015 at 23:29 hours (Panama time).



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