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Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) - Regional Household Survey Consultant

The UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND, UNICEF
Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR CONSULTANCY

PURPOSE OF THE JOB:

Under the overall supervision of the UNICEF Regional MICS Coordinator, UNICEF is looking for qualified and experienced professionals for supporting the preparation, implementation and completion of the MICS in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION:

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 for 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 previous MICS 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 in 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 household survey consultants to provide necessary technical assistance to country offices and their partners at critical survey stages in a timely manner.

MAIN TASKS RELATED TO THE JOB:

1.    Support the Regional MICS Coordinator in providing technical assistance and oversight for  selected MICS surveys in the region;

2.    Provide support to Regional MICS Workshops;

a.    Survey Design Workshop: facilitate selected sessions and work bilaterally with different countries on questionnaires, survey plans and budgets

b.    Data Processing Workshop: when necessary, work bilaterally with different countries on datasets, data quality, tabulation plans and final report contents

c.    Data Dissemination and Further Analysis Workshop: facilitate selected sessions and work bilaterally with countries on the interpretation of their MICS data and on the development of dissemination plans

3.    From a distance and in coordination and collaboration with the Regional MICS Coordinator, review and provide feedback to COs on the following documents for compliance with MICS standards

a.    Survey plans (including budget and training plans for pre-test and main fieldworker training)

b.    Questionnaires and Manuals, including the translated versions

c.    Sample design (in collaboration with the Regional Sampling Consultant)

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

e.    Pre-test report

f.     Tabulation plans

g.    Datasets and tabulations (in collaboration with Regional Data Processing Consultant)

h.    Summary findings and final reports

4.    Support countries remotely or through in-county visits in carrying out the following survey activities:

a.    Survey planning and questionnaire design

b.    Pre-test training and pre-test

c.    Fieldwork training and fieldwork monitoring

d.    Data analysis

e.    Report writing

5.    As needed, take part in missions carried out by the Regional MICS Coordinator to support COs in negotiating, promoting and presenting MICS to governments and other partners.

6.    Provide support to countries on report writing remotely or during regional workshops. Review the MICS summary findings and final reports produced by countries

7.    As needed, support countries in data archiving

8.    In collaboration with the MICS Regional Coordinator, provide country and regional status survey up-dates to RO and HQ.

DELIVERABLES:

1.    Report review for each survey design reviewed outlining key recommendations and proposed changes and how the survey plans meet or do not meet MICS technical standards – within 7 days after submission by the country.

2.    Feedback on draft questionnaires using the questionnaire review form – within 5 days after submission by the country.

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

4.    Regional workshop trip report(s) – within 7 days after the workshop.

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

6.    Documented review of pre-test report with recommendations – within 7 days after the submission by the country.

7.    Documented review of the fieldwork training and data collection activity in each country with clear recommendations - within 3 days after the end of the training and 3 days after a monitoring visit.

8.    Documented review of the data processing activities with clear recommendations.

9.    Feedback on field-check tables through e-mail.

10. Comments and feedback on each survey summary findings and final report reviewed using the standard review template -within 7 days after the submission by the country.

11. Review of data dissemination plans and survey data archives with clear recommendations – within 7 days after the submission by the country.

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

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

QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:

Education:

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

Skills and Experience:

·         At least 8 years’ 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;

·         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.

REPORTING RESPONSIBILITIES/SUPERVISION:

The MICS Regional Coordinator of LAC-RO.

TYPE OF SUPERVISION REQUIRED AND COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONSULTANTS:

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. Working closely with the Regional MICS Coordinator and the Regional Sampling and Data Processing Consultants, the Regional Household Survey Consultant will carry out technical reviews and advise COs and implementing agencies at key moments in the survey process. The Regional Household Survey Consultant will also, often together with the Regional MICS Coordinator and/or the Regional Sampling Consultant and / or the Regional Data Processing Consultant, carry out a series of country visits, in order to monitor progress and be present at critical stages of survey implementation.

CONSULTANT’S WORK PLACE:

Regional Household Survey 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.

OFFICIAL TRAVEL INVOLVED:

The consultant will be expected to travel countries and to facilitate at regional MICS workshops 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).

CONTRACT DURATION & FEES:

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.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF DATA AND MICS DOCUMENTS:

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

NATURE OF PENALTY CLAUSE IN CONTRACT:

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.

HOW TO APPLY:

Candidates with qualifications should send an email with a cover letter, updated CV and P11 form (downloaded from www.unicef.org/lac/contact_3343.htm) and the MICS Consultancy Profile Form (attached) to panamarecruit@unicef.org, with the Subject "Household Survey Consultant".

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

CLOSING DATE:

5 May 2015 at 23:59 hours (Panama time).

 

 
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