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Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) – Regional Sampling Consultant

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

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 providing sampling-related technical assistance to MICS surveys in selected countries across LAC Region.

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 Latin America and the Caribbean (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 (LACRO) will, therefore, hire experienced sampling consultants to provide sampling-related technical assistance and capacity development to country offices and their partners in a timely manner.

MAIN TASKS RELATED TO THE JOB:

1.     Provide in-country support to review or develop the sampling plan for MICS surveys  in LAC following MICS guidelines; 

2.     Review or perform sample selection for all stages of selection;

3.     Support countries remotely or during country visits to conduct any household listing activities that may be necessary;

4.     Facilitate a sampling session during the  regional Survey Design workshop and advise countries attending the workshop on their sample design;

5.     Provide countries with a template for the calculation of sampling weights, and review and finalise the calculated sample weights;

6.     Review calculations of sampling errors;

7.     Prepare or review the sampling appendix  of the final survey report;

8.     Respond to technical sampling queries from countries by e-mail.

DELIVERABLES:

1.     Depending on the country capacity and arrangements, either a report on sample design itself or a report for each sample design reviewed outlining key recommendations and proposed changes and how the design meets or does not meet MICS technical standards – within 7 days after the visit to the country or submission of the draft design 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 visit.

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

5.     As applicable, report on support to household listing activities and first and second stages of sampling – within 5 days after submission by the country.

6.     Final sampling weights for each country – within 5 days after submission by the country

7.     Sampling chapter of each survey final report reviewed and with proposed modifications and/or additional information required – within 5 days after 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.

QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:

Education:

At least a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Demography, Statistics, Epidemiology, or any other related technical field with special expertise in survey sampling is required.

Skills and Experience:

·         At least 12 years of experience in designing samples for household surveys (experience in countries without recent census information highly desirable);

·         Must be familiar with the sampling methodology 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 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, other UNICEF Regional Consultants, and sampling 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 organised by the UNICEF Country Office. 

CONSULTANT’S WORK PLACE:

Regional Sampling 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 to countries and to facilitate at one regional MICS 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).

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 Sampling 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 Sampling 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 "Sampling 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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