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Statistics and Monitoring

Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)

UNICEF assists countries in collecting and analyzing 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 Surveys (MICS).

UNICEF has strategically invested in data collection and helped transform the data landscape for more than 20 years. The global Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) programme is the centerpiece of this strategy. UNICEF supports governments in carrying out these household surveys through a global programme of methodological research and technical assistance in settings as diverse as Argentina, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iraq. MICS findings have been used extensively as a basis for policy decisions and programme interventions, and for the purpose of influencing public opinion on the situation of children and women around the world.

All available MICS results and datasets can be accessed on mics.unicef.org.  The results from the most recent MICS5 surveys, carried out in 2012-2015, are becoming progressively available. 


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. The first round of MICS was conducted around 1995 in more than 60 countries. 
In response to an increased demand for data all over the world, UNICEF has been providing assistance to countries at more frequent intervals since 2009 - every three years instead of every five years. This is providing the opportunity for countries to capture rapid changes in key indicators, particularly the MDGs. As key data sources generating data on equity, MICS will play a key role in tracking progress towards elimination of disparities and inequities. While UNICEF and partners work with national governments to accelerate improvements in the lives of the most vulnerable, MICS will produce the data to validate the results of these focused interventions.

Survey tools

The MICS global team, based at UNICEF headquarters, develops a standard set of survey tools in consultation with government representatives and other experts – from tabulation plans and sample weights guidelines to manuals and questionnaires.

Collaboration with partners

UNICEF works closely with others, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) programme, to harmonize methodologies and indicators used in MICS.

National ownership

Government institutions typically carry out the surveys with technical and financial assistance from UNICEF and its partners.

Technical support

UNICEF provides technical support and training through a series of regional workshops covering questionnaire content, sampling and survey implementation, data processing, data analysis, report writing, data archiving and dissemination.

Effective on-the-ground support

Regional MICS coordinators and country focal points provide strong backing in the field, which effectively complements UNICEF’s global technical support.

Face-to-face interviews

Data are collected during face-to-face interviews in carefully selected nationally or subnationally representative samples of households.

Field testing

High-quality data can be obtained thanks to thorough and tested field procedures, combined with rigorous data verification.

Focus on equity

By 2015, more than 280 surveys will have been implemented in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries. Data from MICS can be disaggregated by various geographic, social and demographic characteristics, allowing UNICEF and its global partners to better address the divides and disparities that persist among regions and within countries.

Find out more on http://mics.unicef.org



UNICEF's latest statistical data

Visit data.unicef.org to access all of UNICEF’s latest statistical information, including data used in UNICEF’s flagship publications, The State of the World’s Children, and reporting on Progress for Children toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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