The Thai Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) questionnaires went through two pre-tests, first in Ratchaburi province and later in Ayutthaya province. Based on the results of the two pre-tests, modifications on wording and terminology in the Thai version were made to make them more suitable for the Thai population.
The first pre-test in Ratchaburi province was held during October 10-12, 2005. The interview was conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) MICS coordinators themselves to determine if the interviewee would understand the questions/wording used and to find out if there were any problems with particular modules. Results from the first pre-test were discussed among the NSO MICS coordinators, and the questionnaires were revised accordingly.
During the pre-test survey in Ratchaburi province, the NSO MICS coordinators obtained information on maternal and child health from the staff of Health Centre IV on topics such as birth registration for children born in hospitals, child vaccination, maternal tetanus prevention, contraception and antenatal care. The knowledge and information obtained from this process were used to improve the questionnaires and prepare field work manuals.
The second pre-test in Ayutthaya province was carried out by field staff using the revised questionnaires under the observation of the NSO MICS coordinators. Before commencing the test survey, field staff were provided with training on definitions and the survey's objectives.
Again, results from the pre-test, especially in relation to questions that interviewees did not understand or did not want to answer, were discussed among the NSO MICS coordinators and field staff. These related to questions that were considered either sensitive or difficult to answer due to the degree of detailed information required. In the case of child vaccination, respondents were asked what kind of vaccines the child had received, and when and how many times the child had received the vaccines. The discussion contributed positively to the interview process and the accuracy of the survey results. It took about 2-2.5 hours per household to finish all three questionnaires.
After the second pre-test, a final revision was made to both the questionnaires and the field work manuals to be used in the Thailand MICS.
In November 2005, before data collection, a three-day training programme was provided to 145 field staff from the North and Northeast regions in Khon Kaen province, and in Krabi province for 160 field staff from the South and Central (including Bangkok) regions. The NSO MICS coordinators and representatives from UNICEF Thailand participated in both training sessions as observers. Instructors from the Ministry of Public Health provided information on antenatal care, attendance at birth, child vaccination, maternal tetanus vaccination and oral rehydration treatment for children with diarrhoea. The knowledge and information acquired through the training were useful for the interview process and the accuracy of the survey results.
Administratively, Thailand is divided into 76 provinces, including Bangkok (Metropolis). In Bangkok, the field work was carried out under the responsibility of the Director of the Data Management Division of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), while Provincial Statistical Officers were responsible for the field work undertaken in the other 75 provinces. In each province, data were collected by three teams of four field staff, three interviewers and one supervisor.
The fieldwork began in December 2005 and concluded in February 2006. Also, additional data collections were performed for 26 targeted provinces during March-May 2006 (separate provincial reports are pending).