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Last update: May 2009

Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys - Round 2

In 1998, UNICEF embarked on a process of helping countries assess progress for children at end-decade in relation to the World Summit for Children goals (New York, 1990).


The list of global indicators being used to assess progress at end-decade was developed through extensive consultation, both within UNICEF, particularly with Programme Division and the Regional Offices, and with WHO, UNESCO and the ILO. The global indicator list can be found in Annex 1 of the Executive Directive EXD/1999-03 dated 23 April 1999.

Mid decade experience

There are numerous sources of data for measuring progress at country level, but many either do not function well enough to give current and quality data, or do not provide the data required for assessing progress. Household surveys are capable of filling many of these data gaps.     The mid-decade assessment led to 100 countries collecting data using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), household surveys developed to obtain specific mid-decade data, or via MICS questionnaire modules carried by other surveys. By 1996, 60 developing countries had carried out stand-alone MICS, and another 40 had incorporated some of the MICS modules into other surveys. The mid-decade questionnaire and manual, the countries where a standalone MICS was implemented, and a selection of country reports are attached.

The end-decade assessment

The end-decade MICS questionnaire and manual have been developed specifically to obtain the data for 63 of the 75 end-decade indicators. These draw heavily on experiences with the mid-decade MICS and the subsequent MICS evaluation.    The attached table presents a comparison between the content of the mid-decade MICS and that of the end-decade MICS. The content is organized into question modules, for countries to adopt or omit according to the data already available.   The development of the end-decade MICS questionnaire and manual has drawn on an even wider spread of organizations than the mid-decade MICS. They include WHO, UNESCO, ILO, UNAIDS, the United Nations Statistical Division, CDC Atlanta, MEASURE (USAID), Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and others.

To access the current versions of the questionnaire and manual please click on the links. To download the Qfive computer program for calculation of infant and under-five mortality rate estimates please click here.