UNICEF's MICS7 Launch: A Groundbreaking Step in Data Collection with Expanded Content, Innovations, and New Initiatives

30 March, 2023 By By Attila Hancioglu, Global Coordinator, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys

With over 350 surveys conducted across 118 countries, MICS household survey data has proven to be an essential tool for national plan and policies and for monitoring progress towards national goals and global commitments for children.

On March 2nd, 2023, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) held a well-attended side event at UNICEF House to officially launch the 7th round of MICS. MICS has been an integral part of UNICEF’s efforts to promote children’s well-being worldwide for nearly three decades.

The launch event featured several distinguished speakers who shared their experiences with MICS and discussed the program’s contributions to global development efforts.

Vidhya Ganesh, UNICEF’s Director of the Division of Data, Analysis, Planning and Monitoring, opened the event with introductory remarks, followed by a Q&A session facilitated by Mark Hereward, UNICEF’s Chief Data Officer. Invited speakers included Shahnaz Arefin, Secretary of Statistics and Informatics Division (SID) of the Planning Ministry in Bangladesh, Dr. Abdalla Allag, Chairman of the Bureau of Statistics for Libya, and Chief Statisticians from four UN agencies: Haishan Fu (World Bank), Rachel Snow (UNFPA), Stephen Mac Feely (WHO), and Tarek Abou Chabake (UNHCR). The event also marked the introduction of UNICEF’s newly appointed Chief Statistician, Joao Pedro Azevedo.

Attila Hancioglu (Global MICS Coordinator) presented an overview of MICS7, which features expanding content and several new initiatives, including MICS Plus, MICS Link, MICS Tabulator, MICS PRTI, and MICS GIS.

MICS7 will run until the end of 2026 and constitutes the largest coverage of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators of any global household survey program. With close to 200 indicators, MICS7 is equipped to provide crucial data on children, adolescents, and their families, crucial for informing policy, planning, and programming for children worldwide.

The program’s new questionnaire architecture will consist of short base questionnaires for households, women, men, under-5s, and children aged 5-17, populated with universally applicable standard modules, the majority of which produce data on SDG indicators. Complementary topics can also be added based on survey scope, objectives, priorities, content constraints, funding availability, and other concerns. MICS7 will therefore no longer rely on a single set of standard questionnaires. This flexible questionnaire architecture will enable survey customization to meet the needs of different countries and regions more efficiently.

MICS7 will roll out Regional MICS Survey Design workshops starting in late March with the first workshop in Belgrade, Serbia, where 14 countries are expected to participate from the European and Central Asian region. Additional regional survey design workshops will be held in Amman, Dakar, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, and Nairobi from May to September 2023. The MICS7 website will be updated progressively with MICS7 documents as they become available, with major updates expected by early April.

Overall, MICS7 represents an important step forward in global development efforts, with its expanded content, new initiatives, and flexible questionnaire architecture. UNICEF and its partners are committed to ensuring that MICS7 continues to play a leading role in informing policies and programs that improve the lives of children and families around the world, and in monitoring progress towards the SDGs.

Watch the Recording of the Launch of MICS7