The MICS methodological papers series is intended to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and stimulate discussion on methodological issues related to the development of standard survey tools and protocols, and the collection and analysis of MICS data.

MICS Methodological Paper No. 5, 2017, Collecting data on foundational learning skills & parental involvement in education

There is a growing demand for data reflecting quality as well as access to education, particularly in the early years where learning outcomes are an important foundation for later progress. This paper examines the development of two new MICS modules: Parental Involvement (PR) and Foundational Learning skills (FL). These are areas where data are currently lacking, particularly in low-income countries, leading to a call for the development of new tools and, in particular strong support, for household survey based approaches.

MICS Methodological Paper No. 4, 2016, Review of options for reporting water, sanitation and hygiene coverage by wealth quintile

The analysis presented in this report is intended to assist the JMP and UNICEF to gain a better understanding of how best to use the wealth index to help monitor inequalities in access to water, sanitation and hygiene in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. It focuses specifically on the classic wealth index, involving a single principal component analysis (PCA) estimate over the whole sample, leaving to further research such issues as the composite wealth index and the production of separate indices for urban and rural areas.

MICS Methodological Paper No. 3, 2016, Assessment of the effect of twin births, reference periods and birth subsets on low birth weight estimates

Using DHS data, we examine rates of twinning and multiple births in a number of countries and then estimate if the exclusion of twin births impacts low birth weight estimates. We also examine if the reference period and subset of births (all vs last births in a time period) used in the two survey programmes causes any differences in estimates.

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) 1995-2015: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women for 20 Years

Since the inception of MICS in the mid-1990s, no one document consolidated how MICS has developed and evolved over time. In this publication, we examine the rationale and activities of the first surveys and how these laid the foundation for the MICS programme. Through a thematic lens, this publication charts the key elements of the MICS programme and recounts the achievements and value of MICS. In the changing data-landscape of a post MDG era, we also examine the strategic role of MICS in future monitoring activities.

Methodological Paper No. 2, 2013, Impact of unpaid household services on the measurement of child labour

Indicators related to hazardous unpaid household services performed by children are analysed in an attempt to develop a new child labour definition for use in MICS surveys. Data from 16 low- and middle-income countries are used for the analyses.

Methodological Paper No. 1, 2012, How sensitive are estimates of working children and child labour to definitions? A comparative analysis

This study aims to contribute to the development of a new child labour module in line with international standards on the measurement of employment and child labour, which can be used in household surveys such as MICS. Analyses using data from child labour surveys in 8 countries are performed in three main areas: questions on employment to measure the number of working children, questions on possible hazards children face at work, and questions on unpaid household activities.