The availability of geospatial data from MICS surveys is set to open up a wide range of research opportunities, particularly in areas not typically covered by other household surveys, such as child protection, foundational learning skills, and water quality. To make this possible, the MICS program is currently working to integrate the MICS GIS Initiative into its regular operations. There is currently a collaboration with five National Statistics Offices (NSOs) to anonymise and provide completed MICS survey geospatial data to researchers. To learn more about the anonymisation process, please visit the post on how MICS anonymises spatial data.
To date, the spatial data package has been finalised for the Lao PDR MICS6 survey and has been shared with selected researchers. Two other surveys have also been completed and are expected to be released soon. For all three surveys, the MICS team met with NSO specialists in online workshops to finalise the individual spatial data packages and to elaborate on the MICS GIS methodology. Participants were NSO staff, with some participation from other national agencies. They were pleased with the workshop outputs, the MICS Geocode Plugin and documentation (including a walk-through on example data), and in particular that the tool is immediately applicable to other surveys as well.
Piloting of MICS GIS will continue for other surveys and similar workshops will be announced in 2023. As a result of these efforts, it is expected that nearly all surveys beginning in 2023 will include spatial data packages along with the survey data.