• The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a household survey programme developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women. It is capable of producing statistically sound, internationally comparable estimates of these indicators. The MICS was originally developed in response to the World Summit for Children to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of mid-decade goals. The first round of MICS was conducted around 1995 in more than 60 countries. A second round of surveys was conducted in 2000 (around 65 surveys), and resulted in an increasing wealth of data to monitor the situation of children and women. For the first time it was possible to monitor trends in many indicators and set baselines for other indicators.
• The third round of MICS, which was carried out in over 50 countries, including 13 countries in CEE/CIS Region in 2005-06, has been an important data source for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals with 21 MDG indicators collected through MICS3 (particularly indicators related to health, education and mortality). MICS3 was also a monitoring tool for other international goals including the World Fit for Children, the UNGASS targets on HIV/AIDS and the Abuja targets for malaria.
• The results of the fourth round of MICS (2009-2012) are already available for many countries, including Serbia and Kazakhstan in CEE/CIS. 11 MICS4 surveys have been conducted in 8 countries of the region (Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine). 3 countries (Serbia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) have also conducted additional MICS surveys in a sample of Roma settlements. As in previous rounds, the MICS4 questionnaire was developed through consultations with relevant experts from UN organizations, inter-agency monitoring groups and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Programme. The MICS4 questionnaire includes some new topics such as tobacco and alcohol use, access to media and technology, and life satisfaction.
• Additional information can be obtained from www.childinfo.org.
Priority objective and new activities for 2013
• UNICEF will continue supporting MICS4 countries in finalisation of the reports and archiving while starting the fifth round of MICS5 in some other countries. Montenegro and Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) have already started planning MICS5. Some of the main new features of MICS5 include an enhanced child labour module, water quality testing and questionnaire for individual men.