REGIONAL SAMPLING CONSULTANT

Panamá

Under the overall supervision of the UNICEF Regional Monitoring Specialist, the Regional Sampling Consultant will be responsible for providing sampling-related technical assistance to MICS surveys in selected countries across the region. This includes provide assistance on sampling design, calculation of weights and finalization of the sampling related parts of the final report ensuring that MICS guidelines and protocols are being followed at all times.

UNICEF places a high priority on the availability of recent and reliable information for monitoring the situation of children, young people and families, for developing evidence-based policies and programmes, as well as for assessing countries’ progress toward national goals and global commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNICEF assists countries in collecting and analysing data in order to fill data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women through its international household survey initiative, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). MICS enables countries to produce statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of a range of indicators in the areas of health, nutrition, education, child protection, water and sanitation and HIV and AIDS. For many countries, MICS surveys are among the most important sources of data used for situation analyses, policy decisions and programme interventions, for informing public opinion on the situation of children and women and influencing the public debate.
MICS surveys are usually carried out by government organizations, with the support and technical assistance of UNICEF. Many lessons on improving the UNICEF technical support provided to government partners have been documented in the MICS3 and MICS4 Evaluations. Both evaluations demonstrated that when countries adhered to the MICS protocols and recommendations and made use of the tools provided, the survey process was very smooth. However, in many countries, the provision of survey tools alone was not sufficient without the additional support of personnel providing technical assistance. In particular sampling, training and data processing fell short of international standards where decisions at the country level were made which were inconsistent with MICS protocols and where UNICEF Country Offices did not have the opportunity to consult with survey experts. As part of the MICS program, UNICEF will meet the challenge of assisting countries to comply with international standards that guarantee the required level of resulting data quality, by mobilising technical support to countries at the regional level.

The type of support required by countries at different stages of a national household survey requires specialized skills that are not usually among the skills sets of UNICEF staff members.  Therefore, UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office (LACRO) is using a highly experienced survey household consultant so that Country Offices are able to receive the necessary technical assistance at critical survey stages on a timely manner.

This consultancy is part of the Regional Office’s strategy for providing technical support and quality assurance to Country Offices undertaking a survey under the new round of MICS (the sixth). This consultancy will focus on sampling design, calculation of weights and finalisation of the sampling related parts of the final report.
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, current plans suggest that in 2017-2019 planning, preparation and fieldwork for MICS surveys will be initiated in at least 6 countries (Suriname, Costa Rica, Argentina, Honduras, Cuba and El Salvador).  The number of countries planning to conduct MICS may also increase as countries require data for SDG and national development plan monitoring. UNICEF LACRO will, therefore, hire experienced sampling consultant to provide sampling-related technical assistance and capacity development to Country Offices and their partners in a timely manner.

Purpose

Under the overall supervision of the UNICEF Regional Monitoring Specialist, the Regional Sampling Consultant will be responsible for providing sampling-related technical assistance to MICS surveys in selected countries across the region. This includes provide assistance on sampling design, calculation of weights and finalization of the sampling related parts of the final report ensuring that MICS guidelines and protocols are being followed at all times.

Main Tasks

1. Technically review the sample design of new MICS surveys in LAC ensuring that each design follows MICS guidelines;

2. Compile reports with technical comments and recommendations highlighting proposed changes, if any, to the sample designs. Comments will be shared by UNICEF with the implementing partner;

3. Review or perform sample selection for all stages of selection;

4. Review the calculation of sampling weights and provide technical comments and recommendations as applicable;

5. Review the sampling errors and the sampling appendix and other sampling related parts of the final report. Provide technical comments and recommendations highlighting proposed changes, if any to the sampling chapter and the appendix on sampling;

6. Facilitate a sampling session during the Regional Survey Design Workshop and advise countries attending the workshop on their sample design;

7. Respond to ad-hoc technical sampling queries from MICS 6 countries by e-mail within a maximum delay of 5 days;

8. At the request of the UNICEF Regional Monitoring Specialist, the Regional Sampling expert will take part in country missions and will participate as an expert in regional/global UNICEF MICS related meetings. All communication with Country Offices and implementing partners will always be channelled through the Regional Monitoring Specialist. 

Qualifications and Competencies

Education

At least a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Demography, Statistics, Epidemiology, or any other related technical field with special expertise in survey sampling is required.

Skills and Experience

At least 8 years of experience in designing samples for household surveys (experience in countries without recent census information highly desirable);

  • Must be familiar with the sampling methodology of MICS and/or Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS);
  • Demonstrated training experience;
  • Experience of working in developing countries;
  • Fluency in English and excellent oral and written communications in Spanish;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability and willingness to travel to all countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Other competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective relationships with national partners;
  • Demonstrated leadership, managerial and supervisory ability.

     Deliverables

  1. Depending on the country capacity and arrangements, either a report on sample design itself or a report for each sample design reviewed outlining key recommendations and proposed changes and how the design meets or does not meet MICS technical standards – within 7 days after the visit to the country or submission of the draft design by the country;
  2. Country visit reports (including presentations and training materials) for each country visited – within 7 days after the visit;
  3. Regional workshop trip report – within 7 days after the visit;
  4. Presentations and training materials used in workshops and trainings – within 7 days after the workshop/training;
  5. As applicable, report on support to household listing activities and first and second stages of sampling – within 5 days after submission by the country;
  6. Final sampling weights for each country – within 5 days after submission by the country;
  7. Sampling chapter of each survey final report reviewed and with proposed modifications and/or additional information required – within 5 days after submission by the country;
  8. Evidence of other distance technical support through e-mail;

Monthly activity log with the name of a country, type of support, date and time spent for each task specified clearly.

Contract Duration & Fees

The contract will have a maximum duration of 11.5 months. Monthly payments based on fees agreed on the basis of days worked and upon submission of an activity log and invoice. If the number of days worked is less than 5 days, the payment will be made every two months.

Official Travel Involved

The consultant will be expected to travel to countries and to facilitate at one regional MICS workshop, when required by LACRO.

Expenses related to these travels will be covered by UNICEF and paid to the Consultant as per UNICEF travel rules and regulations. Consultant will make its own travel arrangements, with prior authorization of the supervisor. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) (CF/AI/2013-001, and Amend. 1, p. 6.31).

 Confidentiality of data and MICS documents.

The Regional Sampling Consultant must respect the confidentiality of the MICS data as well as any country specific MICS documents that will be produced throughout the MICS process. The Regional Sampling Consultant can use the documents and the datasets only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.

Payment Schedule 

Monthly payments on the basis of days worked and upon submission of an activity log and invoice. If the number of days worked is less than 5 days, the payment will be made every two months.

Type of Supervision Required and Cooperation with other Consultants

The LACRO Monitoring Specialist will provide quality assurance and oversight for the consultant’s work with substantial feedback on the quality of the work. 

For each assigned MICS survey country, the consultant will work in close collaboration with the UNICEF MICS Focal point, the UNICEF MICS Consultant, other UNICEF Regional Consultants, and sampling expert of the implementing partner in that country. During country visits, the consultant will be expected to implement capacity development activities with the implementing partner as required and organised by the UNICEF Country Office. 

Consultant’s Work Place 

Regional Sampling Consultant will work from home using own equipment and stationary. During country visits, UNICEF CO or the implementing partner will provide working space for the consultant.

Nature of Penalty Clause in Contract

If the final reports and documents are not submitted according to the deliverables stated in this TOR, the payments will be withheld

How to Apply

Candidates with qualifications should send CV with a cover letter.

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
Apply
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Panamá
  • Grade: International Consultant - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2017-10-08

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