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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Ashkhabad
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
  • Closing Date: 2018-04-27

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National MICS Consultant


Short-term national consultancy for the implementation of 6 round of MICS in Turkmenistan

Duration: 10.5 months, commencing on 15 February and ending on 31 December, with potential extension

  1. Background

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) is an international household survey programme developed and supported by UNICEF. MICS is designed to collect estimates of key indicators that are used to assess the situation of children and women. Over the past 20 years, MICS has evolved to respond to changing data needs, expanding from 28 indicators in the first round to more than 200 indicators in the current sixth round, and becoming a key source of data on child protection, early childhood education, and a major source of data on child health and nutrition. In addition to being a data collection tool to generate data for monitoring the progress towards national goals and global commitments for promoting the welfare of children, MICS provided valuable data for MDG monitoring as a major source of data for the UN Secretary General’s Final Millennium Development Goals Report.

The UNICEF Turkmenistan has already supported MICS surveys in 2006 and 2015-2016. To support establishing disaggregated data on SDG indicators and other international and national commitments, UNICEF Turkmenistan Country Office, together with sister UN agencies, such as UNFPA, will support a MICS as part of the 6th round of the survey programme in 2019. To ensure that the implementation of the MICS survey runs smoothly, specific deadlines are met and that, the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan (SSC) receives the technical assistance necessary to produce statistically sound and reliable data, the UNICEF Turkmenistan Country Office will hire a full-time consultant to oversee the MICS process from preparatory work to release of results.

The 2019 MICS6 will be implemented using CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing) in which the interviewer uses a tablet to record data. CAPI data collection can reduce the time needed to collect and process survey data, facilitate real time monitoring, improve the quality of the data and reduce survey costs.

Objective and Assignments

Under the overall supervision of the Child Rights Monitoring Specialist, the National MICS Consultant (NMC) will support and provide guidance to the SSC and UNICEF Turkmenistan for the preparation, implementation and completion of the MICS survey in Turkmenistan. The NMC will advise the SSC, especially the Survey Coordinator and sampling and data processing experts, during survey planning, questionnaire design, sampling, training, fieldwork, data processing, data analysis, dissemination and archiving, ensuring that MICS protocols and recommendations are being followed at all times. The NMC will communicate effectively between all the parties supporting the survey, responding promptly to MICS related needs and issues as they arise.


The NMC will be responsible for coordinating and supporting the work of other resource persons hired by UNICEF to provide technical assistance to the MICS process. The consultant will work in close collaboration with the survey team, the stakeholders, and Steering and Technical Committees and will represent UNICEF in meetings and workshops in relation to the survey as needed. The NMC will also work in close collaboration with the regional MICS Coordinator and the Global MICS Team in UNICEF HQ.

Key Assignments

  1. Provide technical and managerial support to the MICS survey;
  2. Present the MICS methodology, tools, and guidelines to partners/stakeholders (e.g. ministries, UN Agencies, etc.);
  3. Finalise, in collaboration with national partners and UNICEF CO, the Survey Plan and Budget, including timetable and share with UNICEF Regional Office (RO);
  4. Ensure that the Ethical Protocol and other ethical recommendations are addressed in the survey implementation process and that all MICS related documents are shared with the national Ethical Committee on time for approval;
  5. Oversee each stage of the survey process and ensure that the MICS protocols and standards are followed by the SSC, more specifically during training and field supervision visits;
  6. Communicate regularly with the UNICEF CO, RO and/or Headquarters (HQ) responding to all MICS related issues in a timely manner;
  7. Provide monthly updates on MICS activities to the UNICEF CO/RO/HQ;
  8. Coordinate the work of SSC specialists and UNICEF Regional Consultants and other resource persons assigned by the UNICEF CO and/or RO to support different survey stages;
  9. Ensure that external technical reviews by experts (i.e. Regional Sampling Consultant, Regional Data Processing Consultant, and Regional Household Survey Consultant) are carried out at key survey stages and coordinate the feedback and response between the CO/RO/HQ and SSC;
  10. Ensure that all survey related documents and deliverables are properly archived throughout the survey process (for example: Memorandum of Understanding, Survey Plan and Budget, questionnaires, manuals, sample design, training/pre-test reports, expert reports, CAPI application, output and tabulation plan tables, syntaxes, datasets, Survey Findings Report (and Final Report), dissemination materials etc.);
  11. Participate in all MICS Steering and Technical Committee meetings;
  12. Participate in, and contribute to, MICS Regional Workshops;
  13. Ensure that lessons learned, problems, and good practices are documented throughout the MICS process and rapidly shared with the MICS community (other MICS implementing countries, RO, and HQ) through all means available.

Specific Activities

In consultation and collaboration with the UNICEF CO and SSC, the NMC will be responsible for ensuring the following activities have been undertaken following the MICS guidelines and will contribute to the coordination of these activities:

  1. Survey Planning:
  • A Steering Committee is established and composed of all relevant national and international stakeholders, including National Ethical Committee;
  • At least one Technical Committee comprised of all relevant technical experts is established;
  • The Survey Plan and Budget, including timetable is finalised and shared with all stakeholders;
  • Survey supplies are procured and distributed in time for training and data collection;
  • Sample design:
    • The UNICEF Regional Sampling Consultant is provided with necessary information and visits are well managed and coordinated within survey plans;
    • Sample design is finalised by the sampling expert of SSC with the guidance and review of the UNICEF Regional Sampling Consultant;
    • Listing and Mapping materials and operations are reviewed by the UNICEF Regional Sampling Consultant and carried out on the field per MICS recommendations;
    • Sample design is reviewed by the UNICEF RO and/or HQ before finalisation.
    • The final selection of households is reviewed.
    • The weights are reviewed.
  • MICS questionnaires:
    • Appropriate UNICEF programme staff and the Technical Committee are involved in reviewing the customisation of relevant sections of the MICS questionnaire;
    • Selected Modules address country data gaps and address SGD data needs;
    • Questionnaires undergo translation and back translation process;
    • Questionnaires and manuals undergo an ethical review;
    • Questionnaires are pre-tested and a pre-test report is produced;
    • Questionnaires are reviewed by the UNICEF RO and HQ before finalisation.
  • Manuals:
    • MICS Household Listing and Mapping, Supervisor, Measurer, and Interviewer Manuals are customised for the country specific context and translated.
  • CAPI application template:
    • CAPI application template is customised by the data processing expert of the SSC with the guidance of the UNICEF Regional Data Processing Consultant;
    • CAPI application template is reviewed by the UNICEF RO and/or HQ before finalisation;
    • Secondary editing guidelines and Field Check Table syntax are customised by the data processing expert of the SSC with the guidance of the UNICEF Regional Data Processing Consultant.
  1. Listing and Mapping, Training and Fieldwork, and Data Processing:
  • Listing and mapping is planned and performed per MICS guidelines;
  • Training schedules are adequately adapted to the county context while following MICS guidelines;
  • Appropriate resource persons are identified to facilitate training (i.e. nutritionists for anthropometry training, survey experts for methodology, etc.);
  • Contribute to the fieldwork training;
  • Fieldwork and fieldwork monitoring visits are planned and performed according to MICS guidelines;
  • Field Check Tables are produced on a weekly basis, immediately analysed by survey managers, and main findings reported to field supervisors for action. Field Check Tables are immediately shared with UNICEF RO;
  • Participation of UNICEF CO staff is organised to assist in monitoring data collection;
  • UNICEF Regional Data Processing Consultant is timely provided with necessary information and country visits are well managed and coordinated;
  • Hardware is made available for the CAPI application (data collection and central office menu components), and software is properly installed and a working, data transfer system and data backup system is established;
  • Monitor data processing and secondary data editing.
  1. Data Analysis and Report Writing:
  • Sampling Weights are included in the datasets and reviewed by the sampling expert of the SSC with the guidance and review of the UNICEF Regional Sampling Consultant;
  • MICS tabulation plan and standard syntax are customised and used in generating SPSS dataset and tables.
  • Dataset/Tables including the wealth index are substantively reviewed by technical (e.g. sampling expert) and subject matter experts at the SSC, as well as by UNICEF RO and HQ MICS Team before the report writing commences;
  • Coordinate and contribute substantively to the elaboration of the Survey Findings Report (and eventually to the Final Report), using the MICS template and according to MICS standards to ensure a timely release;
  • Ensure that the Survey Findings Reports (and Final Report) undergoes the technical review process by RO and HQ;
  • Coordinate the printing and distribution of the Survey Findings Report (and Final Report);
  • Organise and facilitate the presentation of the Survey Findings Report (and Final Report) through a national seminar;
  • Provide technical expertise and advice for wide dissemination of the Survey Findings Report (and Final Report) and main results;
  • Ensure that the MICS survey archive with all final survey documents and materials (MOU, CSP, questionnaires, manuals, sample design, field reports, CAPI application, syntaxes, database, tables, survey findings report (and final report), dissemination materials, etc.) is being produced by the NSO.
  1. Attend to all MICS Regional and/or National Workshops
  2. Deliverables based on the work plan 

The duration of consultancy should cover 10.5 months, commencing on 15 February and ending on 31 December, with potential extension depending on the time it will take to finalise the whole MICS process. The NMC should be recruited at the start of MICS planning and should remain on board until the Survey Findings Report (and Final Report) and the survey archive are produced. Without significant and unforeseen delays, the MICS survey can be conducted in 18 months.

Only candidates that can commit for this whole duration will be considered.

Reporting requirements

  • Monthly Progress Report of activities, describing activities undertaken during the month and highlighting problems met and solutions put in place to mitigate them;
  • Field trip reports;
  • Regional workshop trip reports;
  • Presentations and training materials used in training, workshops, and other meetings.

Performance indicators for evaluation of results

Evaluation of performance will be based on the following indicators:

  • Technical and professional competence (will be measured by quality of work, as well as feedback from UNICEF’s partner organisations);
  • Quality of work (timely submission of the relevant documents to UNICEF);
  • Quantity of work (completing the assignments as indicated in parts 2, 3, and 4 above);
  • In addition such indicators as work relations, responsibility and communication will be taken into account during the evaluation of the consultant’s work;
  • KPIs reached as per established strategy and plan.


Such indicators as work relations, responsibility and communication will be also considered during evaluation of the incumbent work.

 Content of financial proposal

The consultant is to indicate their monthly fee including travel when applicable (approximately 10 working days per months, during 4 months of listing and field work) for the services to be provided, in local currency. The fees payable to a consultant shall follow the “best value for money” principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee. This contract does not allow payment of off-hours, medical insurances, taxes, sick leave.

Qualifications/specialised knowledge/experience required to complete the task


University degree in, Demography, Statistics, Social Sciences, Epidemiology or any other related technical field is required.

 Skills and Experience:

  • Proven minimum of 5-year experience in quantitative household surveys (prior MICS or Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)requested;
  • Strong computer skills and strong expertise in statistical analyses (familiarity with data processing and data analysis software, particularly SPSS);
  • Experience with CAPI data collection;
  • Training experience and ability to organise and facilitate training and presentations;
  • Experience in data analysis and survey report writing.

Other competencies:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communications in Russian and Turkmen are required; knowledge of English is highly desirable
  • Familiarity and previous experience of working in Turkmenistan and/or in the region highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and to establish harmonious and effective relationships both within and outside the organisation, more specifically with National Statistical Offices;
  • Demonstrated leadership, managerial and supervisory ability; Ability and willingness to travel extensively in-country and to attend regional workshops

Payment schedule

Payments will be made monthly as a lump sum including local travel in local currency.  All deliverables must be delivered on time and to the satisfaction of UNICEF Turkmenistan.

Fees will be rendered upon written approval by the UNICEF Supervisor, and contingent upon the quality of deliverables.

UNICEF recourse in the case of unsatisfactory performance

In the event of unsatisfactory performance, UNICEF reserves the right to terminate the Agreement. In case of partially satisfactory performance, such as serious delays causing the negative impact on meeting the programme objectives, low quality or insufficient depth and/or scope of the assignment completion, UNICEF is entitled to decrease the payment by the range from 30% to 50% of the contract value as decided jointly by the Contract Supervisor and Operations Manager.

Definition of supervision arrangements

The NMC will report directly to the Child Rights Monitoring Specialist in the UNICEF Country Office.

UNICEF will regularly communicate with the selected individual and provide formats for reports, feedback and guidance on performance and all other necessary support to achieve objectives of the research, as well as remain aware of any upcoming issues related to expert’s performance and quality of work.

Work location and official travel involved

During the contract period, the NMC is expected to travel within the country (approximately 10 working days per months, during 4 months of listing and field work) and to MICS Regional Workshops in other countries and UNICEF Regional Office. International travel costs will be covered by the UNICEF Country Office in accordance with the admin instruction for duty travel for consultants. The NMC will be based at the SSC who will provide her/him space, adequate working conditions with Internet access and equipment as necessary.

The consultant will make his/her own arrangements for the travel.  Travel costs shall be calculated based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel; costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).

Travel costs not actually incurred due to travel mission cancellation, delays, contract termination or modification are subject to deduction from final contract amount.

UNICEF’s general terms and conditions

UNICEF’s general terms and conditions will apply to the contract awarded to the vendor.  Please note that, in the evaluation of the technical merits of each proposal, UNICEF will take into consideration any proposed amendments to the UNICEF General Terms and Conditions. Proposed amendments to the UNICEF general terms and conditions may negatively affect the evaluation of the technical merits of the proposal.  

UNICEF retains the right to patent and intellectual rights, as well as copyright and other similar intellectual property rights for any discoveries, inventions, products or works arising specifically from the implementation of the project in cooperation with UNICEF. The right to reproduce or use materials shall be transferred with a written approval of UNICEF based on the consideration of each separate case. Consultants should always refer to UNICEF Turkmenistan support in developing the materials when publishing the results of the research conducted while in Turkmenistan in academic journals, books and websites.

Confidentiality of Data and MICS Documents

The NMC must respect the complete confidentiality of the MICS data as well as any specific MICS documents that will be produced throughout the MICS process. The NMC can use the documents and the data sets only for the tasks related to these Terms of Reference.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.

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