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The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey  (MICS), is nationalsurvey that offers a systematic approach to filling gaps in data required for reporting on the situation of children and women, and for setting a baseline from which to measure change in the coming decade and beyond

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey is shaped in large part by the needs arising from recent international agreements: the Millennium Declaration, adopted by all 191 United Nations Member States in September 2000, and the Plan of Action outlined in A World Fit For Children, adopted by 189 Member States at the United Nations Special Session on Children in May 2002. Both of these commitments build upon promises made by the international community at the 1990 World Summit for Children.

In signing these international agreements, governments committed themselves to improvingconditions for their children and to monitoring progress towards that end.

The Millennium Declaration, includes a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), against which human development is to be measured.These goals are broken down into 18 targets and 48 indicators, plus a number of additional sub indicators. Many of these MDG indicators are directly related to children

The World Fit for Children Declaration and Plan of Action contains 21 goals and 99 strategies and actions to achieve them. These goals form the new agenda for action related to children during the first decade of the millennium.

The MICS4 limits its scope to a set of key indicators that can be readily collected through household surveys. The governments that signed the Millennium Declaration and the World Fit for Children Declaration and Plan of Action also committed themselves to monitoring progress towards the goals and objectives they contained:

“We will monitor regularly at the national level and, where appropriate, at the regional level and assess
progress towards the goals and targets of the present Plan of Action at the national, regional and global levels. Accordingly, we will strengthen our national statistical capacity to collect, analyse and disaggregate data, including by sex, age and other relevant factors that may lead to disparities, and support a wide range of child-focused research. We will enhance international cooperation to support statistical capacity-building efforts and build community capacity for monitoring, assessment and planning.”


The most commonly used tool for collecting social data is the household sample survey. Household surveys are used in all areas of the social sciences, including public policy analysis, which relies heavily on survey data to make informed decisions. Other potential sources of data include population censuses, vital registration systems, routine health service data, epidemiological surveillance sites, and routine education systems. While other sources of data may be available, few are able to cover the range of topics, permit the disaggregation of data, or provide data as quickly or as inexpensive as household surveys.

The quality of data obtained in a surveydepends on the proper design of the questionnaire, on the sampling strategy and on good training and supervision of interviewers.



The MICS4 have been developed specifically to obtain data for the 101 indicators These draw heavily on the experience of the last round of MICS and a review of progress towards the goals of the World Summit for Children. The selection of indicators has been substantially influenced by the more recent Millennium and World Fit for Children Declarations as well as new and emerging areas, particularly the monitoring of HIV/AIDS, malaria and child protection, among others.

Sample  Design

The sample for the Ghana Multiple Indicator Survey (MICS) was designed to provide estimates for a large number of  indicators on the situation of children and women at the national level, for urban and rural areas, and for 10 regions:  Western, Central, Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti, BrongAhafo, Northern, Eastern, Upper East and Upper West regions.  The urban and rural areas within each region were identified as the main sampling strata and the sample was selected in two stages.  Within each stratum, a specified number of census enumeration areas were selected systematically with probability proportional to size.  Since the sampling frame (the 2010 Ghana Population and Housing Census) was up-to-date, a new listing of  household was not conducted in all the sample enumeration areas prior to a systematic sample selection of 15 household  in each selected cluster.  The sample was stratified by region, urban and rural areas, and is not self-weighting since Central, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions were over-sampled.  For reporting national level results, sample weights are used.  A more detailed description of the sample design can be found in appendix A.

Four sets of questionnaires were used in the survey: 1 a household questionnaire which was used to collect information on all de jure household members (usual residents), the household, and the dwelling; 2) a women’s questionnaire administered in each household to all women aged 15-49 years; 3) an under 5 questionnaire administered to mothers or caretakers for all children under 5 living in the household; and 4) a men’s questionnaire administered in each third household to all men aged 15-59 years.  The contents of the questionnaires are indicated below:
The Household Questionnaire included the following modules:

  • Household Listing Form
  • Education
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Household Characteristics
  • Insecticide Treated Nets
  • Indoor Residual Spraying
  • Child Discipline
  • Handwashing
  • Salt iodization


The questionnaire for Individual Women was administered to all women aged 15 – 49 years living in the household, and included the following modules:

  • Women’s Background
  • Access to Mass Media and Use of Information/Communication Technology
  • Child Mortality
  • Birth History
  • Desired for Last Birth
  • Maternal and newborn Health
  • Post-natal Health Checks
  • Illness Symptoms
  • Contraception
  • Unmet Need
  • Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
  • Behavior Change Communication on Malaria
  • Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence
  • Marriage/Union
  • Sexual Behaviour
  • National Health insurance

The Questionnaire for Children Under-Five was administered to mother or caretakers of children under – 5   years of age living in the households.  Normally, the questionnaire was administered to mothers of under – 5 children; in cases where the mother was not listed in the household roster , a primary caretaker for the child was identified and interviewed.  The questionnaire included the following modules:

  • Age
  • Birth Registration
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Breastfeeding
  • Diet Diversity
  • Care of illness
  • Malaria
  • Immunization
  • National Health Insurance
  • Anthropometry
  • Anemia and Malaria Testing

The Questionnaire for Individual Men was administered to all men aged 15-59 years living in each third household, and included the following modules.

  • Men’s Background
  • Access to Mass media and use of information/Communication Technology
  • Marriage/Union
  • Attitude towards Contraceptive
  • Behaviour Change Communication on Malaria
  • Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Behaviour
  • National Health Insurance

The questionnaire are based on the English version of the MICS4 model questionnaire.  From the MICS4 model, the Ghana questionnaires were customized and pre-tested in two district:  Ga West district in Greater Accra region and Akwapim  South district in Eastern region during the period 2 – 5 August 2011.  Based on the results of the pre-test, modifications were made to the wording of the questionnaires.  A copy of the Ghana MICS4 questionn