The 2010-2011 Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a nationally representative sample survey that presents data on the social, health, and educational status of women and children in Afghanistan. It was conducted in 2010-2011 by the Central Statistics Organisation (CSO) of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with the technical and financial support of NICEF. The survey is based on the need to monitor progress towards goals and targets emanating from recent international agreements such as the Millennium Declaration and the Plan of Action of A World Fit For Children. It further helps track progress towards the Afghan Government s policy commitments to reduce poverty and support the wellbeing of women and children, such as the commitments made through the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).
The primary objectives of the Afghanistan MICS 2010-2011 include the following:
To provide up-to-date information for assessing the situation of children and women in Afghanistan;
To generate data on the situation of children and women, including the identification of vulnerable groups and of disparities.
To furnish data required for monitoring progress toward goals established in the Millennium Declaration and other internationally agreed upon goals;
To serve as the evidence basis for future action and programming design, and to inform relevant policies and interventions;
To contribute to the improvement of data and monitoring systems in Afghanistan and to strengthen technical expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of such systems.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
- v01: Edited, anonymous datasets for public distribution.
Unit of analysis
The survey covered all de jure household members (usual residents), all women aged between 15-49 years, and all children under 5 living in the household.
Producers and sponsors
Central Statistics Organization
Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
United Nations Children’s Fund
Ministry of Public Health
Ministry of Education
United Nations Children’s Fund
Financial and technical support
The primary objective of the sample design for the Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS4) was to produce statistically reliable estimates of most indicators, at the national level, for urban and rural areas, and for the following eight regions of the country: (1) Central, (2) Central Highlands, (3) East, (4) North, (5) North East, (6) South, (7) South East and (8) West. The Central region was further divided into the sub-regions of (1a) Kabul and (1b) Central Region without Kabul, so there was a total of nine regional domains. The urban and rural areas in each of the regions were defined as the sampling strata. A stratified two-stage sample design was used for the selection of the survey sample.
The final sample size for the Afghanistan MICS4 was calculated as including 15,480 households. For the calculation of the sample size, the key indicator used was the rate of fully immunized children aged 12 to 23 months.
The initial estimated required the sample size to have a relative margin of error (RME) of 12% for the estimate of the child immunization rate at the regional level, which was 2,918 households for each of the nine regional domains, or 26,263 households at the national level. Given the high costs and quality control challenges of conducting the survey with such a large sample size, it is reasonable to relax the precision requirements for the sub-national domains. Therefore, it was decided to limit the total sample size to 15,480 households and to concentrate additional resources on the operational and quality control of the data collection and other survey activities. The average number of households selected per cluster for the Afghanistan MICS4 was determined as 30 households, based on a number of considerations, including the design effect, the budget available, and the time that would be needed per team to complete one cluster. Dividing the total number of households by the number of sample households per cluster, the total number of sample enumerations areas (EAs) to be selected was 516.
The sampling frame for the Afghanistan MICS4 is based on the data and cartographic materials for the frame of EAs that the CSO developed in preparation for the next census. The EAs are segments with well-defined boundaries that will be used as operational areas for the census enumeration. The CSO had previously conducted a quick count of the households and population in each EA in preparation for the census. The EAs have an average of about 185 households, which is a reasonable size for conducting a new listing of households. The sampling frame has a total of 21,194 EAs covering the territory of Afghanistan. The EAs were defined as the primary sampling units (PSUs) to be selected at the first sampling stage for the MICS4.
Within each region, urban and rural stratum, the EAs in the frame were ordered by province, district, controller code and EA code, in order to provide implicit stratification by province and lower levels of geography. The specified number of sample EAs was selected from each sampling stratum systematically with probability proportional to size (PPS), where the measure of size was based on the estimated number of households in the frame.
A reserve sample of EAs was also selected within each stratum (using the same type of systematic PPS selection) to be used as possible replacements in extreme cases when the security situation for an original sample EA made it difficult to enumerate. A total of 102 sample EAs were selected as possible replacements. During the MICS4 fieldwork, 423 of the original 516 sample EAs were enumerated, and 26 replacement EAs were enumerated; and the remaining 67 sample EAs were not replaced. Therefore the final sample in the Afghanistan MICS4 data file includes 449 sample EAs, so there was an overall reduction in the effective sample size.
In order to update the second stage sampling frame, a new listing of households was conducted in each sample EA prior to the selection of households. The enumerators were provided with EA maps, and they were instructed to list all the households within the EA boundaries.
Following the listing in each sample EA, the households were sequentially numbered from 1 to n (the total number of households in each EA). A household selection table was used to select the random systematic sample of 30 households in the field soon after the listing was completed. Based on the total number of households listed, the household selection table specified the serial numbers of the 30 households to be selected.
The sampling procedures are more fully described in "Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010-2011 - Final Report" pp.149-151.
Of the 13,468 households selected for the sample, 13,314 were visited. Of these, 13,116 were successfully interviewed for a high household response rate of 98.5%. In the interviewed households, 22,053 women (age 15-49 years) were identified. Of these, 21,290 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 96.5% within interviewed households. In addition, 15,327 children under age five were listed in the household questionnaire. Questionnaires were completed for 14,872 of these children, corresponding to a response rate of 97% within interviewed households. Overall, response rates of 95.6% are calculated for interviews with women and children under age five.
The Afghanistan MICS4 sample is not self-weighting, given that the sampling rates vary by stratum. Therefore sample weights were calculated and these were used in the subsequent analyses of the survey data.
The major component of the weight is the reciprocal of the sampling fraction used in selecting the sample households in that particular sampling stratum (h) and PSU (i).
Another component in the calculation of sample weights takes into account the level of non-response for the household and individual interviews. The response rate for sample households in stratum h is defined as follows: RRh = Number of interviewed households in stratum h/ Number of occupied households listed in stratum h
The non-response adjustment factors for women's and under-5's questionnaires are applied to the adjusted household weights. Numbers of eligible women and under-5 children were obtained from the roster of household members in the Household Questionnaire for households where interviews were completed.
The design weights for the households were calculated by multiplying the above factors for each sample cluster. These weights were then standardized (or normalized), one purpose of which is to make the weighted sum of the interviewed sample units equal the total sample size at the national level. Normalization is performed by dividing the aforementioned design weights by the average design weight at the national level. The average design weight is calculated as the sum of the design weights divided by the unweighted total. A similar standardization procedure was followed in obtaining standardized weights for the women s and under-5 s questionnaires. Sample weights were appended to all data sets and analyses were performed by weighting the data for each household, woman, or under-5 record with the corresponding sample weights.
A subsample of the households was selected for the AMICS in order to collect data for a hemoglobin test. In order to reduce the costs of this additional data collection and to facilitate field operations, a subsample of a 50% households of the AMICS EAs was selected for the test. It was decided to select an odd number of clusters for the hemoglobin test. This results in a total sample size of 7,740 households in 258 sample EAs. The sample size varies by region from 720 to 960 households, which should provide a reasonable reliability for anaemia estimates at the regional level. All children under age 5 and women aged 15-49 in the households of selected clusters were administered a blood test.
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
Data collection supervision
There is one supervisor for each of the 66 data collection teams in the field.
The questionnaires for the Generic MICS were structured questionnaires based on the MICS4 model questionnaire with some modifications and additions. Household questionnaires were administered in each household, which collected various information on household members including sex, age and relationship. The household questionnaire includes household listing form, education, water and sanitation, household characteristics, child labour, child discipline, hand washing and salt iodization.
In addition to a household questionnaire, questionnaires were administered in each household for women age 15-49 and children under age five. For children, the questionnaire was administered to the mother or primary caretaker of the child.
The women's questionnaire includes woman's background, child mortality, desire for last birth, maternal and newborn health, illness symptoms, contraception, attitudes towards domestic violence, marriage, anthropometry, HIV/AIDS, and blood test for anaemia.
The children's questionnaire includes child's age, birth registration, early childhood development, breastfeeding, care of illness, immunization, anthropometry and blood test for anaemia.
The questionnaires are based on the MICS4 model questionnaire. From the MICS4 model English version, the questionnaires were translated into Dari and Pashto, and were pre-tested in Kabul province (Kabul city district and Farza district) and Parwan province (Charikar city district and Bagram district) during May 2010. Based on the results of the pre-test, modifications were made to the wording and translation of the questionnaires.
In addition to the administration of questionnaires, fieldwork teams tested the salt used for cooking in the households for iodine content, observed the place and facilities used for hand washing, measured the weights and heights of children aged less than five years, and tested the blood of children aged under five and the blood of women aged between 15 and 49 years.
Central Statistics Organization
Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Data were entered using the CSPro software. The data were entered onto 24 microcomputers and carried out by 24 data entry operators, two data entry supervisors and one data processing manager. In order to ensure quality control, all questionnaires were double entered and internal consistency checks performed. Procedures and standard programs developed under the global MICS4 programme and adapted to the Afghanistan questionnaire were used throughout the processing. Data processing was completed in August 2011. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software program, Version 18, and the model syntax and tabulation plans developed by UNICEF were used for this purpose.
A series of sampling errors tables are available to review the errors of sampling and include the following:
- Sampling Errors - Total Sample
- Sampling Errors - Urban Areas
- Sampling Errors - Rural Areas
- Sampling Errors - Central Region
- Sampling Errors - Central Highlands Region
- Sampling Errors - East Region
- Sampling Errors - North Region
- Sampling Errors - North East Region
- Sampling Errors - South Region
- Sampling Errors - South East Region
- Sampling Errors - West Region
The results of each of the sampling errors tables are shown in appendix C in document "Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010-2011 - Final Report" pp. 163-177.
Other forms of data appraisal
A series of data quality tables are available to review the quality of the data and include the following:
- Age distribution of the household population
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed women
- Age distribution of children under 5 in household and children under 5 questionnaires
- Women’s completion rates by socio-economic characteristics of households
- Completion rates for under-5 questionnaires by socio-economic characteristics of households
- Completeness of reporting
- Completeness of information for anthropometric indicators
- Heaping in anthropometric measurements
- Observation of places for hand washing
- Observation of under-5s birth certificates
- Observation of women's health cards
- Observation of vaccination cards
- Presence of mother in the household and the person interviewed for the under-5 questionnaire
- Selection of children age 2–14 years for the child discipline module
- School attendance by single age
- Sex ratio at birth among children ever born and living
The results of each of these data quality tables are shown in appendix D in document "Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010-2011 - Final Report" pp.178-192.
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Survey datasets are distributed at no cost for legitimate research, with the condition that we receive a description of the objectives of any research project that will be using the data prior to authorizing their distribution.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download.
Central Statistics Organization of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and United Nations Children’s Fund. Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2010-2011, Ref. AFG_2010_MICS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [url] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.