The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, Round 4 (MICS4) is the forth round of MICS surveys, previously conducted around 1995 (MICS1), 2000 (MICS2), and 2005-2007 (MICS3). MICS was originally developed to support countries measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of goals that emerged from the 1990 World Summit for Children.
The fourth round of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS4) is scheduled for 2009-2011 and survey results are expected to be available from 2010 onwards. MICS4 data allow countries to better monitor progress toward national goals and global commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the target year 2015 approaches.
Information on more than 20 of the MDG indicators is being collected through MICS4, offering one of the largest single sources of data for MDG monitoring. MICS4 continues to address emerging issues and new areas of interest, with validated, standard methodologies in collecting relevant data. It also helps countries capture rapid changes in key indicators.
This survey represents the fourth round of the Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS4) carried out in Iraq. MICS4 surveys have been conducted in around fifty countries throughout the world. The sample of the survey was designed to cover all districts (118) and governorates (18), urban and rural areas, with a total sample size of 36,580 households. The objective of the survey is to provide up-to-date information for assessing the situation of children and women in Iraq, which will be used for monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, the goals of A World Fit for Children (WFFC), and the national goals.
In each of the interviewed households, information was collected on the sex and age of all household members, a total of 230,000 persons. Their access to water and sanitation, education levels, child labour, methods used to discipline children, salt iodization, and other living conditions were registered. More than 55,000 women 15-49 years living in those households were interviewed to obtain information on marriage, child mortality, contraception, FGM/C, maternal and newborn health, attitudes towards domestic violence, practices and knowledge related to HIV/AIDS. The mothers or caretakers of more than 36,000 children under five years were interviewed to collect information on birth registration, child development, immunization, breastfeeding, vitamin A supplementation, care of illness, and anthropometry.
Despite the remarkable differences in the levels of security and access throughout Iraq's territory, MICS4 has been conducted under the leadership of the two organizations: the Central Statistics Organization and the Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office. The location of interviewed households was registered using GPS devices, which will help identifying children living in the most disadvantaged communities.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The scope of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey includes:
- Household: Household Listing Form, Education, Water and Sanitation, Household Characteristics, Child Labour, Child Discipline, Handwashing, Salt Iodization and Water Testing.
- Women: Women's Background, Marriage, Child Mortality (with Birth history), HIV/AIDS, Desire for Last Birth, Maternal and Newborn Health, Illness Symptoms, Contraception, Unmet Need, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, and Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence.
- Children under five: Age, Birth Registration, Early Childhood Development, Breastfeeding, Care of Illness, Immunization, and Anthropometry.
The survey covered all de jure household members (usual residents), all women aged between 15-49 years, all children under 5 living in the household.
Producers and sponsors
United Nations Children's Fund
Central Statistics Organization
Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office of Iraq
Ministry of Health
United Nations Children's Fund
Financial and technical support
Iraq Trust Fund
Financial and technical support
National Higher Supervisory Committee
World Health Organization
The primary objective of the sample design for the Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey was to produce statistically estimates of most indicators with high precision at the national level, and with lower precision levels for smaller geographical units (governorates and districts). Urban and rural areas in each of the 118 Districts were defined as the sampling strata.
A multi-stage, stratified cluster sampling approach was used for the selection of the survey sample.
The target sample size for the Iraq MICS was calculated as 35,580 households. For the calculation of the sample size, the key indicator used was the full immunization coverage among children aged 0-4 years according to MICS3.
The resulting number of households from this exercise was 311 households, taken to be 310, which is the sample size needed in each District -thus yielding about 36,580 in total. The average number of households selected per cluster for the Iraq MICS was determined as 10 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 given the security conditions for the field teams. Dividing the total number of households by the number of sample households per cluster, it was calculated that 85 sample clusters would need to be selected in each region.
Equal allocation of the total sample size to the 118 districts was used. Therefore, 31 clusters were allocated to each district, with the final sample size calculated at 36,580 households (31 clusters*118 regions*10 sample households per cluster). In each region, the clusters (primary sampling units) were distributed to urban and rural domains, proportional to the size of urban and rural populations in that region.
The sampling procedures are more fully described in appendix A in document "Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011 - Report" pp.1-4.
The original selected sample of 36,580 was increased up to 36,592 households because 12 housing units included 2 households each. Out of those, 35,828 were found to be occupied. Of these, 35,701 were successfully interviewed for a household response rate of 99.6%. In the interviewed households, 56,445 women (age 15-49 years) were identified. Of these, 55,194 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 97.8% within interviewed households. In addition, 36,599 children under age five were listed in the household questionnaire. Questionnaires were completed for 36,307 of these children, which corresponds to a response rate of 99.2% within interviewed households. Overall response rates of 97.4 and 98.9 are calculated for the women's and under-5's interviews respectively. Generally, response rates were high and similar within urban and rural areas and within the governorates.
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 employed in selecting the number of sample households in that particular sampling stratum and PSU. The sampling fraction for the sample PSU in the stratum is the product of probabilities of selection at every stage in each sampling stratum.
A second component in the calculation of sample weights takes into account the level of non response for the household and individual interviews. The adjustment for household non response is equal to the inverse value of: RRh = Number of interviewed households in stratum h/ Number of occupied households listed in stratum h
After the completion of fieldwork, response rates were calculated for each sampling stratum. These were used to adjust the sample weights calculated for each cluster. 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 enumeration area. 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 achieved by dividing the full sample weights (adjusted for nonresponse) by the average of these weights across all households at the national level. This is performed by multiplying the sample weights by a constant factor equal to the unweighted number of households at the national level divided by the weighted total number of households (using the full sample weights adjusted for nonresponse). A similar standardization procedure was followed in obtaining standardized weights for the women's and under-5's questionnaires. Adjusted (normalized) weights varied between 0.027 and 6.14 in the 3,658 sample enumeration areas (clusters).
Sample weights were appended to all data sets and analyses were performed by weighting each household, woman or under-5 with these sample weights.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Twenty-two central supervisors were trained for 10 days in a training of trainers (TOT) workshop in Amman in June 2010 by experts from the UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Office in Amman. Implementation of the survey was postponed due to the preparation for the implementation of the Census, and the TOT was refreshed in January of 2011. The central supervisors trained field workers during the month of January and beginning of February 2011 in the Kurdistan region and during March 2011 in Centre/South Iraq. The training was conducted for 13 days in three training centres (Dohuk, Erbil, Suleimaniya) in Kurdistan region,and in eight training centres in Centre/South Iraq. A total number of 207 trainees from Kurdistan region and 610 trainees from Centre/South Iraq participated in these trainings in the capacity of interviewers, local supervisors, local editors, and reserves.
The data were collected by 118 teams, each comprised of six members. The teams were composed by a field supervisor, directing the field team activities, and ultimately responsible of the achievement and maintenance of the standard of data quality; a field editor, who monitored the interviews and edited the completed questionnaires to assure accuracy and consistency; and four interviewers. Among those four interviewers, each team had a statistician who established the contact with the household and identified all the household members (filling the roster); a measurer, in charge of measuring and weighting the children, and conducting the salt and water tests; and eventually two female physicians who were in charge of administering the women and children questionnaires. The number of teams for each governorate varied according to the number of districts (Qadaa) in each governorate. Each team was responsible for the coverage of one district.
Field work was carried out in the Kurdistan region from February 13 until March 18 2011 by 33 teams. In the Center/South Iraq it was conducted by 85 teams and lasted from March 31 until May 9, 2011 by 85 teams. The fieldwork lasted 34 days, with subsequent visits to complete interviews in some households. At each governorate statistical office,the head of the office was assigned the role of a local supervisor for his/her governorate. One central supervisor from CSO was also responsible for each governorate with the exception of governorates of AI-Anbar, Salahaddin, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Suleimaniya, Erbil that had two central supervisors for each. Overall supervision of the whole survey was overseen by the Higher National Committee whose members conducted field visits to all governorates as part of their direct supervision during the course of fieldwork.
Central Statistics Organization
Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office of Iraq
The questionnaires for the Generic MICS were structured questionnaires based on the MICS4 model questionnaire with some modifications and additions. Household questionnaires were administered to a knowledgeable adult living in the household. The household questionnaire includes Household Listing Form, Education, Water and Sanitation, Household Characteristics, Child Labour, Child Discipline, Handwashing, Salt Iodization and Water Testing.
In addition to a household questionnaire, the Questionnaire for Individual Women was administered to all women aged 15-49 years living in the households. The women's questionnaire includes Women's Background, Marriage, Child Mortality (with Birth history), HIV/AIDS, Desire for Last Birth, Maternal and Newborn Health, Illness Symptoms, Contraception, Unmet Need, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, and Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence.
The Questionnaire for Children Under-Five was administered to mothers or caretakers of children under 5 years of age living in the households. The children's questionnaire includes Age, Birth Registration, Early Childhood Development, Breastfeeding, Care of Illness, Immunization, and Anthropometry.
Questionnaires were edited in the field by the local editors. A second round of editing was performed centrally at CSO office in Baghdad and KRSO office in Erbil. The data entry process began using 95 microcomputers (70 in Baghdad and 25 in Kurdistan Region) using the Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro). In order to ensure quality control, all questionnaires were double entered and internal consistency checks were performed. Procedures and standard programs developed under the global MICS4 programme and adapted to the Iraq questionnaires were used throughout. Data entry took place in Baghdad from May until August 2011. In the Kurdistan Region, the entry process began in April and ended in June 2011. Data processing ended in October 2011, and overall data quality was assessed in November 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.
Estimates of Sampling Error
Sampling errors are a measure of the variability between the estimates from all possible samples. The extent of variability is not known exactly, but can be estimated statistically from the survey data.
The following sampling error measures are presented in this appendix for each of the selected indicators:
- Standard error (se): Sampling errors are usually measured in terms of standard errors for particular indicators (means, proportions etc). Standard error is the square root of the variance of the estimate. The Taylor linearization method is used for the estimation of standard errors.
- Coefficient of variation (se/r) is the ratio of the standard error to the value of the indicator, and is a measure of the relative sampling error.
- Design effect (deff) is the ratio of the actual variance of an indicator, under the sampling method used in the survey, to the variance calculated under the assumption of simple random sampling. The square root of the design effect (deft) is used to show the efficiency of the sample design in relation to the precision. A deft value of 1.0 indicates that the sample design is as efficient as a simple random sample, while a deft value above 1.0 indicates the increase in the standard error due to the use of a more complex sample design.
- Confidence limits are calculated to show the interval within which the true value for the population can be reasonably assumed to fall, with a specified level of confidence. For any given statistic calculated from the survey, the value of that statistic will fall within a range of plus or minus two times the standard error (r + 2.se orr- 2.se) of the statistic in 95 percent of all possible samples of identical size and design.
For the calculation of sampling errors from MICS data, SPSS Version 18 Complex Samples module has been used. In addition to the sampling error measures described above, the tables also include weighted and unweighted counts of denominators for each indicator.
Sampling errors are calculated for indicators of primary interest, for the national level, for the regions, and for urban and rural areas. Three of the selected indicators are based on households, 8 are based on household members, 13 are based on women, and 15 are based on children under 5. All indicators presented here are in the form of proportions.
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-five questionnaires by socio-economic characteristics of households
- Completeness of reporting
- Completeness of information for anthropometric indicators
- Heaping in anthropometric measurements
- Observation of places for handwashing
- Observation of women's health cards
- Observation of children under 5 birth certificates
- 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 the document "Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2009 - Report" pp.51-64.
Central Statistical Organization Iraq
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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
United Nations Children's Fund, Central Statistics Organization and Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office of Iraq. Iraq Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2011. Ref. IRQ_2011_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.
DDI Document ID
Development Data Group
The World Bank
Documentation of the DDI
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 02 (April 2014). Version 01 (February 2013).