The Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) December 2005 - February 2006 was developed for the first time to collect data on the situation of all children in Thailand to be used as tools in monitoring and evaluation of child development in Thailand.
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a household survey programme developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development in general and the situation of children and women in particular. MICS is capable of producing statistically sound, internationally comparable estimates of social indicators. The current round of MICS is focused on providing a monitoring tool for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Fit for Children (WFFC), as well as for other major international commitments, such as the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS and the Abuja targets for malaria.
The 2006 Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey has as its primary objectives:
- To provide up-to-date information for assessing the situation of children and women in Thailand;
- To furnish data needed for monitoring progress toward goals established by the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the goals of A World Fit for Children (WFFC) and other internationally agreed upon goals, as a basis for future action at national and provincial level; and
- To contribute to the improvement of data and monitoring systems on the situation of children and women in Thailand and strengthening technical expertise for the design, implementation, and analysis of such systems.
MICS questionnaires are designed in a modular fashion that can be easily customized to the needs of a country. They consist of a household questionnaire, a questionnaire for women aged 15-49 and a questionnaire for children under the age of five (to be administered to the mother or caretaker). Other than a set of core modules, countries can select which modules they want to include in each questionnaire.
The survey was implemented by the National Statistical Office of Thailand, with the support and assistance of UNICEF and other partners. Technical assistance and training for the surveys is provided through a series of regional workshops, covering questionnaire content, sampling and survey implementation; data processing; data quality and data analysis; report writing and dissemination.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
- Women aged 15-49
- Children under 5 years of age
Version 1.0: Edited data used for final report
The Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey included the following modules in the questionnaires:
HOUSEHOLD QUESTIONNAIRE : Household characteristics, household listing, orphaned and vulnerable children, education, child labour, water and sanitation, disability and salt iodization.
WOMEN'S QUESTIONNAIRE: Women's characteristics, child mortality, tetanus toxoid, maternal and newborn health, marriage, contraception, and HIV/AIDS knowledge.
CHILDREN'S QUESTIONNAIRE: Children's characteristics, birth registration and early learning, child development, breastfeeding, care of illness, immunization and anthropometry.
The survey was designed to produce estimates for indicators at the national level, by urban and rural disaggregation, for each of the 4 regions of Thailand (North, Northeast, Central, and South) and by individual province for 26 (out of 76 total) targeted provinces (note: additional data collections were performed for the targeted provinces during March-May 2006; separate results publications for each province are pending).
The survey covered all de jure household members (usual residents), all women aged 15-49 years resident in the household, and all children aged 0-4 years (under age 5) resident in the household.
Producers and sponsors
National Statistical Office of Thailand
Ministry of Social Development & Human Security
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Public Health
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
The Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) was carried out by a sample survey method that used a stratified two stage sampling plan. The primary sample units (PSUs) consisted of blocks (in municipal areas) or villages (in non-municipal areas). The secondary sample units consisted of collective households systematically drawn from a household listing. The plan is designed to provide estimates of situation indicators for children and women at the national level, for municipal and non-municipal areas, and for four regions: Central (including Bangkok), North, Northeast and South. The household listing is obtained from The Basic Household Information Survey conducted every two years by the National Statistical Office (NSO). In the survey, members of each household located in the block/village samples are counted.
Data on basic household information from the survey are to be used as the sample frame in various survey projects of the NSO. Data from the 2006 Basic Household Information Survey were used as the frame for household samples in the Thailand MICS. Thirty collective household samples per block/village sample were selected in both municipal and non-municipal areas. Field staff then created a Listing of Household Samples by adding together all the names of household heads and the addresses. After a household listing was carried out within the selected 30 households in each block/village, a systematic sample of households was drawn. For national-level results, sample data were weighted in accordance with sampling plan.
A block is an operational boundary in a municipal area that is made up of approximately 100 to 200 households. Blocks are established on a map so that field staff know the exact area they are to cover in the survey.
A village is an administrative unit, a community, in a non-municipal area governed by a village head (Phuyaiban) or a district head (Kamnan).
The MICS national-level report included 1,449 block/village samples. Thirty collective household samples per block/village samples were selected and a total of 43,470 household samples were obtained.
For MICS provincial-level reports, 1,032 block/village samples were selected and 30,960 household samples were included.
More detailed information on the sample design is available in Appendix A of the Survey Final Report.
Of the 43,440 households selected for the sample, 42,302 were found to be occupied. Of these, 40,511 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 95.8 percent. In the interviewed households, 37,187 eligible women (aged 15-49) were identified. Of these eligible women, 36,960 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 99.4 percent. In addition, 9,444 children under the age of 5 were listed as being eligible in the households. The mothers and/or caretakers of 9,409 of these children (99.6 per cent) were successfully interviewed.
Differentials in response rates by areas showed 94.9 percent of the households in municipal areas and 96.9 percent in non-municipal areas. Participant differentials in response rates were observed, with the highest in the North Region (98.8 percent), followed by the Northeast Region (98.1 percent), and the South and the Central regions' same low response rate of 93 percent.
Survey weights are population based weights and have not been normalized.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Each enumeration team included one supervisor. The supervisor provided advice on field work, helped in solving problems arising during the field work, and checked the completeness of data after the survey. The NSO MICS coordinators also provided overall supervision, with continuous visits to the field.
Data Collection Notes
The Thai Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) questionnaires went through two pre-tests, first in Ratchaburi province and later in Ayutthaya province. Based on the results of the two pre-tests, modifications on wording and terminology in the Thai version were made to make them more suitable for the Thai population.
The first pre-test in Ratchaburi province was held during October 10-12, 2005. The interview was conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) MICS coordinators themselves to determine if the interviewee would understand the questions/wording used and to find out if there were any problems with particular modules. Results from the first pre-test were discussed among the NSO MICS coordinators, and the questionnaires were revised accordingly.
During the pre-test survey in Ratchaburi province, the NSO MICS coordinators obtained information on maternal and child health from the staff of Health Centre IV on topics such as birth registration for children born in hospitals, child vaccination, maternal tetanus prevention, contraception and antenatal care. The knowledge and information obtained from this process were used to improve the questionnaires and prepare field work manuals.
The second pre-test in Ayutthaya province was carried out by field staff using the revised questionnaires under the observation of the NSO MICS coordinators. Before commencing the test survey, field staff were provided with training on definitions and the survey's objectives.
Again, results from the pre-test, especially in relation to questions that interviewees did not understand or did not want to answer, were discussed among the NSO MICS coordinators and field staff. These related to questions that were considered either sensitive or difficult to answer due to the degree of detailed information required. In the case of child vaccination, respondents were asked what kind of vaccines the child had received, and when and how many times the child had received the vaccines. The discussion contributed positively to the interview process and the accuracy of the survey results. It took about 2-2.5 hours per household to finish all three questionnaires.
After the second pre-test, a final revision was made to both the questionnaires and the field work manuals to be used in the Thailand MICS.
In November 2005, before data collection, a three-day training programme was provided to 145 field staff from the North and Northeast regions in Khon Kaen province, and in Krabi province for 160 field staff from the South and Central (including Bangkok) regions. The NSO MICS coordinators and representatives from UNICEF Thailand participated in both training sessions as observers. Instructors from the Ministry of Public Health provided information on antenatal care, attendance at birth, child vaccination, maternal tetanus vaccination and oral rehydration treatment for children with diarrhoea. The knowledge and information acquired through the training were useful for the interview process and the accuracy of the survey results.
Administratively, Thailand is divided into 76 provinces, including Bangkok (Metropolis). In Bangkok, the field work was carried out under the responsibility of the Director of the Data Management Division of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), while Provincial Statistical Officers were responsible for the field work undertaken in the other 75 provinces. In each province, data were collected by three teams of four field staff, three interviewers and one supervisor.
The fieldwork began in December 2005 and concluded in February 2006. Also, additional data collections were performed for 26 targeted provinces during March-May 2006 (separate provincial reports are pending).
National Statistical Office of Thailand
The questionnaires for the Thailand MICS were structured questionnaires based on the MICS3 Model Questionnaire with some modifications and additions. A household questionnaire was administered in each household, which collected various information on household members including sex, age, relationship, and orphanhood status.
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 caretaker of the child.
The questionnaires were translated into Thai by the NSO MICS coordinators in September 2005.
In addition to the administration of questionnaires, fieldwork teams tested salt used for cooking in the households surveyed for presence of iodine, and measured the weight and height of children under 5 years of age.
After the fieldwork, the team supervisor checked the data collected during the interview for completeness. Then the Provincial Statistical Officer in each province and the Director of the Data Management Division of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration randomly rechecked the data before sending all the questionnaires to the National Statistical Office (NSO) for processing.
Upon receiving the questionnaires from the 76 provinces, the collected data were entered on 30 microcomputers by data entry operators and data entry supervisors at the Thai NSO, using CSPro software. In order to ensure quality control, editing and structural checks, all questionnaires were double entered for verification and internal consistency checks were performed, followed by secondary editing. The data entry and verification used CSPro programme applications that were developed under the global Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) project by UNICEF to be used as standard processing procedures worldwide. In Thailand, the standard CSPro programme was modified appropriately to the Thai version questionnaires. The modification was done by NSO staff that had been trained on data processing by MICS experts from UNICEF.
Data entry and data verification for the national level report began in February 2006 and was completed in April 2006. For the provincial reports, the process was completed in June 2006. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software programme, Version 14, and the model syntax and tabulation plans developed by UNICEF for this purpose.
Data editing took place at a number of stages throughout the processing, including:
a) Office editing and coding
b) During data entry
c) Structure checking and completeness
d) Secondary editing
e) Structural checking of SPSS data files
Data processing used the CSPro programme applications developed under the global Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey project by UNICEF.
Data were processed in clusters, with each cluster being processed as a complete unit through each stage of data processing. Each cluster goes through the following steps:
1) Questionnaire reception
2) Office editing and coding
3) Data entry
4) Structure and completeness checking
5) Verification entry
6) Comparison of verification data
7) Back up of raw data
8) Secondary editing
9) Edited data back up
After all clusters are processed, all data is concatenated together and then the following steps are completed for all data files:
10) Export to SPSS in 4 files (hh - household, hl - household members, wm - women, ch - children under 5)
11) Recoding of variables needed for analysis
12) Adding of sample weights
13) Calculation of wealth quintiles and merging into data
14) Structural checking of SPSS files
15) Data quality tabulations
16) Production of analysis tabulations
For data entry, CSPro version 2.6.007 was used with a highly structured data entry program, using system controlled approach, that controlled entry of each variable. All range checks and skips were controlled by the program and operators could not override these. A limited set of consistency checks were also included inthe data entry program. In addition, the calculation of anthropometric Z-scores was also included in the data entry programs for use during analysis. Open-ended responses ("Other" answers) were not entered or coded, except in rare circumstances where the response matched an existing code in the questionnaire.
Structure and completeness checking ensured that all questionnaires for the cluster had been entered, were structurally sound, and that women's and children's questionnaires existed for each eligible woman and child.
100% verification of all variables was performed using independent verification, i.e. double entry of data, with separate comparison of data followed by modification of one or both datasets to correct keying errors by original operators who first keyed the files.
After completion of all processing in CSPro, all individual cluster files were backed up before concatenating data together using the CSPro file concatenate utility.
Estimates of Sampling Error
The sample of respondents selected in the Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is only one of the samples that could have been selected from the same population, using the same design and size. Each of these samples would yield results that differ somewhat from the results of the actual sample selected. Sampling errors are a measure of the variability between all possible samples. The extent of variability is not known exactly, but can be estimated statistically from the survey results.
The following sampling error measures are presented in this appendix to the Survey Final Report (attached in the External Resources) 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. 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
- 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. 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. For any given statistic calculated from the survey, the value of that statistics will fall within a range of plus or minus two times the standard error (p + 2.se or p - 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 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) Version 14 Complex Samples module has been used. In addition to the sampling error measures described above, the tables also include weighted and un-weighted counts of denominators for each indicator.
Sampling errors are calculated for indicators of primary interest, for the national total, 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 in the Final Report are in the form of proportions.
A series of data quality tables and graphs are available to review the quality of the data and include the following:
Age distribution of the household population
Age distribution of eligible women and interviewed women
Age distribution of eligible children and children for whom the mother or caretaker was interviewed
Age distribution of children under age 5 by 3 month groups
Age and period ratios at boundaries of eligibility
Percent of observations with missing information on selected variables
Presence of mother inthe household and person interviewed for the under 5 questionnaire
School attendance by single year age
Sex ratio at birth among children ever born, surviving and dead by age of respondent
Distribution of women by time since last birth
Scatterplot of weight by height, weight by age and height by age
Graph of male and female population by single years of age
The Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) covered a large number of samples from all 76 provinces in the country. It was expected that data deviation could possibly occur from the work of the field staff, or the interviewees. Therefore, the National Statistical Office (NSO) operated a post enumeration survey (PES) in Bangkok and 22 provinces selected from all four regions to aid data users in their consideration of data quality. The PES consisted of 150 block/village samples, in both municipal and non-municipal areas. Collective household samples – 20 households per block/village for a total of 3,000 household samples – were selected from the listing of household samples of the MICS survey. Staff were sent in to repeat the survey in these areas. Matching of questionnaires from the actual survey and the repeated survey was carried out and data were analysed for deviation.
UNICEF Thailand Country Office
Users of the data agree to keep confidential all data contained in these datasets and to make no attempt to identify, trace or contact any individual whose data is included in these datasets.
Survey datasets are distributed at no cost for legitimate research, with the condition that we receive a description of any research project that will be using the data prior to authorizing their distribution. Copies of all reports and publications based on the requested data must be sent to UNICE: email@example.com.
Requests for access to the datasets may be made through the website www.childinfo.org.
Thailand National Statistical Office. 2006. Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey December 2005- February 2006. Bangkok, Thailand: National Statistical Office.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The National Statistical Office of Thailand and UNICEF provide these data to external users without any warranty or responsibility implied. The National Statistical Office of Thailand and UNICEF accept no responsibility for the results and/or implications of any actions resulting from the use of these data.
DDI Document ID
Producer of Thailand MICS DDI
Adaption of Thailand MICS Archive for UNICEF childinfo.org website
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Slightly edited version of UNICEF's DDI ref. DDI-MICS-THA- UNICEF-2006-v1.0