Published on Data Blog

Latest from the LSMS: New data from Tanzania and Nigeria, dynamics of wellbeing in Ethiopia & using non-standard units in data collection

This page in:


Message from Gero Carletto (Manager, LSMS)

It has been a busy few months for the LSMS team! Together with several Italian and African institutions, we recently launched the Partnership for Capacity Development in Household Surveys for Welfare Analysis. The initiative cements a long-term collaboration to train trainers from regional training institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa to harmonize survey data and promote the adoption of best practices in household surveys across the region (see below for more details). In addition, we have contributed to several international conferences and meetings, such as the Annual Bank Conference on Africa (featured below), where we witnessed the creative use of the data we helped collect and disseminate. Finally, LSMS was part of a documentary on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) called The Crowd & The Cloud. The fourth episode featured our very own Talip Kilic and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, working hand in hand to produce household and farm-level panel data, which have been game changers in informing government policymaking and investment decisions, as well as in advancing the methodological frontier. We look forward to many more exciting quarters as we continue to work with our partners to improve the household survey landscape!


LSMS-ISA MapNew Data from Tanzania
Data from the fourth wave of the Tanzania National Panel Survey (NPS 2014/15) are now available. The NPS 2014/15, implemented by the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, contains a sample refresh of 3,352 households.

Data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey 2016 - Feed the Future Interim Supplemental Survey (FTFISS) are also available. This USAID funded supplemental dataset complements the 2014/15 National Panel Survey (NPS) Households in 6 regions of Tanzania with additional information on the Food Security, Dietary Diversity, and Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture.


New Experiment Data: Farm Area Measurement Validation Study–Nigeria
Data from the Nigeria General Household Survey–Panel (GHS-P) Farm Area Measurement Validation Study are now available. The study tested methodological options in measuring land area, including GPS measurement, compass and rope measurement, and farmer estimation, and subsequently examined the drivers of divergence between objectively-measured plot area and farmer estimates. The study was conducted on a subsample of the national GHS-P survey, and was implemented by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank with support from UK Aid. The following LSMS publications on land area measurement have used the GHS-P data:

In the Field
The Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS) 2017/18 is underway. Data from the first four waves are available here.

Field Work Completed
Fieldwork for Malawi's Fourth Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) and Panel Subcomponent was completed in April 2017. The data will be released in November 2017. Check the LSMS website for updates and for data from earlier survey rounds.

Partnership for Capacity Development in Household Surveys for Welfare Analysis

C4D2 Training Center LaunchIn low- and middle-income countries, household surveys are often the primary source of socio-economic data used by decision makers to make informed decisions and monitor national development plans and the SDGs. However, household surveys continue to suffer from low quality and limited cross-country comparability, and many countries lack the necessary resources and know-how to develop and maintain sustainable household survey systems.

The World Bank’s Center for Development Data (C4D2) in Rome and the Bank of Italy— with financial support by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and commitments from other Italian and African institutions—launched a new initiative in June to address these issues. The Partnership for Capacity Development in Household Surveys for Welfare Analysis aims to improve the quality and sustainability of national surveys by strengthening capacity in regional training centers in the collection, analysis, and use of household surveys and other microdata, as well as in the integration of household surveys with other data sources.

The Partnership will offer a biannual Training Week on household surveys and thematic workshops on specialized topics to be held in Italy in training facilities made available by the Bank of Italy, as well as regular short courses and seminars held at regional statistical training facilities to maximize outreach and impact. The first of a series of Training-of-Trainers (ToT) courses will be held in Fall 2017.

For more information, please contact:

Ethiopia Poverty Dynamics

Members of the LSMS-ISA team wrapped up a DFID-funded research project on the Dynamics of Wellbeing in Ethiopia, which used the first two waves of the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) data to analyze changes in both trends and dynamics of multiple forms of poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition. The work produced several research papers, which have been presented at different workshops and conferences, including the Ethiopian Economic Association, the Association of African Agricultural Economics, the Center for the Study of African Economics, and the upcoming London School of Economics conference on Stunting: Past, Present, and Future. Several of the papers have related 2-page policy briefs that are available online, under “Briefs.”

The research team also partnered with the Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) to produce a special issue of the Association’s journal, Ethiopian Journal of Economics (EJE). The EJE is a bi-annual, open access publication committed to promoting and advancing economic research in Ethiopia. The special issue, edited by Dean Jolliffe and Ilana Seff, includes five of the project papers.

Using Non-Standard Units in Data Collection: The Latest in the LSMS Guidebook Series

Download PDF

How many tomatoes are in one kilogram? How much does a local small tin or basket of maize flour weigh? At present, there is no standard methodology for collecting food quantities in national surveys.

Food consumption and agricultural production are two critical components for monitoring poverty and household well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Accurate measurement of both provides a better contextual understanding and contributes to more effective policy design.

Often, survey respondents are asked to estimate quantities in standard units (usually metric units), requiring them to convert from familiar “local” or “non-standard” units into kilograms or other standard units. This conversion process is often an uncommon or abstract task for respondents and allowing quantities to be directly reported in NSUs places less of a burden on respondents which may ultimately lead to better quality data.

This new LSMS publication explains how to effectively include non-standard units (NSUs) into data-collection activities— from establishing the list of allowable NSUs to properly collecting conversion factors for the NSUs, with advice on how to incorporate all the components into data collection. An NSU-focused market survey is a critical part of preparing tools needed to effectively use NSU data in both data collection and subsequent analytical work. As such, the NSU Guidebook includes detailed guidance for implementing the market survey and on calculating conversion factors to ensure the highest-quality data when using NSUs.

The Guidebook builds on collaborative work between the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team, the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia, the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria, the National Statistics Office of Malawi, and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

For practical advice on household survey design, visit the LSMS Guidebooks page.

LSMS at the Annual Bank Conference on Africa

The Annual Bank Conference on Africa: The Challenges and Opportunities of Transforming African Agriculture, held July 1–2, 2017 in Berkeley, California, provided evidence of the impact of the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) program on applied policy and methodological research in Africa. Prof. Alain De Janvry’s presentation during the invited panel provides a helpful overview of this impact.

In addition, several microeconometric longitudinal studies using LSMS-ISA data were presented at the conference, including inter-generational health effect of early malnutrition (Ethiopia); measurement of ownership and control of assets (cross-country); asset ownership and child health (Tanzania); and women’s empowerment and inter-generational mobility (Nigeria).

Methodological research conducted by the LSMS and its technical partners on the measurement of land area, soil fertility, and skills was featured in a session on Data and Measurement, and LSMS-supported research on the measurement of agricultural labor was presented in a session on Farm Labor. These studies are part of the “Minding the (Agricultural) Data Gap” methodological research program conducted by the LSMS since 2010 with funding from UK Aid, the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), and the World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building, among others.

New Features! Survey Solution Training – South Africa

Survey Solution TrainingSurvey Solutions is a free, computer–assisted personal interviewing software developed by the World Bank. New features of the recently released Survey Solutions 5.21 include web-interview mode, export to Stata Unicode format (Stata 14), clickable GPS location, and increased interviews documentation (such as taking pictures).

To continue building capacity in the use of Survey Solutions software among survey implementers, the World Bank and Statistics South Africa organized a training course in South Africa in May for 50 participants from national statistical offices and other institutions from 14 African countries.

Why Survey Solutions?

  • Free – Is a sustainable option for NSOs & other data-collecting institutions
  • Simple – Uses a flexible interface for questionnaire development and testing
  • Convenient – Runs on Android, which is available on most tablets
  • Standardized – Is a tool that standardizes survey-management protocols
  • Efficient – Provides quick and informative reporting


Vini Vaid

Communications Consultant

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000