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Gero Carletto, LSMS ManagerDear LSMS friends,
As the exciting and challenging global effort on the SDGs gears up, more and better data will be needed to monitor progress, requiring greater investment by countries and development institutions. For our part, the LSMS has teamed up with USAID’s Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and UNICEF’s Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) to commit to greater coordination in building country capacity and fostering methodological advances in household surveys. Together with Sunita Kishor, DHS Director, and Attila Hancioglu, MICS Global Coordinator, we recently issued a joint statement and established a Collaborative Group aimed at enhancing the relevance of household surveys for monitoring broad measures of progress and for policy.

For more than three decades, the LSMS commitment to improving the availability, quality and relevance of household surveys has been unwavering. Our joint resolve will be even more steadfast! Stay tuned for more exciting news, and be sure to follow us on our newly launched Facebook page to get the latest updates on upcoming events, emerging analytical insights from our datasets, and pictures of our team from all around the world!
  LSMS-ISA LogoFreely available Data: The public good that keeps on giving?

LSMS’s buddy Markus Goldstein recently blogged about the surge of research papers using LSMS data in Africa. He was referring to the crop of papers presented in Oxford at this year’s CSAE conference on Economic Development in Africa of which 23 papers used LSMS data! A new harvest of LSMS-based papers on African agriculture is lining up, as the “Agriculture in Africa – Telling Facts from Myths” project authors gather for a workshop in Washington DC on Monday, June 15.

New data available on Ethiopia
EthiopiaThe second round of the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS)  includes 5,262 households out of which 3,776 were interviewed in 2011/12 and 1,486 urban households added in 2013/14. The attrition rate stands at an impressive 4.9 percent at the household level. ESS was implemented in collaboration with the Ethiopia Central Statistics Agency.
  Survey solutions 

Survey Solutions is a free software program  developed by the Survey Methods group of the World Bank to enable developing countries to produce high-quality, cost-effective surveys with minimal or no technical assistance.

Survey Solutions

The software draws on LSMS and its more than 30 years of experience in best practices for household surveys in developing countries. It combines powerful tools for data capture on tablets, survey management, and cloud storage. It reduces the time lag between data collection and analysis, dramatically improves quality and lowers costs. It also integrates survey data with data from GPS and sensors, time stamps, and audio/video. Survey Solutions has been used for more than 500,000 interviews in 50 surveys in 32 countries, including war-torn South Sudan and remote areas of Pakistan and Niger.
  Research Highlights          
  Filling the Knowledge Gap on Livelihoods in Nigeria

Exciting new research using the LSMS-ISA survey to inform policy in Nigeria produced by the World Bank Poverty, Social Protection, and LSMS teams.

How big is the Nigerian middle class?
Myth 4 GraphicThe size of the middle class increased from 13 to 19 percent while poverty decreased from 45 to 33 percent between 2003 and 2013.

The centre cannot hold: Patterns of polarization in Nigeria
Myth 4 GraphicThere’s a clear rise in polarization of income observed - between 2003/2004 and 2012/2013 - with a generalized hollowing out of the income centre and a further accentuation of the regional divide.

Can we measure resilience?
Myth 4 GraphicA paper proposes a new method for measuring household resilience using readily available cross section data in the Sahel: Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Northern Nigeria.

The Nigerian Economic Report
Myth 4 GraphicThe Nigerian Economic Report (NER) 2 provides an analysis of recent poverty trends in Nigeria.

  You are what (and where) you eat: Capturing food away from home in welfare measures


As part of a broader international agenda, the LSMS has embarked on a methodological research program that aims at improving the measurement of food consumption in national household surveys. An important component of that work program relates to food consumed away from home (FAFH), an increasingly important component of food consumption that is poorly measured in the majority of household surveys. By exploiting a unique experiment where data from a national household survey is combined with data collected at food establishments, we analyze the impact of FAFH on welfare measurement in Peru. Check out what we find!

  6 pages or 66 pages? Questionnaire design's impact on measuring poverty by proxies


Proxy-based poverty measurement is marketed as a cost-effective alternative to collecting consumption data to measure poverty. Based on a randomized survey experiment in Malawi, Talip Kilic and Thomas Sohnesen find that comparable households answer the same questions differently when interviewed with a long questionnaire versus a short questionnaire that does not collect consumption data but that would be used for measuring poverty through proxies. Even the same households answer the same questions differently (at different points in time) depending on the questionnaire. The authors show that the differences could lead to substantial differences in poverty and inequality statistics, and they call for further methodological research on module/question placement effects and associated cognitive processes. Click here for the full paper.

Calogero Carletto, Dean Jolliffe and Raka Banerjee outline the myriad problems plaguing agricultural statistics, propose various quick wins for improving data collection methods, and highlight the long-term strategies needed to improve agricultural data on a global scale. Get the whole story here: From Tragedy to Renaissance: Improving Agricultural Data for Better Policies.
    LSMS at the UNSC

As part of the 46th Session of the UN Statistical Commission, FAO and the Living Standard Measurement Study survey team at the World Bank, with support from the Global Strategy, organized a seminar on Improving the Relevance and Reliability of the Food Data Collected in National Household Consumption and Expenditure Surveys. Two pilot tests  are being implemented in Indonesia (BPS) and Peru (INEI).

Tanzania Malawi Country Page Ethiopia Ethiopia