In 1997-1998, Malawi conducted the first Integrated Household Survey (IHS-1). The survey was designed by the National Statistics Office (NSO) of Malawi with technical assistance from IFPRI and the World Bank. It was carried out from November 1997 through October 1998 in both urban and rural areas in all regions of the country. The purpose of the study was to provide a complete and integrated data set to better understand target groups of households affected by poverty. In addition, the IHS-1 would serve a much broader set of applications on policy issues regarding households' behaviour and welfare, distribution of income, employment, health and education. In 2003, the Government of Malawi decided to conduct the second IHS (IHS-2) in order to compare the current situation with the situation in 1997-1998, and to collect more detailed information in specific areas.
The principal focus of the survey is the welfare level of Malawian individuals and households. The survey data analysis will assist in determining what proportion of Malawians are unable to meet their basic needs to enjoy an adequate standard of living i.e those living in poverty. These studies will also consider what accounts for some households being able to attain and sustain such a standard of living and what might be done to assist those households and individuals now living in poverty to escape poverty. The information collected in the IHS will also be used in a range of other studies, including examining employment, health, nutritional status, agriculture, as well as better understanding how households respond to changes in the macroeconomic environment. The data collected using the IHS is particularly rich because it integrates a wide range of aspects of household and individual characteristics.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The 2004-2005 Malawi Integrated Household Survey II covered the following topics:
Household: - Characteristics and Composition of the Household - Education - Health - Time Use and Labour - Security and Safety - Housing - Consumption of Selected Food Over last 3 days - Consumption of Food over past one week - Non-Food Expenditures - Past 1 week and 1 month - Non-Food Expenditures - Past 3 months - Non-Food Expenditures - Past 12 months - Durables Goods - General Agriculture - Rain-fed Cultivation - Rain-fed Crop Sales - Tobacco - Dry Season (Dimba) Cultivation - Dry Season Crop Sales - Tree Crop Production and Sales - Livestock - Household Enterprises - Other Income - Gifts Received and Given - Social Safety Nets - Credit - Subjective Assessment of Well-being - Recent Shocks - Deaths in the Household - Child Anthropometry Community: - Community Identification - Roster of Informants - Basic Physical and Demographic Characteristics of the Community - Access to Basic Services - Economic Activities - Agriculture - Changes - Prices
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Migration & Remittances
Population & Reproductive Health
Community Driven Development
Producers and sponsors
National Statistical Office
Ministry of Finance
The World Bank
The World Bank
UK Department for International Development
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
United Nations Children's Fund
International Food Policy Research Institute
Ministry of Finance (Norway)
The World Bank
Funded the study
The sample design for the IHS-2 is different from the sample design in IHS-1. In both surveys, the sample was designed to provide district estimates of welfare indicators. Because a census had been done in 1998 after the IHS-1, it was possible to have an updated sample frame for the sample design used in the IHS-2. The sample for IHS-2 was drawn using a two-stage stratified sampling procedure from a sample frame using the 1998 Population Census Enumeration Areas (EAs). The population covered by the IHS-2 was all individuals living in selected households. The sample frame includes all three regions of Malawi: north, centre and south. The IHS-2 stratified the country into rural and urban strata. The urban strata include the four major urban areas: Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu, and the Municipality of Zomba. All other areas including "Bomas" are considered as rural areas. The total sample was 11,280 households (564 EAs x 20 households).
Information on sampling errors for consumption from the IHS1 (October 1997 - September 1998) was used to help determine the minimum sample size in each domain. These domains were further divided into a number of smaller strata based on the administrative system in the country. Each of the twenty-seven districts were considered as a separate sub-stratum of the main rural stratum (for IHS-2, Likoma District was excluded because of difficulty in travel to the island, so only twenty-six administrative districts were considered). Thus, the total number of strata in the survey was thirty: twenty-six districts and four urban centres. Additional information on sampling is provided under technical documents in external resources.
Deviations from the Sample Design
Of the sampled households, 507 replacements were made. The primary reason for replacement was that the dwelling could be found but no household member could be found after repeated attempts or the dwelling was unoccupied. There were only 41 refusals from respondents.
Refer to data provided by World Bank.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Face-to-face paper [f2f]
Data capturing for the IHS-2 started as soon as the first months of fieldwork was completed in April 2005. Data entry was done concurrently with data collection. The IHS-2 data entry centre was centralised at the National Statistical Office headquarters and was organized as follows; once the questionnaires arrived, the data editor checked the questionnaires and assigned questionnaire numbers. The CSPro software was used to capture the data. This software provides automatic data checks for acceptable values for the variables and checks between different modules of the questionnaire.
The data cleaning process was done in several stages. The first stage was to make sure that the data as captured reflected the information that the informants provided. The data processing manager did the error checks for each enumeration area. These were cross-examined physically with the questionnaires, and the errors were documented.
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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 Example: National Statistical Office, Malawi. Second Integrated Household Survey (IHS-II) 2004-2005. Ref. MWI_2004_IHS-II_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://microdata.worldbank.org 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