Living Standards Measurement Survey 2002 (Wave 1 Panel)
Living Standards Measurement Study [hh/lsms]
This is the first survey conducted under Living Standards Measurement Survey title in Albania. It provides the first round of a Panel survey which also includes the 2003 and the 2004 LSMS surveys.
Over the past decade, Albania has been seeking to develop the framework for a market economy and more open society. It has faced severe internal and external challenges in the interim - extremely low income levels and a lack of basic infrastructure, the rapid collapse of output and inflation rise after the shift in regime in 1991, the turmoil during the 1997 pyramid crisis, and the social and economic shocks accompanying the 1999 Kosovo crisis. In the face of these challenges, Albania has made notable progress in creating conditions conducive to growth and poverty reduction. A poverty profile based on 1996 data (the most recent available) showed that some 30 percent of the rural and some 15 percent of the urban population are poor, with many others vulnerable to poverty due to their incomes being close to the poverty threshold. Income related poverty is compounded by the severe lack of access to basic infrastructure, education and health services, clean water, etc., and the ability of the Government to address these issues is complicated by high levels of internal and external migration that are not well understood. To date, the paucity of household-level information has been a constraining factor in the design, implementation and evaluation of economic and social programs in Albania. Multi-purpose household surveys are one of the main sources of information to determine living conditions and measure the poverty situation of a country and provide an indispensable tool to assist policymakers in monitoring and targeting social programs. Two recent surveys carried out by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) - the 1998 Living Conditions Survey (LCS) and the 2000 Household Budget Survey (HBS) - drew attention, once again, to the need for accurately measuring household welfare according to well accepted standards, and for monitoring these trends on a regular basis. In spite of their narrow scope and limitations, these two surveys have provided the country with an invaluable training ground towards the development of a permanent household survey system to support the government strategic planning in its fight against poverty. In the process leading to its first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP; also known in Albania as Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, GPRS), the Government of Albania reinforced its commitment to strengthening its own capacity to collect and analyse on a regular basis the information it needs to inform policy-making. In its first phase (2001-2006), this monitoring system will include the following data collection instruments:
(i) Population and Housing Census
(ii) Living Standards Measurement Surveys every 3 years
(iii) annual panel surveys.
The Population and Housing Census (PHC) conducted in April 2001, provided the country with a much needed updated sampling frame which is one of the building blocks for the household survey structure. The focus during this first phase of the monitoring system is on a periodic LSMS (in 2002 and 2005), followed by panel surveys on a sub-sample of LSMS households (in 2003, 2004 and 2006), drawing heavily on the 2001 census information. The possibility to include a panel component in the second LSMS will be considered at a later stage, based on the experience accumulated with the first panels. The 2002 LSMS was in the field between April and early July, with some field activities (the community and price questionnaires) extending into August and September. The survey work was undertaken by the Living Standards unit of INSTAT, with the technical assistance of the World Bank. The present document provides detailed information on this survey. Section II summarizes the content of the survey instruments used. Section III focuses on the details of the sample design. Sections IV describes the pilot test and fieldwork procedures of the survey, as well as the training received by survey staff. Section V reviews data entry and data cleaning issues. Finally, section VI contains a series of annotations that all those interested in using the data should read.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The Wave 1 questionnaire contained the following modules:
(a) HOUSEHOLD QUESTIONNAIRE
Transfers and social assistance
Expenditure and assets
(b) COMMUNITY QUESTIONNAIRE
Basic characteristics of the community
Access to public services
Community safety Drug abuse, crimes
Problems related to the environment
Population & Reproductive Health
Community Driven Development
Access to Finance
Migration & Remittances
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Children & Youth
Producers and sponsors
Institute of Statistics of Albania
The World Bank
(a) SAMPLING FRAME
The Republic of Albania is divided geographically into 12 Prefectures (Prefekturat). The latter are divided into Districts (Rrethet) which are, in turn, divided into Cities (Qyteti) and Communes (Komunat). The Communes contain all the rural villages and the very small cities. For the April 2001 General Census of Population and Housing census purposes, the cities and the villages were divided into Enumeration Areas (EAs). These formed the basis for the LSMS sampling frame. The EAs in the frame are classified by Prefecture, District, City or Commune. The frame also contains, for every EA, the number of Housing Units (HUs), the number of occupied HUs, the number of unoccupied HUs, and the number of households. Occupied dwellings rather than total number of dwellings were used since many census EAs contain a large number of empty dwellings. The Housing Unit (defined as the space occupied by one household) was taken as the sampling unit, instead of the household, because the HU is more permanent and easier to identify in the field. A detailed review of the list of censuses EAs shows that many have zero population. In order to obtain EAs with a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 120 occupied housing units, the EAs with zero population were first removed from the sampling frame. Then, the smallest EAs (with less than 50 HU) were collapsed with geographically adjacent ones and the largest EAs (with more than 120 HU) were split into two or more EAs. Subsequently, maps identifying the boundaries of every split and collapsed EA were prepared Sample Size and Implementation Since the 2002 LSMS had been conducted about a year after the April 2001 census, a listing operation to update the sample EAs was not conducted. However, given the rapid speed at which new constructions and demolitions of buildings take place in the city of Tirana and its suburbs, a quick count of the 75 sample EAs was carried out followed by a listing operation. The listing sheets prepared during the listing operation became the sampling frame for the final stage of selection. The final sample design for the 2002 LSMS included 450 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) and 8 households in each PSU, for a total of 3600 households. Four reserve units were selected in each sample PSU to act as replacement unit in non-response cases. In a few cases in which the rate of migration was particularly high and more than four of the originally selected households could not be found for the interview, additional households for the same PSU were randomly selected. During the implementation of the survey there was a problem with the management of the questionnaires for a household that had initially refused, but later accepted, to fill in the food diary. The original household questionnaire was lost in the process and it was not possible to match the diary with a valid household questionnaire. The household had therefore to be dropped from the sample (this happened in Shkoder, PSU 16). The final sample size is therefore of 3599 households.
The sampling frame was divided in four regions (strata), Coastal Area, Central Area, and Mountain Area, and Tirana (urban and other urban). These four strata were further divided into major cities, other urban, and other rural. The EAs were selected proportionately to the number of housing units in these areas. In the city of Tirana and its suburbs, implicit stratification was used to improve the efficiency of the sample design. The implicit stratification was performed by ordering the EAs in the sampling frame in a geographic serpentine fashion within each stratum used for the independent selection of EAs.
The sample is not self-weighted. In order to obtain correct estimates, the data need to be weighted. A file with household weights is included in the dataset (filename: 2weights.dta2, variable: 2weight2). When using individual rather than household variables an individual weight should be created by multiplying the household weight by the household size.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
(a) QUALITY CHECKS
Besides the checks built-in in the DE program and those performed on the preliminary versions of the dataset as it was building up, and additional round of in depth checks on the household questionnaire and the food diary was performed in late September and early October in Tirana. Wherever possible data entry errors or inconsistencies in the dataset were spotted, the original questionnaires or diary were retrieved, and the information contained therein checked. Changes were made to the August version of the dataset as needed and the dataset was finalized in October.
(b) DATA ENTRY
Data Entry Operations Data entry for all the survey instruments was performed using custom made applications developed in CS-Pro. Data entry for the household questionnaire was performed in a decentralized fashion in parallel with the enumeration, so as to allow for 'real-time' checking of the data collected. This allowed a further tier of quality control checks on the data. Where errors in the data were spotted during data entry, it was possible to instruct enumerators and supervisors to correct the information, if necessary, revisiting the household, when the teams were still in the field. A further round of checks was performed by the core team in Tirana and Bank staff in Washington as the data were gathered from the field and the entire dataset started building up. All but one of the 16 teams in the districts had one DEO, the Fier team had two, and there were four DEO's for Tirana. Each DEO worked with a laptop computer, and was given office space in the regional Statistics Offices, or in INSTAT headquarters for the Tirana teams. The DEO's received Part 1 of the household questionnaire from the supervisor once the supervisor had checked the enumerator's work, within two days of the enumeration in the field. The DEO then entered the questionnaire on the custom program, noting from the error messages of the program where there were errors or omissions. These errors were then to be detailed on the appropriate page of the questionnaire so that the enumerator could correct them when they returned for the second visit to the household. Once the DE of 8 questionnaires for a PSU were completed for Part 1, the questionnaires were returned to the supervisor who gave them to the enumerator for administering Part 2 in the field. After Part 2 was completed, and the errors or omissions noted from Part 1, the enumerator turned the questionnaires back to the supervisor, who in turn gave them to the DE operator for entering Part 2. If there were errors found in Part 2, the supervisor was then told and they either solved the problem or sent the enumerator back to the household. The data entry of the household questionnaires was completed by mid-July 2002 and the data was all delivered to Tirana by the teams. The data entry of the food booklets was done on a separate data-entry program by DEO's in Tirana. To improve accuracy and minimize data entry errors, the data were double-entered. The data entry began on July first and was completed on 31 July. By August 8 all the data for the household questionnaire and the food dairy had been entered. The questionnaires were all brought to Tirana and stored in INSTAT headquarters. The data entry for the community and price questionnaires took place during the first ten days of October.
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1. The data are supplied solely for the use described in this form and will not be made available to other organizations or individuals. Other organizations or individuals may request the data directly.
2. Three copies of all publications, conference papers, or other research reports based entirely or in part upon the requested data will be supplied to:
Living Condition Sector Rr. Lek Dukagjini,
3. The researcher will refer to the 2003 Albania Living Standards Measurement Survey as the source of the information in all publications, conference papers, and manuscripts. At the same time, the World Bank is not responsable for the estimations reported by the analyst(s).
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