National Panel Survey- Universal Panel Questionnaire, 2008-2015
United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar
Living Standards Measurement Study [hh/lsms]
The NPS is a series of nationally representative household panel surveys that collect information on a wide range of topics including agricultural production, non-farm income generating activities, consumption expenditures, and a wealth of other socio-economic characteristics. The survey was first implemented in 2008/2009.
The main objective of the NPS is to provide high-quality household-level data to the Tanzanian government and other stakeholders for monitoring poverty dynamics, tracking the progress of national poverty reduction strategy such as the FYPD II and MKUKUTA II, and to evaluate the impact of other major, national-level government policy initiatives. As an integrated survey covering a number of different socioeconomic factors, it compliments other more narrowly focused survey efforts, such as the Demographic and Health Survey on health, the Integrated Labour Force Survey (ILFS) on labour markets, the Household Budget Survey (HBS) on expenditure, and the National Sample Census of Agriculture (NSCA).
As a panel household survey in which the same households are revisited over time, the NPS allows for the study of poverty and welfare transitions and the determinants of living standard changes.
Panel data possess several advantages over conventional cross-sectional and time-series data, including their power to isolate the effects of specific actions, treatments, and general policies often at the core of large-scale econometric development studies. While the concept of panel data alone provides the capacity for modelling the complexities of human behaviour, the notion of universal panel data - in which time- and situation-driven variances leading to variations in tools, and thus results, are mitigated - can further enhance exploitation of the richness of panel information. The NPS Universal Panel Questionnaire (UPQ) consists of both survey instruments and datasets, meticulously aligned and engineered with the aim of facilitating the use of and improving access to the wealth of panel data offered by the NPS. The NPS-UPQ provides a consistent and straightforward means of conducting not only user-driven analyses using convenient, standardized tools, but also for monitoring MKUKUTA, FYDP II, and other national level development indicators reported by the NPS.
The design of the NPS-UPQ combines the four completed rounds of the NPS - NPS 2008/09 (R1), NPS 2010/11 (R2), NPS 2012/13 (R3), and NPS 2014/15 (R4) - into pooled, module-specific survey instruments and datasets. The panel survey instruments offer the ease of comparability over time, with modifications and variances easily identifiable as well as those aspects of the questionnaire which have remained identical and offer consistent information. By providing all module-specific data over time within compact, pooled datasets, panel datasets eliminate the need for user-generated merges between rounds and present data in a clear, logical format, increasing both the usability and comprehension of complex data.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The scope of the study covered education, health, labour and agriculture.
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Access to Finance
The universe includes all households and individuals in Tanzania with the exception of those residing in military barracks or other institutions.
Producers and sponsors
National Bureau of Statistics
Government of Tanzania - Ministry of Finance and Planning
World Bank Living Standard Measurement Study Team
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
While the same sample of respondents was maintained over the first three rounds of the NPS, longitudinal surveys tend to suffer from bias introduced by households leaving the survey over time, i.e. attrition. Although the NPS maintains a highly successful recapture rate (roughly 96% retention at the household level), minimizing the escalation of this selection bias, a refresh of longitudinal cohorts was done for the NPS 2014/15 to ensure proper representativeness of estimates while maintaining a sufficient primary sample to maintain cohesion within panel analysis. A newly completed Population and Housing Census (PHC) in 2012, providing updated population figures along with changes in administrative boundaries, emboldened the opportunity to realign the NPS sample and abate collective bias potentially introduced through attrition.
To maintain the panel concept of the NPS, the sample design for NPS 2014/2015 consisted of a combination of the original NPS sample and a new NPS sample. A nationally representative sub-sample was selected to continue as part of the “Extended Panel” while an entirely new sample, “Refresh Panel”, was selected to represent national and sub-national domains. Similar to the sample in NPS 2008/2009, the sample design for the “Refresh Panel” allows analysis at four primary domains of inference, namely: Dar es Salaam, other urban areas on mainland Tanzania, rural mainland Tanzania, and Zanzibar. This new cohort in NPS 2014/2015 will be maintained and tracked in all future rounds between national censuses.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The format of the NPS-UPQ survey instrument is similar to previously disseminated NPS survey instruments. Each module has a questionnaire and clearly identifies if the module collects information at the individual or household level. Within each module-specific questionnaire of the NPS-UPQ survey instrument, there are five distinct sections, arranged vertically: (1) the UPQ - “U” on the survey instrument, (2) R4, (3), R3, (4) R2, and (5) R1 – the latter 4 sections presenting each questionnaire in its original form at time of its respective dissemination.
The uppermost section of each module’s questionnaire (“U”) represents the model universal panel questionnaire, with questions generated from the comprehensive listing of questions across all four rounds of the NPS and codes generated from the comprehensive collection of codes. The following sections are arranged vertically by round, considering R4 as most recent. While not all rounds will have data reported for each question in the UPQ and not each question will have reports for each of the UPQ codes listed, the NPS-UPQ survey instrument represents the visual, all-inclusive set of information collected by the NPS over time.
The four round-specific sections (R4, R3, R2, R1) are aligned with their UPQ-equivalent question, visually presenting their contribution to compatibility with the UPQ. Each round-specific section includes the original round-specific variable names, response codes and skip patterns (corresponding to their respective round-specific NPS data sets, and despite their variance from other rounds or from the comprehensive UPQ code listing)4.
- Household identification;
- Survey staff details;
- Household member roster;
- Food outside the household;
- Subject welfare;
- Food security;
- Housing, water and sanitation;
- Consumption of food over the past one week;
- Non-food expenditures (past one week & one month);
- Non-food expenditures (past twelve months);
- Household assets;
- Family/household non-farm enterprises;
- Assistance and groups;
- Recent shocks to household welfare;
- Deaths in the household;
- Household recontact information;
- Filter questions;
The Primary Data Investigator undertakes that no attempt will be made to identify any individual person, family, business, enterprise or organization. If such a unique disclosure is made inadvertently, no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered and full details will be reported to the NBS. The identification will not be revealed to any other person not included in the Data Access Agreement.
The dataset has been anonymized and is available as a Public Use Dataset. It is accessible to all for statistical and research purposes only, under the following terms and conditions:
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of the Nationa Bureau of Statistics, Tanzania.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently. Any such discovery would immediately be reported to the National Bureau of Statistics.
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the NBS, or among data from the National Bureau of Statistics and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with each dataset.
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the National Bureau of Statistics The original collector of the data, the National Bureau of Statistics, and the relevant funding agencies bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
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
National Bureau of Statistics. Tanzania, National Panel Survey 2008-2015, Universal Panel Dataset (NPS-UPD) 2008-2015. Ref. TZA_2008-2014_NPS-UPQ_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [url] 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