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LSMS-ISA: Country Programs - Malawi

Living Standards Measurement Study: Integrated Surveys on Agriculture: Country Programs - Malawi

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Fax: (202) 522-1153

Mailing address:
LSMS Data Manager
MSN MC3-306
The World Bank
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433

Country Programs


Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)



Income level

Low income

GDP (current US$)


Population, total


LSMS-ISA: Malawi Map

NEW - The data from the 2010-2011 Third Integrated Household Survey are now available for downloading free of charge.


The LSMS-ISA project is supporting the design and implementation of the Malawi Third Integrated Household Survey (IHS3), with a focus on expanding the agricultural content of the IHS3 and ensuring that information on agriculture and livestock, and data on food and nutrition security are mainstreamed into the IHS3. The IHS3 is conducted approximately every 5 years as part of the effort to track poverty and monitor household living standards.


The IHS3 is implemented by the Malawi National Statistics Office (NSO), and is funded by multiple donors including the Government of Malawi, the Government of Norway, DFID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Irish Aid, in addition to the LSMS-ISA project. The LSMS team is responsible for the management and technical design of the project, as well as for the provision of technical assistance and the support of analytical work resulting from the collected data.

Sampling and Survey Design

The sample for the IHS3 includes 12,288 households in 768 enumeration areas, divided into cross-sectional and panel samples. 3,264 sample households have been designated as panel households that are visited twice during the IHS3 field work (in the post-planting and post-harvest periods with respect to the rainy agricultural seasons) and reinterviewed in two or three years as part of the panel survey. The rest of the IHS3 sample will be composed of cross-sectional households who will be visited once during the IHS3 field work.

Questionnaire Design

The IHS3 instruments include the following:

Field Work Implementation

The field work for the IHS3 ran from March 2010 to March 2011. The field work was implemented by mobile teams with a dedicated operator integrated into each team for concurrent data entry through an application developed in CSPro.

To collect accurate information on each of the two agricultural seasons, the panel households received two visits. Visit 1 to IHS3-panel households was conducted in the first quarter of the survey effort which corresponded to the post-planting period with respect to the 2009/2010 rainy season. In this visit, panel households reported information pertaining to land area, cultivation and input use in the 2009/2010 rainy season. They also received a short crop-level module that collected data on the 2008/2009 rainy season pertaining to planted area, quantification and disposition of production.

Visit 2 to the panel households was conducted in the third quarter of the survey effort, in the post-harvest period with respect to the 2009/2010 rainy season. Households reported information on the production and post-harvest related matters pertaining to the 2009/2010 rainy season, and provided information on the last completed dry (dimba) season.

The IHS3 cross-sectional households were visited once. During their visit, households received both the Household and the Agriculture questionnaires. As part of the Agriculture questionnaire, the cross-sectional households reported information on the last completed rainy and dimba seasons.

The field work is structured in a way that accommodates double-visits to a given set of enumeration areas for the purpose of collecting better agricultural data, while evenly spreading the collection of household consumption information across the 12-month period.

Data Documentation and Dissemination

All data generated are made publicly available (fully cleaned and with complete documentation) within twelve months of completion of each wave of data collection. The IHS3 data will be disseminated via the LSMS and the NSO websites.

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