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LSMS-ISA: Country Programs - Malawi

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

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Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)



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Low income

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LSMS-ISA: Malawi Map

NEW - The data from the 2010-2011 Third Integrated Household Survey and the 2013 Integrated Household Panel Survey are now available for downloading free of charge.


The LSMS-ISA project is providing technical and financial assistance to the Malawi Integrated Household Survey (IHS) Program, starting with the Third Integrated Household Survey (IHS3) 2010/11 and the Integrated Household Panel Survey 2013, whose primary objective is to track and re-interview approximately one-quarter of the household sample that was previously interviewed as part of the IHS3. The focal points of the LSMS-ISA assistance to the IHS program are (i) expansion of the agricultural content of the multi-topic IHS, and (ii) generation of high-quality panel data to adequately portray welfare dynamics.


The Malawi National Statistics Office (NSO) is the implementing agency for the IHS3 2010/11 and the IHPS 2013. In addition to the LSMS-ISA project, the IHS3 2010/11 was funded by the Government of Malawi, the Government of Norway, DFID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Irish Aid. The LSMS team is the primary source of technical assistance in support of the design and implementation of the IHS3 2010/11 and the IHPS 2013.

Sampling and Survey Design

The IHS3 sample includes 12,271 households surveyed in 768 households. The overall sample is representative at the district-, regional-, urban-rural and national-level. 3,247 IHS3 households were designated as "panel" prior to the start of the IHS3 field work who were visited twice during the IHS3 (in the post-planting and post-harvest periods with respect to the rainy agricultural seasons) and are being tracked and re-interviewed as part of the IHPS.

The IHPS was designed to be representative at the regional, urban/rural- and national-level. Beyond household tracking targets, the IHPS is tracking all individuals that have changed locations in between the IHS3 and the IHPS interview, that are projected to be 12 years of age at the time of the IHPS interview and that were neither servants nor guests at the time of the IHS3 interview. The rest of the IHS3 sample were designated as "cross-sectional" and were visited only once during the IHS3 fieldwork, similar to the practice that was followed during the Second Integrated Household Survey (IHS2) 2004/05.

Questionnaire Design

The IHS3 instruments include the following:

The Integrated Household Panel Survey (IHPS) 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.

The IHPS 2013 fieldwork will span the period of April-October 2013, mirroring the interview structure and timeline of the panel households that were interviewed for the IHS3 2010/11.

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 are disseminated via the LSMS and the NSO websites.

The data from the 2010-2011 Third Integrated Household Survey and the 2013 Integrated Household Panel Survey are now available for downloading free of charge.

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