The 1988 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) is part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program, which is designed to collect data on fertility, family planning and maternal and child health.
The 1988 EDHS is the most recent in a series of surveys carried out in Egypt to provide the information needed to study fertility behavior and its determinants, particularly contraceptive use. The EDHS findings are important in monitoring trends in these variables and in understanding the factors which contribute to differentials in fertility and contraceptive use among various population subgroups. The EDHS also provides a wealth of health-related information for mothers and their children, which was not available in the earlier surveys. These data are especially important for understanding the factors that influence the health and survival of infants and young children. In addition to providing insights into population and health issues in Egypt, the EDHS also hopefully will lead to an improved global understanding of population and health problems as it is one of 35 internationally comparable surveys sponsored by the Demographic and Health Surveys program.
The Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) has as its major objective the provision of current and reliable information on fertility, mortality, family planning, and maternal and child health indicators. The information is intended to assist policy makers and administrators in Egyptian population and health agencies to: (1) assess the effect of ongoing family planning and maternal and child health programs and (2) improve planning for future interventions in these areas. The EDHS provides data on topics for which comparable data are not available from previous nationally representative surveys, as well as information needed to monitor trends in a number of indicators derived from earlier surveys, in particular, the 1980 Egypt Fertility Survey (EFS) and the 1980 and 1984 Egypt Contraceptive Prevalence Surveys (ECPS). Finally, as part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) program, the EDHS is intended to add to an international body of data, which can be used for cross-national research on these topics.
Kind of data
Sample survey data
Unit of analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
Producers and sponsors
National Population Council (NPC)
Institute for Resource Development/ Macro Systems Inc.
United States Agency for International Development
Geographical Coverage: The EDHS was carried out in 21 of the 26 governorates in Egypt. The Frontier Governorates (Red Sea, New Valley, Matrouh, North Sinai and South Sinai), which represent around two percent of the total population in Egypt, were excluded from coverage because a disproportionate share of EDHS resources would have been needed to survey the dispersed population in these governorates.
The EDHS sample was designed to provide separate estimates of all major parameters for: the national level, the Urban Governorates, Lower Egypt (total, urban and rural) and Upper Egypt (total, urban and rural). In addition, the sample was selected in such a fashion as to yield a sufficient number of respondents from each governorate to allow for governorate-level estimates of current contraceptive use. In order to achieve the latter objective, sample takes for the following governorates were increased during the selection process: Port Said, Suez, Ismailia, Damietta, Aswan, Kafr El-Sheikh, Beni Suef and Fayoum.
Sampling Plan: The sampling plan called for the EDHS sample to be selected in three stages. The sampling units at the first stage were shiakhas/towns in urban areas and villages in rural areas. The frame for the selection of the primary sampling units (PSU) was based on preliminary results from 1986 Egyptian census, which were provided by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. During the first stage selection, 228 primary sampling units (108 shiakhas/towns and 120 villages) were sampled.
The second stage of selection called for the PSUs chosen during the first stage to be segmented into smaller areal units and for two of the areal units to be sampled from each PSU. In urban PSUs, a quick count operation was carried out to provide the information needed to select the secondary sampling units (SSU) while for rural PSUs, maps showing the residential area within the selected villages were used.
Following the selection of the SSUs, a household listing was obtained for each of the selected units. Using the household lists, a systematic random sample of households was chosen for the EDHS. All ever-married women 15-49 present in the sampled households during the night before the interviewer's visit were eligible for the individual interview.
Quick Count and Listing: As noted in the discussion of the sampling plan, two separate field operations were conducted during the sample implementation phase of the EDHS. The first field operation involved a quick count in the shiakhas/towns selected as PSUs in urban areas. Prior to the quick count operation, maps for each of the selected shiakhas/towns were obtained and divided into approximately equal-sized segments, with each segment having well-defined boundaries. The objective of the quick count operation was to obtain an estimate of the number of households in each of the segments to serve as the measures of size for the second stage selection.
A review of the preliminary 1986 Census population totals for the selected shiakhas/towns showed that they varied greatly in total size, ranging from less than 10,000 to more than 275,000 residents. Experience in the 1984 Egypt Contraceptive Prevalence Survey, in which a similar quick count operation was carried out, indicated that it was very time-consuming to obtain counts of households in shiakhas/towns with large populations. In order to reduce the quick count workload during the EDHS, a subsample of segments was selected from the shiakhas/towns, with 50,000 or more population. The number of segments sub-sampled depended on the size of the shiakha. Only the sub-sampled segments were covered during the quick count operation in the large shiakhas/towns. For shiakhas with less than 50,000 populations, all segments were covered during the quick count.
Prior to the quick count, a one-week training was held, including both classroom instruction and practical training in shiakhas/towns not covered in the survey. The quick count operation, which covered all 108 urban PSUs, was carried out between June and August 1988. A group of 62 field staff participated in the quick count operation. The field staff was divided into ten teams each composed of one supervisor and three to four counters.
As a quality control measure, the quick count was repeated in 10 percent of the shiakhas. Discrepancies noted when the results of the second quick count operation were compared with the original counts were checked. No major problems were discovered in this matching process, with most differences in the counts attributed to problems in the identification of segment boundaries.
The second field operation during the sample implementation phase of the survey involved a complete listing of all of the households living in the 456 segments chosen during the second stage of the sample selection. Prior to the household listing, the listing staff attended a one-week training course, which involved both classroom lectures and field practice. After the training, the 14 supervisors and 32 listers were organized into teams; except in Damietta and Ismailia, where the listers work on their own, each listing team was composed of a supervisor and two listers. The listing operation began in the middle of September and was completed in October 1988.
Segments were relisted when the number of households in the listing differed markedly from that expected based on: (1) the quick count in urban areas or (2) the number of households estimated from the information on the size of the inhabited area for rural segments. Few discrepancies were noted for urban segments. Not surprisingly, more problems were noted for rural segments since the estimated size of the segment was not based on a recent count as it was for the urban segments. All segments where major differences were noted in the matching process were relisted in order to resolve the problems.
Note: See detailed description of sample design in APPENDIX B of the report which is presented in this documentation.
A total of 10,528 households were selected for the EDHS sample. 661 of the selected households were considered to be ineligible for interview because no household member had slept in the dwelling on the night before the interview, the dwelling in which the selected household had resided was vacant or destroyed or the household could not be contacted for other reasons. Among the remaining 9,867 eligible households, 9,805, or 99 percent, were successfully interviewed.
As noted, an eligible respondent for the individual survey was defined as an ever married woman between the ages of 15 and 49 years who was present in a sampled household during the night before the household interview. A total of 9,095 eligible respondents was identified, and 8,911 (98 percent) of these women were interviewed. The overall response rate, which is the product of the household and individual response rates, was 97 percent in the EDHS.
Note: See summarized response rates by place of residence in Table 1.5 of the survey Report.
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
The EDHS involved both a household and an individual questionnaire. These questionnaires were based on the DHS model "A" questionnaire for high contraceptive prevalence countries. Additional questions on a number of topics not covered in the DHS questionnaire were included in both the household and individual questionnaires. The questionnaires were pretested in June 1988, following a one-week training for supervisors and interviewers. Three supervisors and seven interviewers participated in the pretest. Interviewer comments and tabulations of the pretest results were reviewed during the process of modifying the questionnaires.
The EDHS household questionnaire obtained a listing of all usual household members and visitors and identified those present in the household during the night before the interviewer's visit. For each of the individuals included in the listing, information was collected on the relationship to the household head, age, sex, marital status, educational level, occupation and work status. In addition, questions were included on the mortality experience of sisters of all household members age 15 and over in order to obtain data to estimate the level of maternal mortality. The maternal mortality questions were administered in a randomly selected subsample of one in two households. Finally, the household questionnaire also included questions on characteristics of the physical and social environment of the household (e.g., availability of electricity, source of drinking water, household possessions, etc.), which are assumed to be related to the health and socioeconomic status of the household.
The individual questionnaire was administered to all ever-married women aged 15-49 present in the household during the night before the interviewer's visit. It obtained information on the following topics:
- Respondent's background;
- Reproductive behavior;
- Knowledge and use of contraception;
- Contraceptive use history;
- Family planning and childbearing attitudes;
- Husband's and parents' statuses;
- Maternal health and breastfeeding;
- Child health and cause of death;
- Weight and height of children.
The anthropometric data were collected in the same sample of households from which the maternal mortality data were obtained. Children age 3-36 months born to women interviewed in the individual survey were weighed and measured.
Office Editing: The central office of the EDHS was responsible for collecting completed questionnaires from supervisors as soon as a cluster was completed. Questionnaires were coded and reviewed for consistency and completeness by office editors. To provide feedback for the field teams, the office editors were asked to write a summary report of problems for each PSU. The report was then reviewed by one of the two senior staff assigned to supervise the work of the office editors. When there were serious errors found in one or more questionnaires from a cluster, the team supervisor was contacted in order to ensure that the problem would not occur in other clusters in which the team was working.
Machine Entry and Editing: The data were entered and edited on microcomputers using the Integrated System for Survey Analysis (ISSA), a package program specially developed to process DHS data. ISSA allows range, skip and most consistency errors to be detected and corrected at the entry stage, substantially reducing the time required for the processing of data. The machine entry and editing phase began while interviewing teams were still in the field. The data entry personnel used six IBM-compatible microcomputers to process the EDHS questionnaires. Working six days per week in two shifts, they completed the machine entry and editing of the data in three months.
Sampling error is defined as the difference between the actual value for any variable measured in a survey and the value estimated by the survey. The estimates from a sample survey are affected by two types of errors: (1) sampling error and (2) non-sampling error. Non-sampling error is the result of mistakes made in carrying out data collection and data processing, including the failure to locate and interview the correct household, errors in the way questions are asked, and data entry errors, etc. Although efforts were made during the implementation of the EDHS to minimize this type of error, non-sampling errors are impossible to avoid and difficult to evaluate statistically.
Sampling error is a measure of the variability between all possible samples that could have been selected from the same population using the same design and expected size. For the entire population and for large subgroups, the EDHS sample is generally sufficiently large to provide reliable estimates; for such populations, the sampling error is small. However, for small subgroups, sampling errors may be larger and, thus, affect the reliability of the data.
Sampling error is usually measured in terms of the standard error for a particular statistic (mean, percentage, ratio, etc.), i.e., the square root of the variance. The standard error can be used also to calculate confidence intervals within which the true value for the population can reasonably be assumed to fall. For example, for any given statistic calculated from a sample survey, the value of that statistic as measured in 95 percent of all possible samples with the same design will fall within a range of plus or minus two times the standard error for that statistic.
Note: See detailed estimate of sampling error calculation in APPENDIX C of the survey Report.
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 acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Egypt National Population Council (NPC) and Institute for Resource Development/ Macro Systems Inc., Columbia, Maryland USA. Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 1988. Ref. EGY_1988_DHS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from www.measuredhs.com 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.