The STEP (Skills Toward Employment and Productivity) Measurement program is the first ever initiative to generate internationally comparable data on skills available in developing countries. The program implements standardized surveys to gather information on the supply and distribution of skills and the demand for skills in labor market of low-income countries.
The uniquely-designed Household Survey includes modules that measure the cognitive skills (reading, writing and numeracy), socio-emotional skills (personality, behavior and preferences) and job-specific skills (subset of transversal skills with direct job relevance) of a representative sample of adults aged 15 to 64 living in urban areas, whether they work or not. The cognitive skills module also incorporates a direct assessment of reading literacy based on the Survey of Adults Skills instruments. Modules also gather information about family, health and language.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Version 02, edited anonymous datasets for public distribution.
Version 01 was published in June 2014, but is now replaced with v02.
The difference between v02 and v01 datasets:
1) The literacy variables had incorrect labelling, which has now been fixed
2) The 'emp' variable has been cleaned
3) The 'write_dif' variable has been corrected
4) All monetary variables (identifiable by '_usd') have been converted to PPP dollars
The cities that are covered are La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Unit of analysis
The units of analysis are the individual respondents and households. A household roster is undertaken at the start of the survey and the individual respondent is randomly selected among all household members 15 to 64 years old. The random selection process was designed by the STEP team and compliance with the procedure is carefully monitored during fieldwork.
The STEP target population is the population 15-64 years old, living in urban areas, as defined by each country's statistical office. The following are excluded from the sample:
- Residents of institutions (prisons, hospitals, etc.)
- Residents of senior homes and hospices
- Residents of other group dwellings such as college dormitories, halfway homes, workers' quarters, etc.
- Persons living outside the country at the time of data collection
Producers and sponsors
STEP Co-Task Team Leader, Education Global Practice
Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta
STEP Co-Task Team Leader, Social Protection and Labor Global Practice
World Bank Consultant, Project Coordinator
Technical assistance in project management, data collection, data processing and data analysis
World Bank Consultant, Senior Labor Economist
Technical assistance in project management, questionnaire design, and data analysis
World Bank Consultant, Survey Consultant
Technical assistance in questionnaire design, sampling methodology, and data collection
Sebastian Monroy Taborda
World Bank Consultant, Research Analyst
Technical assistance in data processing and data analysis
Multi-Donor Trust Fund Labor Markets, Job Creation and Economic Growth
Bank Netherlands Partnership Program
Educational Testing Services
Designed the Reading Literacy Assessment Module and conducted the preliminary analysis of the reading literacy data, including generating plausible values for the Extended Assessment
Stratified 3-stage sample design was implemented in Bolivia. The stratification variable is city-wealth category. There are 20 strata created by grouping the primary sample units (PSUs) into the 4 cities, i.e.,1- La Paz, 2-El Alto, 3-Cochabamba, 4-Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and 5 wealth categories, i.e., 1-Poorest, 2-Moderately Poor, 3-Middle Wealth, 4-Moderately Rich, 5-Rich.
The source of the sample frame of the first stage units is the 2001 National Census of Population and Housing carried out by the National Institute of Statistics. The primary sample unit (PSU) is a Census Sector. A sample of 218 PSUs was selected from the 10,304 PSUs on the sample frame. This sample of PSUs was comprised of 160 'initial' PSUs and 58 'reserve' PSUs. Of the 218 sampled PSUs, there were 169 activated PSUs consisting of 155 Initial Sampled PSUs and 14 Reserve sampled PSUs. Among the 160 'initial' PSUs, 5 PSUs were replaced due to security concerns; also, 14 reserve PSUs were activated to supplement the sample for initial PSUs where the target sample of 15 interviews was not achieved due to high levels of non-response; thus, only 169 PSUs were actually activated during data collection. The PSUs were grouped according to city-wealth strata, and within each city-wealth stratum PSUs were selected with probability proportional to size (PPS), where the measure of size was the number of households in a PSU.
The second stage sample unit (SSU) is a household. The sampling objective was to obtain interviews at 15 households within each of the initial PSU sample, resulting in a final initial sample of 2,400 interviews. At the second stage of sample selection, 45 households were selected in each PSU using a systematic random method. The 45 households were randomly divided into 15 'Initial' households, and 30 'Reserve' households that were ranked according to the random sample selection order. Note: Due to higher than expected levels of non-response in some PSUs, additional households were sampled; thus, the final actual sample in some PSUs exceeded 45 households.
The third stage sample unit was an individual 15-64 years old (inclusive). The sampling objective was to select one individual with equal probability from each selected household.
An overall response rate of 43% was achieved in the Bolivia STEP Survey. All non-response cases were documented (refusal/not found/no eligible household member, etc.) and accounted for during the weighting process. In such cases, a reserve household was activated to replace the initial household. Procedures are described in "Operation Manual" that is provided as an external resource.
While the 3-stage stratified sample design greatly enhanced the operational feasibility of data collection, it resulted in differential probabilities of selection for the selected persons. Consequently, each selected person in the survey does not necessarily represent the same number of persons in the target population. To account for differential probabilities of selection due to the nature of the design and to ensure accurate survey estimates, STEP requires a sampling weight for each person that participated in the survey.
The objectives of the STEP weighting are to construct a set of survey weights to compensate for unequal probabilities of selection, and to compensate for household-level non-response and person-level non-response.
Detailed information about weighting procedures is available in "STEP Weighting Procedures Summary", provided in external resources.
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
Data collection supervision
Each interviewer team reports to a team supervisor. Interviewers must hand over to their supervisor properly filled questionnaires and reading exercise booklets (for Reading Literacy Assessment), and report all information about the fieldwork conducted.
Team supervisors are responsible for coordinating fieldwork, monitoring interviewers' work, documenting non-response, assigning reading exercise booklets and communicating regularly with a field manager. Also, once the household listing exercise is completed, the team supervisor randomly selects households to be interviewed in the primary sampling unit (PSU), as well as reserve households that may be required to be activated (used) in the case of a non-response by one of the originally selected households.
Field supervision details are outlined in "National Survey Design Planning Report" and "Interviewer's Manual and Team Supervisor's Manual", available in external resources.
The STEP survey instruments include:
- The background questionnaire developed by the World Bank (WB) STEP team
- Reading Literacy Assessment developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS).
All countries adapted and translated both instruments following the STEP technical standards: two independent translators adapted and translated the STEP background questionnaire and Reading Literacy Assessment, while reconciliation was carried out by a third translator.
The survey instruments were piloted as part of the survey pre-test.
The background questionnaire covers such topics as respondents' demographic characteristics, dwelling characteristics, education and training, health, employment, job skill requirements, personality, behavior and preferences, language and family background.
The background questionnaire, the structure of the Reading Literacy Assessment and Reading Literacy Data Codebook are provided in the document "Bolivia STEP Skills Measurement Survey Instruments", available in external resources.
Bolivia Real Data SRL
STEP data management process:
1) Raw data is sent by the survey firm
2) The World Bank (WB) STEP team runs data checks on the background questionnaire data. Educational Testing Services (ETS) runs data checks on the Reading Literacy Assessment data. Comments and questions are sent back to the survey firm.
3) The survey firm reviews comments and questions. When a data entry error is identified, the survey firm corrects the data.
4) The WB STEP team and ETS check if the data files are clean. This might require additional iterations with the survey firm.
5) Once the data has been checked and cleaned, the WB STEP team computes the weights. Weights are computed by the STEP team to ensure consistency across sampling methodologies.
6) ETS scales the Reading Literacy Assessment data.
7) The WB STEP team merges the background questionnaire data with the Reading Literacy Assessment data and computes derived variables.
Detailed information on data processing in STEP surveys is provided in "STEP Guidelines for Data Processing" document, available in external resources. The template do-file used by the STEP team to check raw background questionnaire data is provided as an external resource, too.
Data entry processes are described in the National Survey Design Planning Report (NSDPR), available as an external resource. In most countries, data entry took place at the survey firm's headquarters.
For the background questionnaire data, survey firms could use the World Bank (WB) STEP Data Entry Program (DEP) or design their own. In the latter case, the WB STEP team checks their DEP to ensure it complies with STEP technical standards. The STEP DEP was developed in Excel and mirrored the background questionnaire. Armenia, Georgia, Bolivia, Colombia, Lao PDR and Sri Lanka developed their own DEP in CSPro. Standards for data entry are detailed in "Guidelines for STEP Data Entry Programs" and summarized in the NSDPR. Double data entry process was required. All range checks and skips were controlled by the program. Consistency checks were also included in the data entry program.
All survey firms were required to score the Reading Literacy Assessment booklets and to enter the data using the Data Entry Program developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS). Double data entry process was required. Consistency checks were also included in the data entry program.
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
World Bank. Bolivia STEP Skills Measurement Household Survey 2012 (Wave 1). Ref. BOL_2012_STEP-HH_v02_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.
Development Data Group
The World Bank
Documentation of the study
Version 02 (March 2016)
Changes in v02 of study documentation compared to v01 published in June 2014
- v01 datasets were replaced with v02
- Study Title, Series Information and Abstract were edited