The Nepal Living Standard Survey (NLSS) 1995/96 was the first survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of Nepal as a multi-topic survey collecting a comprehensive set of data on different aspects of household's welfare (consumption, income, housing, labor markets, education, health, etc.). These data, together with those collected through future rounds of the survey will ultimately allow the government to monitor the progress in improving national living standard and to evaluate the impact of various government policies and program on living condition of the population.
The NLSS 1995/96 is basically limited to the living standards of households.
The basic objectives of this survey was to provide information required for monitoring the progress in improving national living standards and to evaluate the impact of various government policies and program on living condition of the population. This survey captured comprehensive set of data on different aspects of households welfare like consumption, income, housing, labour markets, education, health etc.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The 1995 Nepal Living Standards Survey covered the following topics:
- Household Information
• Household Roster
• Information on Parents
• Type of Dwelling
• Housing Expenses
• Utilities and Amenities
- Access to Facilities
- Food Expenses and Home Production
- Non-Food Expenditures and Durable Goods
• Frequent Non-Food Expenditures
• Infrequent Non-Food Expenditures
• Inventory of Durables Goods
• Past Enrollment
• Current Enrollment
• Chronic Illnesses
• Illnesses or Injuries
- Marriage and Maternity History
• Maternity History
• Pre- and Post-natal Care
• Family Planning
- Wage Employment
• In Agricultural
• Outside Agriculture
- Farming and Livestock
• Production and Distribution
• Expenditure on Inputs
• Earning from Agriculture
• Ownership of Farming Assets
• Extension Services
- Credit and Saving
• Other Assets
- Remittances and Transfers
• Income Sent
• Income Received
- Other Income
- Adequacy of Consumption
- Population Characteristics and Infrastructure
• Characteristics of the Community
• Water Supply and Sewerage
- Access to Facilities
• Services and Amenities
• Health Facilities
- Agriculture and Forestry
• Crop Cycles
• Wages Paid to Hired Labor
• Rental Rates for Cattle and Machinery
- Development Programs, User Group, etc
• Development Programs
• User Groups
• Quality of Life
- Rural Primary School
- Rural Health Facility
- Markets and Prices
- Population Characteristics and Infrastructure
• Characteristics of the Community
• Water Supply and Sewerage
- Access to Facilities
- Markets and Prices
• Local Shop / Shops
National coverage The 4 strata of the survey:
- Hills (Urban)
- Hills (Rural)
The survey covered all modified de jure household members (usual residents).
Producers and sponsors
Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS)
National Planning Commission Secretariat
The World Bank Group
The World Bank Group
Sample Frame: A complete list of all wards in the country, with a measure of size, was developed in order to select from it with Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) the sample of wards to be visited. The 1991 Population Census of Nepal was the best starting point for building such a sample frame. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) constructed a data set with basic information from the census at the ward level. This data set was used as a sample frame to develop the NLSS sample.
Sample Design: The sample size for the NLSS was set at 3,388 households. This sample was divided into four strata based on the geographic and ecological regions of the country: (i) mountains, (ii) urban Hills, (iii) rural Hills, and (iv) Terai.
The sample size was designed to provide enough observations within each ecological stratum to ensure adequate statistical accuracy, as well as enough variation in key variables for policy analysis within each stratum, while respecting resource constraints and the need to balance sampling and non-sampling errors.
A two-stage stratified sampling procedure was used to select the sample for the NLSS. The primary sampling unit (PSU) is the ward, the smallest administrative unit in the 1991 Population Census. In order to increase the variability of the sample, it was decided that a small number of households - twelve - would be interviewed in each ward. Thus, a total of275 wards was obtained.
In the first stage of the sampling, wards were selected with probability proportional to size (PPS) from each of the four ecological strata, using the number of household in the ward as the measure of size. In order to give the sample an implicit stratification respecting the division of the country into Development Regions, the sample frame was sorted by ascending order of district codes, and these were numbered from East to West. The sample frame considered all the 75 districts in the country, and indeed 73 of them were represented in the sample. In the second stage of the sampling, a fixed number of households were chosen with equal probabilities from each selected PSU.
The two-stage procedure just described has several advantages. It simplified the analysis by providing a self-weighted sample. It also reduced the travel time and cost, as 12 or 16 households are interviewed in each ward. In addition, as the number of households to be interviewed in each ward was known in advance, the procedure made it possible to plan an even workload across different survey teams.
99.5 percent of households (3370 out of 3388).
The weights for the survey were derived taking into account the stratification of the sampling frame and the selection of wards within the strata. See "Sampling Weights for the NLSS" for a detailed discussion on the weights for the survey. Data file sample contains the NLSS weights.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
As the leader of the field team and the representative of the Management Unit, the key roles of the supervisor in the survey are as follows:
(1) Overall field supervision, coordination and monitoring of data collection activities. The supervisor is responsible for the quality of information collected in the field. An important part of this task is to coordinate the work of the interviewers assist the interviewers in locating households and ensuring their willingness to respond to the survey. It is also necessary for him to maintain good relations with senior officials and other important people in the communities visited.
(2) Monitoring and evaluation of the quality of field interviews and completed questionnaires, and checking of the data entry printouts. Supervisors routinely observe interviews without telling the interviewers in advance. Based on a set of criteria for evaluating a good interviewer, he immediately checks the interviewer's performance. NLSS Form 2: Interviewer Evaluation is provided for this purpose. After the data are collected, the supervisor checks whether the interviewer's recording is legible, if the skip patterns are followed, and that the interviewer instructions given in the questionnaires were observed. NLSS Form 3: Questionnaire Verification is provided for this purpose.
The supervisor also revisits households on occasion to cross-check some of the information provided by the household. NLSS Form 4: Interview Verification is provided to help to cross-check certain key questions. It is particularly important because the interviewers know that data validation will be done. The supervisor carefully checks the errors found by the data entry program, with the help of the interviewers and revisits the household to correct the errors.
(3) Management of personnel, equipment and vehicles In addition to the field management functions, the supervisor is also responsible for supervising the data entry operator and the driver. He ensures that they work efficiently to provide for smooth implementation of data collection activities and be responsible for the proper handling and care of computer equipment and the vehicle.
(4) Exchange of information between NLSS Management and field teams. As the main channel of communications, the supervisor ensures that any advice or instructions from the Core Management Team is relayed to and followed by the field team and that the
Management Team is informed regularly of the progress of data collection activities.
In order to manage the field work effectively, the supervisor may also have to conduct interviews himself if one of the regular interviewers is ill or otherwise unavailable. So he is always familiar with the content not only of this manual but also of the instruction manuals for the interviewers and the data entry operators.
One of the primary functions of the supervisor was quality control, that is, ensuring the quality of the data that is collected by the interviewers and entered by the data entry operators. To do this, the following specific tasks are assigned to him:
2. Assigning Households to interviewers and finding the selected household
3. Preparation of the questionnaires
4. Scheduling of household interviews
5. Verification of the questionnaire
6. Observing interviews
7. Re-interviewing households
8. Administering the community, price, and facility questionnaires
9. Checking the printouts
In addition to the regular supervision done by the respective supervisors in the field teams there is central core team at the headquarters. The members of these central core units are responsible for the overall management and supervision of the field work. It is the duty of this core team for maintaining the smooth operation of the field work.
Any unresolved problems encountered in the field and other unforeseen problems observed during the field supervision were immediately resolved.
As there were twelve field teams in the NLSS-1995 survey, each team was equipped with a field supervisor for independently conducting their field operation. However, the supervision from the team supervisor was found always not enough for the smooth running of the field work. For improving the quality of the field work almost all teams were centrally supervised during the field work of almost one year. However, some teams were revisited for supervision from the core staffs of the center. For the evaluation of the field work during the central supervision a central supervision form thus prepared were filled in for evaluation for future references and follow-up supervision.
The central supervision of the field work of the field teams were not only done by the central core member staffs but at times the international consultants and the members of the donor also participated in this team work. In addition there were good amount of exchange of national and international practices of doing things and of ideas at the time of the field work. In this way the central supervision in the NLSS-I was found to be unique and very special. Above all it has tremendously contributed in the overall aspect of the NLSS survey.
Data Collection Notes
Household Listing Operation
After the random selection of the 275 wards, a complete enumeration of households in the sampled wards was conducted in order to select and identify the households to be interviewed. The household listing operation was carried out in two phases between July 1994 and December 1994. Information collected focused on: locality, name of the household head, nick-name of the household head (rural), block number of dwelling (urban), and household size. The cover page for the listing was designed to gather information on the mode of transport and time required to reach the ward; this facilitated the preparation of schedules for the field teams.
The pre-test and training periods provided excellent opportunities to simultaneously improve the structure of the questionnaire and the manual. Data were collected by 12 field teams, each responsible for a particular area of the country. Assignment of wards to the various teams had been done so as to balance the work load and travel time across teams. The teams were based in the appropriate district office of the CBS, and covered on average 23 wards. Each team consists of one supervisor, three interviewers, and a data entry operator. One of the interviewers was also trained as an anthropometrist, and was responsible for weighing and measuring children in all interviewed households.
Each team was provided with a computer, printer, and power system for data entry, as well as with scales and meters to measure children. All field teams surveyed households during a twelve month period. Three teams deputed in the Tarai region and one based in Kathmandu each were provided with a vehicle. Compared to the average workload of 22 wards, these four teams were allotted wards ranging from 33 to 36 wards. The reasons to provide these teams with a vehicle on top of the workload was also because of more accessibility in the region. All the teams were directed to strictly follow the process of on the spot electronic checking by observing the print out that can be obtained after the data is entered into the computer. A software package that would reveal immediately the errors and inconsistencies is installed to enable the team to revisit the household if the situation warrants. A detail interview schedule of all the selected wards were prepared in a systematic order and were supplied to the field teams to execute the interviews accordingly in order to control seasonal variation.
The entire field work is divided into four phases containing specific time tables showing dates for travel, date to start the interview and date to mail the diskettes to the center (CBS). However the first phase of the data collection work was intentionally minimized to 28 wards to evaluate quality and consistency of the data collected. All the supervisors after the first phase of data collection were assembled to the CBS for an in-depth evaluation of the quality of the data collected. A two week discussion session was conducted in order to maintain the desired quality of data through verification and cross-checks of data between inter-sections. Techniques to quickly check and verify through examples of empirical scanning was discussed at great length.
Field Work Organization
Field Teams: The data were collected by 12 field teams, each responsible for a particular area of the country. Assignment of wards to the various teams was done to balance the work load and travel time across teams. The teams were based in the appropriate district office of the CBS, and covered on average 23 wards. Each team consisted of one supervisor, three interviewers, and a data entry operator. One of the interviewer was also trained as an anthropometrist, and was responsible for weighing and measuring children in all interviewed households. Each team included at least one female interviewer.
Structure of the Interviews: Each ward was visited once. Within each ward, however, households to be interviewed were often visited several times, depending on how long it took to complete the questionnaire. In the first visit, the interviewer completed the listing of all the household members and made appointments to talk to each of them; in later visits, he/she interviewed the different members of the household. The amount of time taken to complete the questionnaire varied greatly from household to household, depending on the number of people there were in the household, how much land they owned, how many different kinds of economic activities they were undertaking, how many modern consumer goods they owned, and other such factors. In general, the larger the household, the more the people had to be interviewed, and hence the longer the interview in the household was likely to be. Usually it took at least two visits to complete the interview.
Data Entry and Management: A distinctive feature of the NLSS is the use of personal computers for data entry in the field. Instead of sending the completed questionnaires back to the central office for data entry, the data collected in the ward were entered while the team was still in the field. for this purpose, each team was provided with a computer, a printer, and a power system for data entry, in addition to scales and meters to measure children. A data entry program developed specifically for the survey was installed on each computer. The data entry program let the data operator and the supervisor know if there were mistakes or missing data in the interview, and checked whether information from one part of the interview matched information from other parts. When problems or errors were found, the interviewers returned to the households to correct the information. This process of entering, checking, and correcting the data in the field helped to ensure that the information collected was accurate. It also reduced the time lag between data collection and data analysis; diskettes containing the complete data for each ward were sent back to the central office as soon as work in the ward was completed, and the data were available for analysis shortly after the completion of the collection phase.
Data Collection: Data collection was planned over a full year to cover a complete cycle in agricultural activities and capture seasonal variations in other variables. Field work took place in four subsequent phases. During the first phase, which began on Ashad 15, 2052 (June 25, 1995), interviews were carried out in 28 wards. Then the supervisors and data entry operators were called back to the CBS for a two-week review of the data collected. Instructions were issued where errors and inconsistencies were found. The second phase of data collection work started from Bhadra (mid-August 1995) and continued till the first week of Kartik. During this phase, work on 66 wards was completed. The third phase data collection work continued from Kartik (after Dasain) onwards to Poush. During this phase work on 93 wards was completed. The fourth phase began in "Magh" and was completed by the end of "Jesth", 2052 (June 15, 1996), as planned.
Central Bureau of Statistics
National Planning Commission
A preliminary draft of the questionnaire was first prepared with several discussions held between the core staff and the consultant to the project. Several documents both received from the world bank as well as from countries that had already conducted such surveys in the past were referred during this process. Subsequently the questionnaire was translated into NepalI.
After a suitable draft design of the questionnaire, a pre-test was conducted in five different places of the country. The places selected for the pre-test were Biratnagar, Rasuwa, Palpa, Nepalganj and Kathmandu Valley. The entire teams created for the pre-test were also represented by either a consultant or an expert from the bank. Feedback received from the field was utilized for necessary improvements in finalizing the seventy page questionnaire.
The content of each questionnaire is as follows:
Section 1. HOUSEHOLD INFORMATION
This section served two main purposes: (i) identify every person who is a member of the household, and (ii) provide basic demographic data such as age, sex, and marital status of everyone presently living in the household. In addition, information collected also included data on all economic activities undertaken by household members and on unemployment.
Section 2. HOUSING
This section collected information on the type of dwelling occupied by the household, as well as on the household's expenditures on housing and amenities (rent, expenditure on water, garbage collection, electricity, etc.).
Section 3. ACCESS TO FACILITIES
This section collected information on the distance from the household's residence to various public facilities and services.
Section 4. MIGRATION
This section collected information from the household head on permanent migration for reasons of work or land availability.
Section 5. FOOD EXPENSES AND HOME PRODUCTION
This section collected information on all food expenditures of the household, as well as on consumption of food items that the household produced.
Section 6. NON-FOOD EXPENDITURES AND INVENTORY OF DURABLE GOODS
This section collected information on expenditure on non-food items (clothing, fuels, items for the house, etc.), as well as on the durable goods owned by the household.
Section 7. EDUCATION
This section collected information on literacy for all household members aged 5 years and above, on the level of education for those members who have attended school in the past, and on levelof education and expenditures on schooling for those currently attending an educational institution.
Section 8. HEALTH
This section collected information on illnesses, use of medical facilities, expenditure on health care, children's immunization, and diarrhea.
Section 9. ANTHROPOMETRICS
This section collected weight and height measurements for all children 3 years or under.
Section 10. MARRIAGE AND MATERNITY HISTORY
This section collected information on maternity history, pre/post-natal care, and knowledge/use of family planning methods.
Section 11. WAGE EMPLOYMENT
This section collected information on wage employment in agriculture and in non-agricultural activities, as well as on income earned through wage labor.
Section 12. FARMING AND LIVESTOCK
This section collected information on all agricultural activities -- land owned or operated, crops grown, use of crops, income from the sale of crops, ownership of livestock, and income from the sale of livestock.
Section 13. NON-FARM ENTERPRISES/ACTIVITIES
This section collected information on all non-agricultural enterprises and activities -- type of activity, revenue earned, expenditures, etc.
Section 14. CREDIT AND SAVINGS
This section collected information on loans made by the household to others, or loans taken from others by household members, as well as on land, property, or other fixed assets owned by the household.
Section 15. REMITTANCES AND TRANSFERS
This section collected information on remittances sent by members of the household to others and on transfers received by members of the household from others.
Section 16. OTHER ASSETS AND INCOME
This section collected information on income from all other sources not covered elsewhere in the questionnaire.
Section 17. ADEQUACY OF CONSUMPTION
This section collected information on whether the household perceives its level of consumption to be adequate or not.
RURAL COMMUNITY QUESTIONNAIRE
Section 1. POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS AND INFRASTRUCTURES
This section collected information on the characteristics of the community, availability of electricity and its services and water supply and sewerage.
Section 2. ACCESS TO FACILITIES
Data on services and amenities, education status and health facilities was collected.
Section 3. AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY
Information on the land situation, irrigation systems, crop cycles, wages paid to hired labor, rental rates for cattle and machinery and forestry use were asked in this section.
Section 4. MIGRATION
This section collected information on the main migratory movements in and out.
Section 5. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, USER GROUPS, etc.
In this section, information on development programs, existence user groups, and the quality of life in the community was collected.
Section 6. RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOL
This section collected information on enrollment, infrastructure, and supplies.
Section 7. RURAL HEALTH FACILITY
This section collected information on health facilities, equipment and services available, and health personnel in the community.
Section 8. MARKETS AND PRICES
This section collected information on local shops, Haat Bazaar, agricultural inputs, sale of crops and the conversion of local units into standard units.
URBAN COMMUNITY QUESTIONNAIRE
Section 1. POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Information was collected on the characteristics of the community, availability of electricity, water supply and sewerage system in the ward.
Section 2. ACCESS TO FACILITIES
This section collected information on the distance from the community to the various places and public facilities and services.
Section 3. MARKETS AND PRICES
This section collected information on the availability and prices of different goods.
Section 4. QUALITY OF LIFE
Here the notion of the quality of life in the community was explored.
Data editing took place at a number of stages throughout the processing, including:
a) Office editing and coding
b) During data entry
c) Structure checking and completeness
d) Secondary editing
e) Structural checking of SPSS data files
Each week, the data entry operator gives the supervisor two specific computer-generated documents for each
household in the previous week's ward:
• a listing of errors in the data entered for the household;
• a special listing of consistency checks.
A distinctive feature of the NLSS is the use of personal computers for data entry in the field. Instead of sending the completed questionnaires back to the central office for data entry, the data collected in the ward were entered while the team was still in the field. For this purpose, each team was provided with a computer, a printer, and a power system for data entry, in addition to scales and meters to measure children. A data entry program developed specifically for the survey was installed on each computer. The data entry program let the data operator and the supervisor know if there were mistakes or missing data in the interview, and checked whether information from one part of the interview matched information from other parts. When problems or errors were found, the interviewers returned to the households to correct the information. This process of entering, checking, and correcting the data in the field helped to ensure that the information collected was accurate. It also reduced the time lag between data collection and data analysis; diskettes containing the complete data for each ward were sent back to the central office as soon as work in the ward was completed, and the data were available for analysis shortly after the completion of the collection phase.
Data entry involves keying in information from the questionnaires and then running a series of programs to check the information. These programs detect errors or inconsistencies in the data. All data are stored internally in the team's computer. In addition, the data entry operator makes backup copies of all data files on diskettes. The data entry operator is also responsible for maintaining the personal computer, printer, and the power equipment, as well as for storing the diskettes, printouts, and questionnaires properly.
Confidentiality of the respondents is guaranteed by Article 8 of Statistics Act 1958.
Restriction on publication of information and details
Any information or details relating to any person, family, firm or company, which have been supplied, obtained or prepared pursuant to Section 3 or Section 4 or Section 5 or Section 6 or Section 7 or any part of such information or details, shall not be disclosed or published directly except to the Director General or to any other officer of the Bureau without the written permission of the person or of his or her authorized representative supplying such information or details.
For the purpose of institution of any suit under this Act, nothing mentioned in Sub-section (1) shall be deemed to bar the production of such information before any court.
The 1996, 2003-04 and 2010-11 Nepal Living Standards Survey data are the property of the government of Nepal. The data are available to the public, but requests must be made to the Nepalese statistical institute. The request should be submitted to:
The Central Bureau of Statistics:
with a copy to:
Mr. Dhundiraj Lamichhane
Head, Household Survey Division
Central Bureau of Statistics
The request should include a brief (one page) explanation of the proposed research.
The Central Bureau of Statistics will authorize the data release and provide instructions on how to provide the Central Bureau of Statistics with a processing fee. The Central Bureau of Statistics can provide the data to users by e-mail upon receipt of a bank transfer for the processing. As of February 2012, the processing fee structure can be found in the following Annex from the Statistical Abstract.
Please note that power cuts are extensive in Kathmandu. CBS personnel are often difficult to contact because of the power cuts. Allow extra time for CBS to respond.
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
Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Nepal. Nepal Living Standards Survey 1995/96. Ref. NPL_1995_LSS-I_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [source] on [date].
The Central Bureau of Statistics, Nepal bears no responsibility for any outcomes or for interpretations or inferences arising from the use of the dataset.
DDI Document ID
World Bank, Development Economics Data Group
Production of metadata
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 02 (May 2015)
- Provided file descriptions for files uploaded on Nesstar
- Selected appropriate statistics for each variables
- Added value labels for all categorical variables
- Removed household members name from the data and created public use file