The STEP project consists of a Household Surveys collection and an Employer Surveys collection.
These surveys are part of the STEP Household Surveys collection.
So far, two waves of STEP Household Surveys have been implemented in 12 countries. The third wave is being prepared.
The first wave started in September 2011 and was completed in December 2013. Wave 1 countries are: Bolivia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, Vietnam, the Yunnan Province in China, Ghana, and Ukraine.
The second wave started in August 2012 and was completed in June 2014. Wave 2 countries are: Armenia, Georgia, Macedonia, and Kenya.
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. The STEP Skills Measurement Survey for Ukraine is integrated into the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) 2012.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
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 aged 15 to 64 included. The random selection process was designed by the STEP team and compliance with the procedure is carefully monitored during fieldwork.
Version 1.2.: the data has been checked and cleaned and derived variables were generated.
The scope of the study includes:
- household demographic characteristics
- dwelling characteristics
- education and training
- job skill requirements
- personality, behavior and preferences
- language and family background
- reading literacy test assessment
The STEP survey was limited to the urban area of Ukraine.
The target population for the Ukraine STEP survey comprises all non-institutionalized persons 15 to 64 years of age (inclusive) living in private dwellings in urban areas of the country at the time of data collection.
This includes all residents except foreign diplomats and non-nationals working for international organizations.
The sample excluded individuals permanently institutionalized in medical facilities, military quarters, and prisons; these exclusions totalled about 725,000 persons or about 2% of the population.
Also excluded from STEP was a 30-km zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, an area with a high level of radiation contamination where public access is restricted and all population was evacuated.
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
The Ukraine used a stratified sample design comprised of three components:
1) ULMS Panel Sample;
2) New ULMS-2012 subsample;
3) Step Urban Subsample.
In the ULMS Panel Sample and the Step Urban Subsample, the urban sample was selected within 26 strata consisting of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Kiev, and 24 Oblasts, i.e., geographic administrative units. In the New ULMS-2012 subsample, there was no explicit stratification. The Survey Weighting Summary (see related materials) provides more information on the sampling procedure.
Deviations from the Sample Design
Some of the sampled households were ineligible for STEP for reasons such as vacant, not habitable, no eligible household member, etc.
An overall response rate of 60.4% was achieved in the Ukraine STEP Survey.
The weights for extrapolation of the survey results on the population have been calculated and added to data file as additional variable. Details on weighting are available in the ' STEP Survey Weighting Procedures Summary ' provided under Related Materials.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
26 regional supervisors from KIIS nationwide network were engaged for the implementation of the STEP study in Ukraine. They were supervised by fieldwork managers at the central office, who reported to data collection manager.
The regional supervisors were responsible for:
- hiring interviewers,
- distributing sampling tasks among interviewers;
- control of sample implementation;
- assisting interviewers in working with non-cooperative respondents and other problem cases;
- supervising interviewers work (both observation and control)
- checking questionnaires for completeness and accuracy;
- delivering complete questionnaires to the KIIS' central office.
Data Collection Notes
Detailed country-by-country information is provided in each country's National Survey Design Planning Report (NSDPR). It described the project management structure, fieldwork teams and reporting processes.
1. Each component of the STEP Survey was carried out by a personal visit using a Paper And Pencil Interview (PAPI) method.
2. As the STEP program requires all surveys to be implemented in a standardized way, particular attention was provided to implementation processes
(i) Each participating country (survey firm) wrote up a National Survey Design Planning Report (NSDPR) detailing how it intended to implement the STEP survey while complying with the STEP Technical Standards. The NSDPRs were submitted to the WB STEP team for approval.
(ii) The WB STEP team and Educational Testing Services (ETS) provided 2 workshops to all survey firms. The first was a 2-day workshop provided via video conference and aimed at presenting the STEP Technical Standards. The second workshop was organized over 2 full weeks at the WB's Headquarters and consisted in a training course to project managers from each survey firm on the survey instruments - Background Questionnaire and Reading Literacy Assessment - as well as on implementation and data management procedures.
(iii) Based on the STEP Technical Standards, the survey firms adapted and translated the STEP survey instruments, the Interviewer Manual, and all training materials.
(iv) Once the instruments had been adapted and translated, survey firms carried out a pre-test, usually including 20-30 interviews. Findings from the pre-test were discussed with the WB STEP team and ETS to finalize the adaptation and translation of the STEP survey instruments. In Vietnam the survey was implemented in Vietnamese.
(v) Each survey firm provided a 2-week training course to its enumerators, using training materials developed by the WB STEP team (after translation and adaptation). The WB STEP team's Survey Consultant helped organize the training and was present in the country for the first few days at least of the training. In addition, the WB STEP team in Washington DC provided just-in-time technical assistance, answering questions sent by the survey firm during the training. The training included in-field mock interviews in addition to in-class courses. At the end of the training, survey firms only retained enumerators having demonstrated a good understanding of the instruments.
(vi) As per STEP Technical Standards, data collection started within a few days of the end of the enumerators' training course.The composition of each country's fieldwork teams is described in the NSDPR, as well as reporting procedures and quality control processes.Weekly reports were sent to the WB STEP team, which provided just-in-time technical assistance during fieldwork to answer questions or concerns. Regular calls or VCs were also held between survey firms and the WB STEP team to discuss progress. Matters discussed usually involved questions on how to deal with specific situations, strategies to reduce non-response, the activation of reserve households, and general pace of progress. Non-response rates were high in Bolivia and Colombia, in part due to difficult access to appartment buildings and gated communities, although survey firms worked hard to gain local community leaders' support. In a few instances - all documented in the weighting documentation - a couple of EAs were replaced due to security concerns or because an EA had been completely altered (e.g. construction site, dwellings converted into a large shopping center).
(vii) Interviews lasted between 120 and 150 minutes, depending on respondents' reading proficiency.
Kiev International Institute of Sociology
The merged ULMS-STEP survey instrument consists of three questionnaires :
(i) the merged household questionnaire\roster, including the first block of STEP;
(ii) the standard individual questionnaire, including the fifth block of STEP and some parts of the second, third and fourth blocks of STEP;
(iii) and the extended individual questionnaire, with an additional module on employment skills and a Reading Literacy Assessment developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS).
All countries adapted and translated both instruments from English, following the STEP Technical Standards: 2 independent translators adapted and translated the Background Questionnaire and Reading Literacy Assessment, while reconciliation was carried out by a third translator.
In the Ukraine STEP survey, household and individual questionnaires were prepared in both Ukranian and Russian. However, the literacy assessment was done in Ukrainian only (due to budget constraints).
- The survey instruments were both piloted as part of the survey pretest.
- The adapted Background Questionnaires are provided in English as external resources. The Reading Literacy Assessment is protected by copyright and will not be published.
Country-specific questions on the Household Questionnaire result from a merge of STEP Ukraine survey with ULMS-2012 panel study.
STEP Data Management Process
1. Raw data is sent by the survey firm
2. The WB STEP team runs data checks on the Background Questionnaire data.
- 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 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 data processing in STEP surveys is provided in the 'Guidelines for STEP Data Entry Programs' document provided as an external resource. The template do-file used by the STEP team to check the raw background questionnaire data is provided as an external resource.
Data entry processes, including team composition, are described in each country NSDPR. In most countries, data entry took place at the survey firm's headquarters. Note that in the case of Colombia, as interviews were conducted using handheld devices, data entry per se was only carried out for the Reading Literacy Assessment data.
1. Background Questionnaire Data
For the Background Questionnaire data, survey firms could use the WB STEP Data Entry Program (DEP) or design their own. In the latter case, the WB STEP team checked their DEP to ensure it complied with STEP Technical Standards.The STEP DEP was developed in Excel and mirrored the Background Questionnaire. Vietnam used the STEP DEP.
(i) Countries which used the STEP DEP
- Yunnan Province of China
(ii) Countries which developed their own DEP in CSPro
- Lao PDR
- Sri Lanka
Standards for Data Entry are detailed in the '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.
2. Reading Literacy Assessment Data
All survey firms were required to score the Reading Literacy Assessment booklets and to enter the data using the Data Entry Program developed by ETS. Double data entry process was required. Consistency checks were also included in the data entry program.
Estimates of Sampling Error
A weighting documentation was prepared for each participating country and provides some information on sampling errors.
All country weighting documentations are provided as an external resource.
Public use files, accessible to all
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. Ukraine STEP Skills Measurement Household Survey 2013 (Wave 1). Ref. UKR_2013_STEP-HH_v01_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.
(c) STEP 2014, The World Bank
DDI Document ID
Development Economics Data Group
The World Bank
Documentation of the DDI
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (March 2016)