The Young Lives survey is an innovative long-term project investigating the changing nature of childhood poverty in four developing countries. The purpose of the project is to improve understanding of the causes and consequences of childhood poverty and examine how policies affect children's well-being, in order to inform the development of future policy and to target child welfare interventions more effectively. The study is being conducted in Ethiopia, India (in Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam. These countries were selected because they reflect a range of cultural, geographical and social contexts and experience differing issues facing the developing world; high debt burden, emergence from conflict, and vulnerability to environmental conditions such as drought and flood.
The Young Lives study aims to track the lives of 12,000 children over a 15-year period, surveyed once every 3-4 years. Round 1 of Young Lives surveyed two groups of children in each country, at 1 year old and 5 years old. Round 2 returned to the same children who were then aged 5 and 12 years old. Round 3 surveyed the same children again at aged 7-8 years and 14-15 years, and Round 4 surveyed them at 12 and 19 years old. Thus the younger children are being tracked from infancy to their mid-teens and the older children through into adulthood, when some will become parents themselves.
The survey consists of three main elements: a child questionnaire, a household questionnaire and a community questionnaire. The household data gathered is similar to other cross-sectional datasets (such as the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study). It covers a range of topics such as household composition, livelihood and assets, household expenditure, child health and access to basic services, and education. This is supplemented with additional questions that cover caregiver perceptions, attitudes, and aspirations for their child and the family. Young Lives also collects detailed time-use data for all family members, information about the child's weight and height (and that of caregivers), and tests the children for school outcomes (language comprehension and mathematics). An important element of the survey asks the children about their daily activities, their experiences and attitudes to work and school, their likes and dislikes, how they feel they are treated by other people, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. The community questionnaire provides background information about the social, economic and environmental context of each community. It covers topics such as ethnicity, religion, economic activity and employment, infrastructure and services, political representation and community networks, crime and environmental changes. The Young Lives survey is carried out by teams of local researchers, supported by the Principal Investigator and Data Manager in each country.
Further information about the survey, including publications, can be downloaded from the <a href="http://www.younglives.org.uk/" title="Young Lives">Young Lives</a> website.
School surveys were introduced into Young Lives in 2010 in order to capture detailed information about children’s experiences of schooling, and to improve our understanding of:
- the relationships between learning outcomes, and children's home backgrounds, gender, work, schools, teachers and class and school peer-groups.
- school effectiveness, by analysing factors explaining the development of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in school, including value-added analysis of schooling and comparative analysis of school-systems.
- equity issues (including gender) in relation to learning outcomes and the evolution of inequalities within education
The survey allows us to link longitudinal information on household and child characteristics from the household survey with data on the schools attended by the Young Lives children and children's achievements inside and outside the school. It provides policy-relevant information on the relationship between child development (and its determinants) and children’s experience of school, including access, quality and progression. This combination of household, child and school-level data over time constitutes the comparative advantage of Young Lives. Findings are all available on our Education theme pages and our publications page.
Further information is available from the Young Lives <a class="external" href="http://www.younglives.org.uk/content/school-survey-0" title="School Survey">School Survey</a> webpages.
The Young Lives study traced the lives of 3,000 children in 20 sentinel sites located in five regions of the country (Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray). The second school survey extended beyond the 20 Young Lives sites to include ten newly selected sites in the developing regions of Somali and Afar, where historically poor access to and participation in services, including education, is of particular concern to government, donors and NGOs.
Unit of analysis
Producers and sponsors
University of Oxford. Department of International Development
Department for International Development
Netherlands. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Activity number 20907
Open Society Foundations
OR2012-01788 and OR2013-06632
Save the Children International Ethiopia Programme
Ethiopian Development Research Institute
Multi-stage stratified random sample
The final sample included 94 ‘schools’ and 280 classes (142 Grade 4 and 134 Grade 5) making a sample size of 13,724. The majority of surveyed schools are government-owned (75 out of 94), but 19 nongovernment-owned schools were also surveyed in sites in Addis Ababa, SNNP and Somali regions.
The second school survey in Ethiopia sampled all pupils (including both Young Lives Younger Cohort children and non-Young Lives children) studying in all Grade 4 and Grade 5 classes in all schools located within the geographic boundaries of each survey sentinel site. The survey therefore constitutes a site-level census of all Grade 4 and 5 pupils attending school within the geographic boundaries of the 30 sentinel sites.
The survey was conducted at both the beginning (Wave 1) and end (Wave 2) of the school year. At Wave 1, the pupil-level sample included all pupils present on the first day of the survey visit to the school. These pupils were then followed up at Wave 2, without replacement of absent pupils.
The twenty main Young Lives sites (in the regions of Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray) were selected purposely in 2001 to ensure that the household survey reflected the cultural and geographic diversity of the country, including urban-rural differences, but with a pro-poor bias and a focus on areas with food insecurity (see Outes-Leon and Sanchez 2008 for further details). Between three and five sites were selected in each region to represent diversity across zones and ethnicities. The ten new sites in Somali and Afar were selected according to the same criteria as in the household survey, but with additional considerations for fieldworker safety and security.
While not statistically representative at the national or regional levels, the survey includes a range of community settings illustrative of the diversity of the country. Appendix 1 of the survey report (provided under related materials) provides a description of the 30 school-survey sites.
- Principal questionnaire: Administered individually by fieldworkers to principals.
- School site observation: Fieldworker completed through observation of school site during their time in the school.
- Teacher questionnaire: Administered individually by fieldworkers to teacher of YL child's class.
- Pupil questionnaire: Administered to the whole class. Fieldworker led and directed. Collected background data on the Pupil, as well as information on attitudes to school.
- Pupil assessments in Maths and Amharic: Administered to the whole class. Fieldworker led and directed.
Survey documentation and questionnaires are provided as related materials, and can also be downloaded from http://www.younglives.org.uk/content/ethiopia-school-survey
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Version 02 (JUNE 2016). Initial version of the DDI (DDI2.5 XML CODEBOOK RECORD FOR STUDY NUMBER 7823) was done by UK Data Service in April, 2016.