Living Standards Measurement Study surveys have been developed by the World Bank to collect the information necessary to measure living standards and evaluate government interventions in the areas of poverty alleviation and social services. The Azerbaijan Survey of Living Conditions (ASLC) applies many of the features of LSMS surveys to provide data for the World Bank Poverty Assessment.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Producers and sponsors
Social Studies Center, Institute of Sociology and Political Science (SORGU) and the World Bank
The World Bank
Netherlands Poverty Assessment Trust Fund
The World Bank
The methodology that was chosen reflects the purpose of the survey. To balance a desire for a large, representative sample with the expense of a detailed survey instrument, a sample size of 2,016 households was selected. Three separate populations were covered: households in Baku, households outside of Baku and households of Displaced Persons. Within each of those populations, the sample was chosen in such a manner that each household had an equal probability of being selected. At the same time, the logistics of locating the households and conducting the interviews within a specific time frame required that the households be grouped into "work loads" of 12 households each. The size of the workload was determined by the number of interviews that could be carried out in one day by one team of three interviewers and a supervisor.
The Azerbaijan Survey of Living Conditions sample design included 408 households in the eleven raions that make up the city of Baku, 1200 households in the population outside of Baku, and 408 households among the registered Internally Displaced Persons residing throughout the country. This results in an oversampling of the Internally Displaced Persons population and an undersampling of the urban population of Baku. In order to use all data to provide nationally representative estimates, weighting factors must be applied to the data to account for the difference between the population and sample distributions.
Outside of Baku
The most recent data on population came from the 1989 census, the most recent data on number of households was reported in 1994 by the National Statistical Committee. The country is divided into towns, villages of the town type, and villages. Every household is located in one of those three types of population points. A list prepared by the National Statistical Committee contains just over 4,250 of these population points.
To choose the sample outside of Baku, Baku was excluded from this list as were all the population points located in raions of the country currently occupied (Agdam, Xankendi, Xodjali, Xodjvendi, Susha, Kubatli, Zangelan, Kelbadjar, Lachin, Fizuli and Djebrali). The remainder of the country included 3453 population points.
Information on the number of households was not available for all population points, specifically, "villages of the town type" and cities did not have this information. Average household size was calculated for those points that had both population and the number of households and this number was used to impute the number of households for those population points where it was missing. Average household size was 4.25 which is smaller than expected but reflects the fact that numerator is a 1989 statistic and the denominator is from 1994.
First stage of sampling: Using the list of actual and estimated number of households for each population point, 100 workloads were spread across the population points in the following manner:
1. the sampling interval, i, was calculated to be the total number of households outside of Baku divided by 100,
2. the random start, s, was calculated by taking the integer portion of [random number * i + 1],
3. the population point containing the sth household, the (s+i)th household, the (s+2i)th household, etc. were then selected.
4. in the event that more than one interval landed on the same population point, multiple workloads of 12 households were surveyed in that population point. In this manner 100 workloads were distributed in 91 population points.
Second stage of sampling: In order to select the households within the selected population points, household lists maintained by the administrative office of each Selsoviet were used. Selsoviets are administrative units that cover from one to ten population points. In the population points covered by a single group of 12 households, 16 dwellings were selected--12 to be interviewed and 4 to be used as replacements if necessary. The sampling interval used was the total number of households on the list divided by 16. Each population point had been assigned a randomly generated number with which to calculate a starting point. In population points with more that one group of 12 households, 16 households were selected for each workload and the sampling interval was number of households divided by 16 multiplied by the number of workloads.
It is possible that a second household with separate finances could occupy a dwelling that was only listed once in the Selsoviet’s list. If an interviewer discovered more than one family living in a single dwelling, separate questionnaires were to be filled out for both, and a household randomly selected from among the households not yet interviewed on the list for that population point was taken off the list. This replacement of households, opposed to adding households, was adopted because the schedule did not allow time for more than 12 interviews per workload.
In February of 1995, SORGU was commissioned to do a random sampling survey in Baku. At that time a list was compiled of 2000 households in Baku. The 2000 households were distributed across the 11 raions of Baku according to each raion’s proportion of the total population. In each raion, the passport office lists were consulted to select the required number of addresses. In each office, the depth of each drawer full of cards was measured, the total length was divided by the number of households to be selected from that raion and cards were then pulled out at those intervals. From each card a specific address in Baku was noted. There is one passport for each dwelling in that raion regardless of the number of separate household/family units occupied the dwelling. The passport lists are, in principle, continuously updated with information from the housing maintenance offices. However, dwellings that are used for business, unoccupied, abandoned or rented to foreigners may remain listed. Furthermore, it is not clear how new privately built housing units would be listed.The 408 households and 92 replacements for this survey were selected by choosing a random number between 1 and 4, starting with that number and then selecting every fifth address from the existing list.
Internally Displaced Population
The National Statistical Committee prepared a listing of population and number of households of internally displaced persons by raion in July 1995. From that list, 34 workloads of 12 households each were selected from 26 raions and 11 Baku Administrative Regions using with a sampling interval and a random start similar to the method used outside of Baku. Ten workloads were selected in Baku and 24 were selected in 17 raions. As before, some raions received more than one workload. In each raion, the administrative offices for the Ministry of Refugees was consulted to locate the internally displaced persons. Each office should have a list of internally displaced persons by households. An additional level of sampling took place to choose three places and four interviews will be conducted in each place. These places were buildings, towns, or tent camps depending on how the households were listed.
Sampling as Implemented
In the course of the field work, it was discovered that population lists are not maintained in major urban areas. In Kuba, Xachmas, Devichi, Qaxi, Sheki, Ali Bairamli, Gojai and Agdash, supervisors had to improvise. In some cases passport registration lists were used, as was done in Baku. In other cases electric users lists, gas office books and butter/meat coupon distribution lists were used in order to capture a sample that was as representative as possible. During field work, one population point, Xandar, was not accessible due to security concerns and its proximity to the occupied region. A second population point, Sofukent, was not accessible because of the weather. In both cases, it was not practicable to replace the population points with two other population points randomly selected from the national list. Instead, field teams were instructed to visit the nearest population point of approximately the same size to the chosen population point. The only major disruption to fieldwork occurred in Naxicevan where interviewers were shot at by terrorists, fortunately none was hurt.
The three samples of households: outside Baku (PPID 100-199), Baku (PPID 1-34), and IDPs (PPID 201-234) are self-weighted for those three groups of households.(PPID is the variable name for population point identification code.) However, the number of households selected from each group do not correspond to the percent of the three groups in the national population.
To use all sample households to represent all households in Azerbaijan, weighting factors should be used. This weight is included as variable W in the PP data
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Training and Field Test
All interviewers and supervisors used for the survey were experienced SORGU staff. Specific training for the Survey of Living Conditions was conducted in three stages. All interviewer candidates participated in a day long orientation seminar where the survey purpose, questionnaire content and format, and field work strategy were presented. Follow up training including mock interviews and careful review of each question was given to small groups of interviewers in several sessions. Supervisors were given individual training on the selection of households from the population point household lists, observation of interviews and questionnaire verification.
The field test was conducted in Baku and a town two hours north of Baku. The procedure for selecting households proved time-consuming but manageable. Government officials were accommodating and the households interviewed were very hospitable. During the pilot test interviews, most respondents found it impossible to answer questions on the value of the dwelling and durable goods as there was no market for those things. As a result, those questions were removed.
Organization of Field Work
Each household interview was conducted in a single session. The entire questionnaire was addressed to the household head, rather than individuals. In most cases, the entire household was present for the interview and the household head would receive help answering questions when appropriate.
Interviews in Baku were conducted by 5 teams from November 20-December 13, 1995. Ten teams conducted the interviews in the 100 population points and in 24 groups of IDPs outside of Baku between November 23 and December 20. Population points for workloads outside of Baku, households in Baku, and raions for IDPs were selected prior to the field work. Supervisors were responsible for the random selection of households in population points outside of Baku and the places and households for interviewing Internally Displaced Persons.
DEVELOPMENT OF QUESTIONNAIRES
A questionnaire based on the Living Standards Measurement Study surveys was adapted for use in Azerbaijan. Significant reductions in the number of questions reflected the need to conduct the survey in a short period of time and the more limited scope of a poverty assessment as compared to a full-blown government policy analysis. Questionnaire development was done using the Russian language version. The finalized versions were translated into Azeri by SORGU personnel. A special version of the questionnaire with both Russian and English was prepared for use by data analysts.
DESCRIPTION OF QUESTIONNAIRES
The survey includes questionnaires at both the household and population point (community) levels. Population point is an administrative designation that can be a village, a "village of the town type" or a town. All households in the country belong to one population point. First stage sampling was based on population points and second stage sampling was based on the household lists in selected population points. The population point served as the community in the ASLC.
Both questionnaires reflect the content and methodology used in many LSMS surveys. The household questionnaire, was abridged significantly to conform to the time frame and purpose of the survey. LSMS surveys are often designed to facilitate the analysis of the impact of a broad range of government policies on households. The Poverty Assessment required an assessment of economic well-being of each household and several broad measures of employment, education, health, housing and other areas of household activity. The scope of questions asked in the ASLC was much narrower than for a standard LSMS especially in the field of economic activities. It covers all of the topics covered in most LSMS surveys but contains far fewer questions, and therefore, less detail. The household questionnaire collects information at the individual and household level on all aspects of life and activity. The population point questionnaire gathers information common to all households in the sampling unit, thus limiting the length of the household questionnaire. Information collected for the population point includes the type and quality of social services available, predominant economic activities, the distance to regional and national centers, and a price survey.
The household questionnaire contains nine modules: demographic information, housing, education, health, economic activities, migration, consumption and expenditure, household property and agriculture. The entire questionnaire was administered to the head of the household. Interviews were generally carried out in the main room of the dwelling with other household members present. The household head was invited to consult with other household members but other household members were not interviewed separately. Interviewers were instructed to collect information for all people who usually reside in the dwelling, eat together and share expenses and anyone who was in the dwelling the night before the interview.
Section 1, DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION, collects the age, sex, relation to household head, marital status of all individuals, and the ID codes of the mother, father, and spouse if any of them are members of the same household so that children and parents can be linked. Section 1B gathers information on the sharing of expenses, length and reason of absence during the last 12 months. This information allows the researcher to vary, somewhat, the definition of household.
Section 2, DWELLING, gathers information on the size and type of dwelling, expenditures on rent or mortgage and utilities, source of water, heating, lighting and telephone for the household. These variables both reflect and have an impact on the health and welfare of the household members.
Section 3, EDUCATION, gathers information for all individuals 5 years and older on years of schooling and highest degree obtained. For household members who continue to study, information is collected on meals provided at school and reasons for absences of more than four weeks from school.
Section 4, HEALTH, collects, for each individual, information on health during the last 4 weeks, person from whom care was received, place where care was administered, and whether or not preventative care was received.
Section 5A, EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME, is completed for all household members 7 years and older. Information on sector, position and renumeration for primary and additional work was collected. Part 5B gathers information on search for work, and other economic activities. Part 5C gathers information on additional sources of income for the household including the sale of food products, gifts, pensions and state allowances.
Section 6, MIGRATION, gathers information for all individuals 7 years and older on years lived at current residence, previous place of residence, reason for movement to current place, official residential status, and type of work done in previous place of residence. For households that include internally displaced persons (IDPs), Section 6B gathers information on the degree of contact with people from the place of origin and assistance currently received.
Section 6C gathers information on the property that these displaced persons had before the displacement, that which they were able to bring with them and that which they lost. Section 6B and 6C represent a substantial departure from standard LSMS survey questionnaires.
Section 7, CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURES, gathers expenditures in the last month for 17 categories of expenditure in Section 7A and the amount spent, value of home production consumed, and value received as gifts for 20 categories of food products in Section 7B.
Section 8, LIST OF DURABLE GOODS, gathers information on durable goods currently owned by the household including year of acquisition and goods sold within the last 12 months by the household.
Section 9, AGRICULTURE, covers land ownership and agricultural activities, expenditures and revenues in Section 9A and the number and total value of agricultural assets including animals, vehicles and equipment in Section 9B.
Population Point Questionnaire
One population point questionnaire was completed for each sampling point. Interviewers were instructed to interview as many community leaders as necessary in order to complete the questionnaire.
Section 1, DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION, asks for information on population, ethnic composition, and migration.
Section 2, INFRASTRUCTURE, collects information on roads, electricity, water, sewer, and garbage collection in the community. There are also questions on the time and expense of a trip to the capital and regional center and on telephones, TV and newspapers in the community.
Section 3, ECONOMY, collects information on major economic activities, unemployment, the closing of state enterprises and the degree of independent economic activity.
Section 4, DISPLACED PERSONS, gathers information on the presence and living conditions of Internally Displaced Persons.
Section 5, EDUCATION, collects information on the proportion of girls and boys in school and the reason for non-attendance, the condition of the schools and whether there have been improvements or deterioration in the last 5 years.
Section 6, HEALTH, collects information on health problems of adults, children, and the effectiveness of health services, the place where women most often give birth, the existence of immunization campaigns in the last five years and the availability of drugs.
Section 7, AGRICULTURE, collects information on crops, agricultural activity, conditions and prevailing wage rates in the sector.
Section 8, INSTITUTIONS, collects information on the institutions in the community and for those that do not exist in the community, the distance and time required to reach the nearest one.
Finally, for each sampling point, three observations are made on the prices of 33 common food and household items.
Separate data entry programs were prepared for the household and population point questionnaires. The CLIPPER 5.0 programs were developed specifically for use in the Azerbaijan Survey of Living Conditions and featured entry screens formatted to reflect the questionnaire pages with range checks for each value. All data input was done in the central office in Baku as the questionnaires were returned from the field. Some consistency checks were made in the data entry but there was no opportunity for re-interview. This differs from the standard LSMS field methodology.
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The World Bank
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Social Studies Center, Institute of Sociology and Political Science (SORGU) and the World Bank.,Azerbaijan Survey of Living Conditions 1995. Ref. AZE_1995_SLC_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from the World Bank Microdata Library (www.microdata.worldbank.org/lsms) on [date]
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