Living Standards Measurement Survey 2002 (Wave 1 Panel)
Living Standards Measurement Study [hh/lsms]
This is the frist survey conducted under Living Standards Measurement Survey title in Albania. It provdes the first round of a Panel survey which also includes the 2003 and the 2004 LSMS surveys.
Over the past decade, Albania has been seeking to develop the framework for a market economy and more open society. It has faced severe internal and external challenges in the interim – extremely low income levels and a lack of basic infrastructure, the rapid collapse of output and inflation rise after the shift in regime in 1991, the turmoil during the 1997 pyramid crisis, and the social and economic shocks accompanying the 1999 Kosovo crisis. In the face of these challenges, Albania has made notable progress in creating conditions conducive to growth and poverty reduction.
A poverty profile based on 1996 data (the most recent available) showed that some 30 percent of the rural and some 15 percent of the urban population are poor, with many others vulnerable to poverty due to their incomes being close to the poverty threshold. Income related poverty is compounded by the severe lack of access to basic infrastructure, education and health services, clean water, etc., and the ability of the Government to address these issues is complicated by high levels of internal and external migration that are not well understood.
To date, the paucity of household-level information has been a constraining factor in the design, implementation and evaluation of economic and social programs in Albania. Multi-purpose household surveys are one of the main sources of information to determine living conditions and measure the poverty situation of a country, and provide an indispensable tool to assist policymakers in monitoring and targeting social programs.
Two recent surveys carried out by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) – the 1998 Living Conditions Survey (LCS) and the 2000 Household Budget Survey (HBS) – drew attention, once again, to the need for accurately measuring household welfare according to wellaccepted standards, and for monitoring these trends on a regular basis. In spite of their narrow scope and limitations, these two surveys have provided the country with an invaluable training ground towards the development of a permanent household survey system to support the government strategic planning in its fight against poverty.
In the process leading to its first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP; also known in Albania as Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, GPRS), the Government of Albania reinforced its commitment to strengthening its own capacity to collect and analyze on a regular basis the information it needs to inform policy-making.
In its first phase (2001-2006), this monitoring system will include the following data collection instruments: (i) Population and Housing Census; (ii) Living Standards Measurement Surveys every 3 years, and (iii) annual panel surveys.
The Population and Housing Census (PHC) conducted in April 2001, provided the country with a much needed updated sampling frame which is one of the building blocks for the household survey structure.
The focus during this first phase of the monitoring system is on a periodic LSMS (in 2002 and 2005), followed by panel surveys on a sub-sample of LSMS households (in 2003, 2004 and 2006), drawing heavily on the 2001 census information. The possibility to include a panel component in the second LSMS will be considered at a later stage, based on the experience accumulated with the first panels.
The 2002 LSMS was in the field between April and early July, with some field activities (the community and price questionnaires) extending into August and September. The survey work was undertaken by the Living Standards unit of INSTAT, with the technical assistance of the World Bank. The present document provides detailed information on this survey. Section II summarizes the content of the survey instruments used. Section III focuses on the details of the sample design. Sections IV describes the pilot test and fieldwork procedures of the survey, as well as the training received by survey staff. Section V reviews data entry and data cleaning issues. Finally, section VI contains a series of annotations that all those interested in using the data should read.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Relationship to head of household, age, marital status and identification of spouses, ethnicity and religion, actual presence in the household over one year period, identification of actual household members as defined in the survey
Migration Information on whether each household member is originally from the municipality, whether they have moved to and from the municipality, for how long and for what reasons, with particular detail for the period since 1997. Questions on the intention or failed attempts to migrate are also asked to members over 15 years of age
Dwelling, utilities and durable goods
Part A. Dwelling: type, construction, age, conditions, size, length of residence, number and use of rooms, ownership, (potential or actual) rent, availability of services (toilets, garage, etc.).
Part B. Utilities: Access, quality and cost of water, central heating, electricity and other energy and fuel sources, and telephone.
Part C. Durables: Ownership, description, age and value of household durable goods (TV, refrigerator, car, etc.)
Part A. Pre-school: Attendance, type of school, costs.
Part B. School: Reading ability, school attendance, level and grades completed, highest diploma obtained, school attended (attendance, quality, costs, distance, scholarships), reasons for not attending/enrolling,
Part. A. General health status: Occurrence of chronic and sudden illnesses, subjective health assessment, use and cost of health services (including hospitals) and medicines.
Part B. Access to health care: Ability (including financial) to access health services as needed person
Part A. Maternity history: Children born from each woman in the household, and information on their age, residence, sex, schooling
Part B. Reproductive health: Detailed information on the children born in the last three years, including consultations with health specialists, weight at birth, breastfeeding
Part A. Labor force participation: Current employment status and efforts to find job if unemployed
Part B. Overview last 7 days: Occupation(s) in the last 7 days, and weeks worked in the same occupation(s) over last 12 months
Part C. Main and secondary job in the last 7 days: workplace, length of current occupation, type of work/employment, social security, earnings and benefits
Part D. Main job in last 12 months: Jobs in last 12 months (type of work/employment, social security, earnings and benefits, etc.), or reason to stop working.
Transfers and social assistance
Part A. Transfers from others: Source, use, and magnitude of transfers from persons or institutions, including remittances
Part B. Transfers to others: Destination, use, and magnitude of transfers to persons or institutions
Part C. Social assistance: Payments received and eligibility to transfers from various sources of social assistance, arrears
Subjective assessment of the household financial situation in absolute and relative/comparative terms; self-reported household income; subjective assessment of the household ability to meet basic needs; self-assessment of own position on a poverty ladder; overall satisfaction and concerns/prospect about the future
Part A. Past 30 days: Value of purchases of 14 frequent nonfood items (personal care, fuels, alcohol and cigarettes, etc.) with one additional open category ('other')
Part B. Past 6 months: Value of purchases of 17 less frequent nonfood items (clothing, household articles books etc.) with one additional open category ('other')
Part C. Past 12 months: Value of purchases of 14 infrequent nonfood items (house and vehicle maintenance, holidays, ceremonies etc.) with one additional open category ('other')
Part A1. Own plots: Size and quality of own agricultural land, crops planted, method of acquisition and legal title, estimated value
Part A2. Plot rented in: Size and quality of agricultural land, crops planted, sharecropping, rent paid
Part A3. Plot rented out: Size and quality of agricultural land, method of acquisition and legal title, estimated value, sharecropping, rent earned
Part B. Machinery: Type, quantity, (shared) ownership, estimated current value
Part C. Crops: Area harvested by crop, amount harvested, unit price received
Part D. Inputs: Quantity used and amount spent, source
Part E. Livestock: Animals owned by type, sales and earnings, veterinary and input expenditure
Part F. Livestock products: Earnings obtained (if sold)
Part A. List of nonfarm enterprises
Part B. General information: Type, where operated, ownership details, (share of) profits earned by household, (members and non-members) employment
Part C. Revenues and operation: Days operated, revenues, self-consumption, length of and revenues from operation over 12 month period
Part D & E. Expenditure and assets: input expenditure assets per enterprise
Other income Income from rents, sales of assets, inheritance, gambling, and 'other'
Part A. Children under 60 months: Age, height and weight
Part B: Adults aged 40-60: Age, height, weight
Respondent characteristics Name, age, sex, position, schooling, length of presence in the community. In urban areas also name of community and population.
Basic characteristics of the community
Definition of the community and population (rural areas), housing and living conditions, main problems, transport access types available
Access to public services
3A. Community infrastructure and transportation: School, health, communications, other services
3B. Education services: New schools, number of teachers, number of pupils, number of days operating
3C. Health: Availability of health center, number of days open, equipment, personnel
3D. Quality of public transport services: Improved/worsened, main problems, frequency
4A. Service availability, quality, coverage – General: Electricity, public lights, sewage, garbage, phones, mail, police
4B. Service quality – Specific: Sewage and garbage collection
5A. Organizations: Presence of committees or organizations within the community
5B. Collective actions: Community meetings and coordinated action to solve community problems; who works most to solve community problems, knowledge of Albania PRSP
Community safety Drug abuse, crimes
Migration Migration from and to the community
Child labor Number of under 15 who work, type of employment (family or otherwise), school attendance
Problems related to the environment
Problems with insects, parasites etc.; diseases; unsafe garbage disposal, polluting activities
Credit Sources of credit (formal and informal); prevailing interest rate
Domains: Tirana, other urban, rural; Agro-ecological areas (coastal, central, mountain)
Producers and sponsors
Institute of Statistics of Albania
The World Bank
The Republic of Albania is divided geographically into 12 Prefectures (Prefekturat). The latter are divided into Districts (Rrethet) which are, in turn, divided into Cities (Qyteti) and Communes (Komunat). The Communes contain all the rural villages and the very small cities. For the April 2001 General Census of Population and Housing census purposes, the cities and the villages were divided into Enumeration Areas (EAs). These formed the basis for the LSMS sampling frame.
The EAs in the frame are classified by Prefecture, District, City or Commune. The frame also contains, for every EA, the number of Housing Units (HUs), the number of occupied HUs, the number of unoccupied HUs, and the number of households. Occupied dwellings rather than total number of dwellings were used since many census EAs contain a large number of empty dwellings. The Housing Unit (defined as the space occupied by one household) was taken as the sampling unit, instead of the household, because the HU is more permanent and easier to identify in the field.
A detailed review of the list of census EAs shows that many have zero population. In order to obtain EAs with a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 120 occupied housing units, the EAs with zero population were first removed from the sampling frame. Then, the smallest EAs (with less than 50 HU) were collapsed with geographically adjacent ones and the largest EAs (with more than 120 HU) were split into two or more EAs. Subsequently, maps identifying the boundaries of every split and collapsed EA were prepared
Sample Size and Implementation
Since the 2002 LSMS had been conducted about a year after the April 2001 census, a listing operation to update the sample EAs was not conducted. However, given the rapid speed at which new constructions and demolitions of buildings take place in the city of Tirana and its suburbs, a quick count of the 75 sample EAs was carried out followed by a listing operation. The listing sheets prepared during the listing operation became the sampling frame for the final stage of selection.
The final sample design for the 2002 LSMS included 450 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) and 8 households in each PSU, for a total of 3600 households. Four reserve units were selected in each sample PSU to act as replacement unit in non-response cases. In a few cases in which the rate of migration was particularly high and more than four of the originally selected households could not be found for the interview, additional households for the same PSU were randomly selected. During the mplementation of the survey there was a problem with the management of the questionnaires for a household that had initially refused, but later accepted, to fill in the food diary. The original household questionnaire was lost in the process and it was not possible to match the diary with a valid household questionnaire. The household had therefore to be dropped from the sample (this happened in Shkoder, PSU 16). The final sample size is therefore of 3599 households.
The sampling frame was divided in four regions (strata), Coastal Area, Central Area, and Mountain Area, and Tirana (urban and other urban). These four strata were further divided into major cities, other urban, and other rural. The EAs were selected proportionately to the number of housing units in these areas.
In the city of Tirana and its suburbs, implicit stratification was used to improve the efficiency of the sample design. The implicit stratification was performed by ordering the EAs in the sampling frame in a geographic serpentine fashion within each stratum used for the independent selection of EAs.
The sample is not self-weighted. In order to obtain correct estimates the data need to be weighted. A file with household weights is included in the dataset (filename: weights.dta, variable: weight). When using individual rather than household variables an individual weight should be created by multiplying the household weight by the household size.
The survey is representative for Tirana, other urban and rural areas, as well as for Tirana and the three main agro-ecological/economic areas (Coastal, Central and Mountain).
Selection of households
Twelve valid households (HH's) were selected systematically and with equal probability from the Listing Forms in Tirana and 12 housing units (HU's) from census forms in the other areas. Once the 12 HH's were selected, 4 of them were chosen at random and kept as reserve units. During the fieldwork, the enumerator only received the list of the first eight HH's plus a reserve HH. Each time the enumerator needed an additional reserve HH, she had to ask the supervisor and explain the reason why the reserve unit was needed. This process helped determine the reason why reserve units were used and provided more control on their use.
If a HH was not able to have its enumeration completed, the enumerator used the first reserve unit. Full documentation was required of every non-completed interview. If in one PSU more than 4 HH selected were invalid, other units from that PSU were randomly selected by the Central Office as replacement units to keep the enumerator load constant and maintain a uniform sample size in each PSU. This only occurred in a couple of cases.
For the listing of the 75 selected PSU's in Tirana, the census data and the EA maps were used as a base, and then buildings that had been added or demolished since the census were identified. For the PSUs that had buildings added, new lines were added to the listing to reflect each new housing unit before the 8 HH's and 4 reserve were selected. The HU's identified as invalid (because they had become vcant, non-residential, or had been demolished) were removed from the frame.
In Albania it is possible to find more than one household in one housing unit. In Tirana, where the census forms that formed the basis of the listing for the 2002 LSMS listed the households as opposed to the housing units, each line in the listing sheet was made to correspond with one and only one household, so that every household can have the same probability of being selected as any other household. In the rest of the country, where the census listing of housing units was used, interviewers were instructed to ask at the outset if there was more than one household in the housing unit (with the definition that a household sleeps under the same roof and pools resources for eating (eats out of the same pot)). In the few cases where there was more than one household in the HU, enumerators were instructed to randomly select one household (e.g. by flipping a coin) and interview the household thus chosen. A full description of the original sample design by the sampling consultant, Armando Levinson, can be found in a separate document. Also, details on the actual field implementation are contained in a separate spreadsheet.
Four survey instruments were used to collect information for the 2002 Albania LSMS: a household questionnaire, a diary for recording household food consumption, a community questionnaire, and a price questionnaire. The household questionnaire included all the core LSMS modules as defined in Grosh and Glewwe (2000), plus additional modules on migration, fertility, subjective poverty, agriculture, and nonfarm enterprises. Geographical referencing data on the longitude and latitude of each household were also recorded using portable GPS devices.
Geo-referencing will enable a more efficient spatial link among the different surveys of the system, as well as between the survey households and other geo-referenced information. Given the panel nature of the poverty monitoring system, geo-referencing is also an important tool for facilitating the tracking of households in future surveys.
The choice of the modules was aimed at matching as much as possible the specificity of Albania in terms of data needs, as driven by pressing policy questions. Their design (e.g. questions asked, their sequence, units and time-frames used) was also adapted to fit the Albanian reality. Household membership in this survey is defined as being away from the household for less than six months. Deceased individuals, lodgers, hired workers and servants are never considered household members. Guests who stay with the household for six months and over, infants of less than six months, new arrivals (such as newly weds) are considered household members. The household head was counted as a household member if he or she had been away less than 12 months, rather than the 6 month limit for anyone else absent.
The questionnaire was divided in two sections, and was administered to households in two visits, one section per visit. During the second visit the interviewer would also collect additional information of use for the future tracking of the household in the next waves of the panel. This information was collected on a sheet provided for this purpose at the beginning of Section 2 in the main questionnaire.
The Diary for Recording Daily Household Consumption (also known as the booklet) was left in the household by the interviewer during the first visit for the household to compile, and collected during the second visit. Upon collection, interviewers took care of checking the entries (also with the help of a checklist provided at the end of the booklet) and correct them as appropriate with the help of the most knowledgeable person in the household. The diary consists of:
A. A cover page (for metadata information);
B. Instructions for the household on how to record consumption;
C. Fourteen (i.e. one per day) three-part sections for the recording of (1) food products purchased daily; (2) non-purchased food products consumed by the household (e.g. from
own production or payments in kind); (3) food eaten outside the home (e.g. at work, in restaurants);
D. A checklist for use by the interviewer with a list of the 14 main food products consumed in Albania.
A specific column was provided for the interviewers (not the household) to record the ‘reference period’ for bulk purchases of food. Whenever large quantities of a specific item were recorded, the interviewer asked the household –upon collecting the diary- to specify the expected period over which the said quantity would be consumed.
The last section of the diary, the checklist, was compiled by the interviewer, with the help of the household most knowledgeable person, upon collection of the diary. Interviewers were instructed to check, for 14 main food staples, whether any consumption of the item had been recorded in the diary. Whenever an item had not been recorded the interviewer would ask the respondent to report whether the item (a) had not been used in the 14 day period, or (b) had been consumed but the household had forgotten to record its consumption, or else (c) had been consumed by the household drawing on stocks purchased or produced outside the 14 day period.
If the inclusion of an item had simply been forgotten the interviewer would then fill the appropriate section of the diary by asking the household to recall the details of that onsumption. If the household reported consuming an item purchased before the beginning of the 14 day period, then information on the frequency of purchase, quantity, unit of measure and value of the purchase were recorded in the columns provided to this end in the checklist.
Data users should therefore make sure of using the checklist, as well as column 7 in the table on daily purchases, to supplement the food consumption information included in the main part of the food diary. Extra care should be exercised when using this information because it appears that in practice the use of the checklist has not been consistent across interviewers. Some interviewers have recorded information in the checklist columns 4-7 even in cases where the purchase had taken place in the 14 days but its inclusion had been forgotten. In some other cases information on the same items are found both in the checklist and in the main part of the diary (purchase and own-production).
The Community Questionnaire had two slightly different formats in urban and rural areas. Essentially the same information was collected although a few questions do not appear in the same sequence in both versions of the questionnaire. These are essentially the questions on the population and name of the community, which appear in Section 1A in the urban version and in Section 2 in the rural version. When using data from these questions the analyst should make sure of integrating information that appears in different variables in the dataset. In a few cases in which a question did not make sense in an urban context the question was only asked in rural communities. All such differences are easily identified by comparing the questionnaires, and have also been shaded in the urban version to make it easier to identify them.
In rural areas the community was normally defined as a village and the inhabited area surrounding it. In urban areas the definition was less straightforward, and it was decided on a case by case basis by the core team and the supervisors with the objective of selecting areas that would be understood as communities by the respondents, from time to time adopting boundaries matching those of traditional neighborhoods, or administrative partitions of the urban areas (the baskhia or sector). In Tirana the community was identified with the mini-bashkia level of the administrative partition of the city.
The supervisors were instructed to administer the questionnaire to a group of persons reputed to be best informed about each module within a community (e.g. teachers for the education questions, doctors or hospital managers for health related ones). Whenever possible, the questionnaire was administered in groups and the prevailing response (in case of differing views) was recorded. When this was not possible, respondents were interviewed separately. In a majority of cases, however, the questionnaire was in practice administered to only one respondent, generally an elected or appointed community leader.
The fourth survey instrument used was the price questionnaire. The price questionnaire was sent out with the community questionnaires to the districts. However, while the 'rural version' of the community questionnaire was ready at the same time as the main household questionnaire, the 'urban version' was only finalized a few weeks later. Price data for the rural communities have therefore been collected at the same time as the household data. In urban areas prices were collected in the following weeks and as late as September. Given the low level of inflation this should hardly pose problems of comparability. The date of the community (and hence price) data collections are included in the dataset.
Data for 96 different items were collected in each community. Prices were generally collected in only one outlet, except for about twenty urban communities for which two or three price observations are available. Thirteen of the latter are urban areas in which the monthly price data collection regularly done by INSTAT for the consumer price index was used.
The coding for the survey made use of ISCO 88 and NACE codes for employment and industry activities respectively, and of COICOP codes for the food item recorded in the 14 day diary.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Notes
The questionnaire was field tested in February 2002 in Korca, Shkodra and Durres by the core INSTAT team and the local teams, with the assistance of international consultants and World Bank staff. The pilot testing covered all sections except food consumption (section 10), anthropometrical measurements (section 15), and Other Income (section 14), which had not been completed at the time.
The pilot was done by three teams, one per region, which tested the 12 modules that were ready for testing, and did additional testing on the more complicated modules. The south team tested the agricultural module, the north team the non-farm enterprise module, and the team in Durres the labor module.
The questionnaire was then updated following the results of the testing. The agriculture module had fairly major changes in structure and questions, and it was tested again after the changes were implemented.
The enumerator training began on March 18 and finished on April 8, one week in Tirana and two weeks near Durres. Each training week was organized with five days of classroom training and one day of hands-on fieldwork practice. Both the classroom training and the fieldwork practice served also as pilot tests for the questionnaires, that were revised as the training proceeded. Approximately 100 people took part in the training. The training also covered logistics, the use of the GPS devices, and the plans for the fieldwork, including replacements, the numbering of PSU's and households, instructions on revisiting households. The supervisors received an additional 45 minute specific training session each day, plus and extra day of training in Tirana on April 12, shortly before the beginning of the survey work in the field on April 15. The training for the supervisors was organized in three parts: One on the community questionnaire, its design and how to administer it. The second part covered the plans for the field work, the use of the household tracking sheets, how to properly track the reasons for replacements, how to structure the visits to the PSU's, the food diary questionnaire, and the second visit to the households. The third part of the supervisor training was another session on using the GPS's, to reinforce what had been learned on the last two days of the enumerator training. At the end of the supervisors training, all the equipment was handed out to each supervisor and driver, and questionnaires and food booklets for use during the first week on the field were given out. Training for the data entry operators (DEO’s) ran from April 12 to April 16th. DEO’s were trained on the use of the custom data entry program developed in CS-Pro for this survey.
By early February, the selection of PSU’s for the LSMS had been completed except for those in Tirana, i.e. for 375 of the 450 total PSU’s. At this stage a preliminary division of the PSU’s into team responsibilities was made. Eventually, the field staff was organized into 20 teams, four of which were in Tirana. Each team had one supervisor and, generally, three enumerators. Some remote districts had one enumerator in each area of the district (in Korca, for instance, there were four enumerators, each in a different area), while other districts that have a particularly large number of PSU's also employed a greater number of enumerators (in Fier, for instance, there were 4 full-time enumerators to complete the 33 PSU's in that district).
The supervisors were all chosen from permanent INSTAT staff, and almost all had experience in supervising surveys on the field. Supervisors from within the regional INSTAT offices were identified for the 16 teams outside Tirana, and each regional office then identified enumerators from those who had successfully worked on the 2001 census. The four Tirana teams each had a supervisor, and they in turn were supervised by a Tirana head supervisor. Each team also included a data entry operator and a driver. The supervisors were given the list of PSU’s to be completed , and then were free to schedule the visits to each household as they wished, with the only general constraint that rural PSU’s should be completed first, then the urban ones. For each PSU the supervisors were given a large envelope with the 8 questionnaires, a tracking sheet listing the households to be interviewed, with one reserve household listed on the tracking form, a listing sheet for the supervisor of the 12 selected families including the 4 reserve households, and a map of the corresponding census EA.
Each listing sheet for a selected EA included the following information:
Name of the district
Name of the commune
Name of the city
Identification of the EA based on the 2001 Census Frame
Cartographic address (building, entrance, apartment, nr. of family inside the apartment)
Postal address (building, entrance, apartment)
Code identifying a selected HU or a reserve unit
Each tracking form included the following information:
Name of the commune
Identification of EA based on 2001 Census Frame
Names of the heads of households for the selected housing units
Space for explanation by the enumerator of the reason why it was not possible to complete any of the household interviews
In order to control more closely the number of reserve households that were used, the enumerators received only the name of the first reserve household on the tracking sheets. If the enumerator needed more than one replacement household, he had to return to the supervisor to explain why more than one replacement was needed. The enumerator had to write a full reason on the tracking sheet for the replacement – and these reasons were verified and kept in the central office in Tirana in a continuously updated Excel sheet. This process helped ensure the reason for using a reserve unit was documented and provided more control on their use.
The only exception to this practice was for remote mountain villages, where the access was difficult, and it was decided to provide all four replacement names to the enumerator before the first visit. Out-migration from these villages is fast, and even in the year since the census many dwellings had become vacant. In four PSU’s (one of them urban) more than the four reserve families initially selected turned out to be needed. In these cases, extra housing units were randomly chosen from the remaining housing units in the EA.
Identification of the selected households in the field was made by using the head of household names for all the rural PSU’s, because this was the only reliable method to identify the selected housing units when there were no street addresses. However, the enumerators were trained to understand that the name of the head of household was used to identify the proper housing unit, but it was the housing unit that was selected. For instance, if the listed household head was Arbur Rexhepi, but at the enumeration visit another family was found in the housing unit, as long as the enumerator could determine that this was the HU in which the family of Arbur Rexhepi had lived at the time of the census, it was clear that this was the proper HU, and the enumeration continued with the family in the HU at the time of the visit.
For the urban PSU's, since there are explicit addresses for the selected dwellings, it was initially deemed not necessary to use the names of the household heads for identification. However, as confusion and inconsistencies started to arise in urban areas at the beginning of the fieldwork, household head names were used in urban areas as well, to control the urban PSU's more carefully, and also make the selected HU very clear. Having the list of household head names in urban areas also removed the necessity of letting the enumerators choose which of several families to interview in a selected housing unit, because the family had already been selected and
could be identified by the name of the head.
The fieldwork started on April 15, with close supervision from the core team at INSTAT Tirana head office. By April 27, 13 of the 16 rural teams were visited by the supervising Tirana team- Kukes and Gjirokaster, were visited in the week of April 29. Tropoje was not visited directly as the head office INSTAT staff did not feel safe to visit this region, and instead the Tropoje supervisor went with the completed questionnaires to Tirana. The local staff from Tropoje did not however report security problems during the data collection The enumeration was completed in two visits – the first, to complete Part 1 of the questionnaire, and to explain the food booklet that was left with the household, and the second visit at least two weeks later to collect the food booklet and to complete Part 2 of the questionnaire. The core team also paid additional visits to those enumerators whose questionnaire seemed to contain a higher number of errors - but overall the enumerators seemed to be willing and diligent.
In Tirana some families accepted to have the main questionnaire administered, but did not want to complete the 14 day food diary. In some cases these were families with only elderly people who did not feel they could properly keep the diary. In these cases the enumerators were instructed to try to obtain assistance from neighbors who came into the households and filled out the food diaries for the respondents. In several cases with older persons in urban areas, the enumerators returned every few days to help the respondents keep the diaries up. Supervisors visited and discussed personally with the households all cases where the household had refused to complete a questionnaire with the enumerator.
The rural enumeration was finished by the third week of June and the urban enumeration was completed by first week of July 2002.
The supervisors completed most of the community and price questionnaires for the rural areas in parallel with the household enumeration, but worked on the urban community questionnaires and price questionnaires mostly after the urban enumeration of households was completed – in July. The community data collection was finalized in September.
The food diaries were sent to Tirana as soon as they were completed in the field. Data coders began coding the food booklets. The coding of all the food booklets was completed by a small staff in Tirana to guarantee consistency.
The monitoring of the entire fieldwork process was ensured by the core team in Tirana, maintaining constant contact with the supervisors by telephone, tracking the progress and keeping apprised of any problems, and traveling to the field as necessary. Household replacements were also constantly monitored as the fieldwork continued, to make sure that replacements be kept at a minimum. In Tirana, where the refusal rate was higher than elsewhere, one of the field supervisors or a core team member revisited with the supervisor many of the households who had refused.
Besides the checks built-in in the DE program and those performed on the preliminary versions of the dataset as it was building up, and additional round of in depth checks on the household questionnaire and the food diary was performed in late September and early October in Tirana. Wherever possible data entry errors or inconsistencies in the dataset were spotted, the original questionnaires or diary were retrieved and the information contained therein checked. Changes were made to the August version of the dataset as needed and the dataset was finalized in October.
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