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The commodity chain of the household: From survey design to policy planning

Ernestina E. Coast, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Sara Randall, University College London
Tiziana Leone, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Beth Bishop, University College London

Household surveys are essential tools for the production of data and information for policy design and planning interventions in developing countries. However, little attention is paid by commissioners, producers and consumers of data from household surveys to the issue of what the household unit used in the survey is, how it is defined, and what this definition might means for analysis, interpretation and, ultimately, policy planning. This project uses qualitative interview methods to systematically identify the extent of difference between the 'household' used in national household surveys and locally meaningful terms for social units. In-depth interviews identify how data producers and users understand the term 'household'. The differences between survey and local conceptions of households are subjected to a series of scenario models for a range of development indicators in order to provide substantive evidence of the impact of household definition on survey measurement and validity.

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Presented in Session 45: Methodological issues in measuring poverty and human welfare