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LSMS: Answering Survey

Data Collection & Research Programs

The LSMS team is conducting a number of data collection and research programs funded with grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department of International Development, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, among various other donors.


Agriculture in Africa: Telling Facts from Myths

The Agriculture in Africa – Telling Facts from Myths project uses the new Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA), conducted in six African countries between 2009 and 2011, to revisit the prevailing conventional wisdom about Africa’s agriculture and the livelihoods of its farmers.

Given rapid growth and urbanisation, high and more volatile world food prices, and a changing climate, Africa’s agriculture operates in a new environment. At the same time, governments, donors and the private sector are taking a keen interest in African agriculture, with billions of dollars being invested. A thorough and updated understanding of African agriculture is needed to guide these investments, establish baselines and inform agricultural policymaking in Africa.

The project is a collaborative effort between the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Cornell University, Yale University and the Maastricht School of Management.

Agriculture and Gender

The LSMS team is leading a 2-year research program funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank, in collaboration with the World Bank’s Africa Region Gender Practice, IFPRI and the FAO. The objective of the program is to update the evidence base on the extent and correlates of gender differences in agricultural productivity across sub-Saharan Africa, based on the available rounds of the LSMS-ISA data and IFPRI case study data from Mozambique and Malawi.

The outputs, in the form of microeconometric research papers, will be published as part of a special issue at Agricultural Economics. The guest editors for the special issue at Agricultural Economics are Talip Kilic, Calogero Carletto and Paul Winters.

The results from the studies were distilled into a capstone report produced by the World Bank's Africa Region Gender Practice in collaboration with the ONE Campaign and the LSMS team; the report is available here.

Agriculture and Nutrition

Funded by a supplemental contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), this research program examines the linkages between nutritional outcomes and the production of crops and livestock by farmers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The program calls for ten empirically-based studies that examine the relationship between producing crops and livestock and the nutritional outcomes of both adults and children across a range of sub-Saharan African and South Asian countries. The individual research papers analyze the different conditions under which own production is likely to be closely linked to farm household nutritional outcomes. The findings from the set of proposed research activities will be relevant for informing agricultural policies designed to enhance productivity and directly improve the nutritional status of farm households.


The LSMS team has a longstanding emphasis on conducting methodological experiments towards improving the quality and efficiency of household survey data collection. In recognition of the LSMS team's experience in the field, the UK Department for International Development provided the team with a grant to conduct methodological validation work in the area of agricultural productivity. The team is also conducting a series of methodological experiments in other key topic areas such as income, consumption and subjective welfare.

Agricultural Productivity Experiments

Other Experiments


Woman planting

Integrated Surveys on Agriculture

The LSMS-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) is a household survey project established with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the LSMS team. Recognizing that existing agricultural data in the region suffers from inconsistent investment, institutional and sectoral isolation, and methodological weakness, the LSMS-ISA project collaborates with the national statistics offices of its eight partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to design and implement systems of multi-topic, nationally representative panel household surveys with a strong focus on agriculture. The primary objective of the project is to foster innovation and efficiency in statistical research on the links between agriculture and poverty reduction in the region.

Last updated: 2016-08-04

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