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LSMS: Answering Survey

Survey Documentation

The survey process requires the development of a series of documents other than the questionnaire. It may be useful for those writing such documents to refer to existing examples. The LSMS team maintains archives of documents related to each stage of LSMS surveys, which are available for download. Most materials are available in the language of the country where the survey was conducted; some are available in English as well. In addition to questionnaires, we have three other types of documents available, as described below:

Manuals for Field Staff

Manuals for field staff are important in ensuring the quality of field work and the resulting data. LSMS manuals explain in detail the tasks of each field worker, and contain explicit standards for some quality control procedures (for example, the number of interviews to be observed or verified by supervisors). Definitions of key terms and of variables not coded in the questionnaire may be found here as well. See the following examples:

Basic Information Documents

In order for potential analysts to acquire and make use of survey data, adequate documentation must be prepared. It should explain the content of the questionnaires, the design of the sample, the structure of the data sets, and how any constructed variables placed in public use files were constructed. See the following examples:


The abstract is the first summary output of survey results. It often serves an important advertising function in demonstrating that a data set is available for further analysis. Abstracts vary in: i) the use of constructed variables such as household income or consumption; ii) the use of graphs, charts, and multiple fonts; and iii) the intended audience.

Last updated: 2014-12-12

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