Together with the International Household Survey Network (IHSN), the World Bank is advocating and supporting the use of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata specification for the documentation and dissemination of microdata.
4.3.3 Household surveys
International Household Survey Network (IHSN)
The World Bank participates in the governing body of the International Household Survey Network (IHSN), established in September 2004 (with various UN agencies, regional development banks, PARIS21, and other bilateral and multilateral partners), and coordinates the IHSN secretariat. (
The World Bank and IHSN have initiated the development of microdata anonymization tools and dissemination guidelines, building on the work by the UN-ECE Task Force on Confidentiality and Microdata.
Living Standards Measurement Survey
Living Standards Measurement Survey Database contains all information on LSMS surveys that have been carried out. Documentation, questionnaires, manuals and other basic information can be downloaded from the site. The actual data can either be downloaded directly from the site (where countries have given permission) or may be requested from the data base manager. Each survey data set contains constructed welfare measures that can be used for poverty analysis. To increase the ease of use and accessibility of the LSMS data sets two new tools are being constructed. The first is a searchable meta data file that allows researchers and analysts to identify those surveys that meet their research needs. A further effort to expand the use of the LSMS data sets is an interactive multi-survey data base that allows for on-the-fly tables and other analyses of the data for those who do not have the skills or time to analyze full household surveys. A test version of this tool has been finalized.
• The World Bank continues to provide assistance in planning, designing, implementing and analyzing the Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) surveys. The LSMS surveys represent one piece of larger, integrated efforts to improve the overall statistical system of each country by providing quality household level data.
The WB ISTAT and the PRSP unit have supported efforts to determine the feasibility of using the HBS to measure welfare in future years.
• Regional work is being carried out in analyzing welfare data and how LSMS and HBS surveys are similar and dissimilar and the implications this has for welfare analysis over time.
• The LSMS group has developed a program of research investigating methodological issues related to the measurement of key concepts, how to improve data quality and ways in which LSMS survey data can be linked to other data bases. In the region, steps have been taken in designing experiments on the measurement of consumption.
• Assistance in planning, designing, implementing and analyzing LSMS surveys is provided by staff in DECRG-Poverty Group. Assistance includes technical advice on all stages of survey work, from deciding on the need for an LSMS survey, how best to design and implement such a survey, to how the resulting data can be analyzed. A variety of printed and electronic materials are also available to survey planners and analysts. Several of these are:
(i ) the recent book on Designing Household Survey Questionnaires for Developing Countries: Lessons from Fifteen years of the LSMS Surveys, that link the policy questions to be answered to the actual data that must be collected. Additional chapters are being added as the new topics become more and more important: draft chapters on energy and transportation have been written;
(ii) a Manual for Planning and Implementing LSMS Surveys, that covers all phases of an LSMS survey, from budgeting, to sampling, field work and data management and analysis;
(iii) examples of questionnaires, manuals and other field work material from all countries where LSMS surveys have been done;
(iv) case studies on how to increase the analytic capacity in country;
(v) databases from more than 60 LSMS surveys.
• Formal training courses on survey design and implementation along with hands-on-training are provided, both within and outside the Bank.
New techniques in small area estimation for poverty mapping are being developed that link census and household survey data. Training in these techniques as well as technical assistance in their implementation is also provided by DECRG-PO.
• The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) web site provides access to documentation and data from LSMS surveys done in the region, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Romania, Russia (link to CPC site), and Tajikistan.
4.5 Dissemination, data warehousing
• The Development Data Group of the World Bank launched the Development Data Platform (DDP), a web-based statistical data collection and dissemination system for its staff. The data delivery is over the internet using secure protocols. The objective was to build an infrastructure to bring many of the statistical databases in the Bank under a data warehouse. Further, through arrangements with other participating organizations/member countries, data from their respective sources could also be made available to a user's query over the internet, provided the user were to have the necessary privileges to access that data. As a first step, socio-economic, external debt and trade indicators and other related Bank/IDA data have been included in this warehouse. An external version of the DDP system, called "DDP Lite" is being developed which would provide limited DDP functionality to other international organizations. This is designed to run on a number of different operating system and server environments.
• A web-based system, Data Platform (DP), is part of the DDP suite of products developed to help clients and partners to manage and disseminate their data based on their preferences and needs. It provides a framework for the use and management of quantitative data and their metadata.
• The Gateway initiative is envisioned as a portal website on development issues, from which users will be able to access information, resources and tools, and into which they will be able to contribute their own knowledge and experience
• Data Query offers free access to a segment of the World Development Indicators (WDI) database. This segment includes 54 time series indicators for 226 countries and country aggregates, from 1960-2007.
• The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) web site provides access to documentation and data from LSMS surveys done in all regions, including ECE Region.
• Data Visualizer, is new visualization tool creating animated charts using the most widely used and official development data. New tools and emerging techniques are providing new opportunities for visualizing data and making it more interesting to users. Adding animation to this only increases its impact. To use this new tool, see
• The World bank Data Finder, in collaboration with Google, features numeric results for 17 World Development Indicators (WDI) sourced to the World. A Google search on these indicators features a box at the top of the page highlighting Bank data and linking to Google's public data graphing tool. Google's graphing tool lets users see and compare country-by-country statistics and offers customized graphs with a 'link' or web address that can be easily embedded and shared in other websites. The Data Finder allows access to indicator definitions, quick facts, interactive maps, and additional World Bank related resources. To see this new tool, see
• Bulletin Board on Statistical Capacity (BBSC) has been developed. It aims to improve measuring and monitoring of statistical capacity of IDA countries in close collaboration with countries and users. The database contains information on various aspects of national statistical systems and includes a country-level statistical capacity indicator based on a set of criteria consistent with international recommendations. To access Country Profiles, click here. To see the site, go to
• Together with the IMF, the World Bank will continue to work on the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) which provides guidelines to the countries in the dissemination of economic, financial and socio-demographic data to the public and establishes a broad framework for countries seeking improvements in their statistical systems. The World Bank has developed guidelines for the preparation of metadata covering the following areas: population, education, health, poverty assessment and monitoring. The World Bank, as part of phase one of this project, in collaboration with the IMF, has been participating in regional seminars and in preparation of the GDDS metadata for participating countries, as well as providing technical support from headquarters or in the field to staff of member countries participating in the GDDS.
4.6 Statistical confidentiality and disclosure protection
Global Development Network (GDN)
• The Global Development Network (GDN) Initiative sponsors and provides information about training and other activities to support broader and better use of microdata in macro- and socio-economic research .