Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata
4.1 Metadata (World Bank)

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. With input and support of the Bank's Data Group, version 2.5 of the DDI Codebook specification was released by the DDI Alliance in 2011. In 2012, the data Group will support the development/upgrade of software applications compliant with this new version of the metadata standard.

4.3 Data sources (World Bank)
4.3.3 Household surveys (World Bank)
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. ( IHSN advocates better survey planning, promotes harmonization and development of data collection instruments, provides survey data dissemination tools and guidelines, and maintains a central survey and census catalogue. The IHSN is developing a new version of its survey catalog. In 2012, a new survey catalog, compliant with the DDI metadata standard, will be launched. The catalog will cover all low and middle-income countries. The World Bank has developed a Survey Data Dissemination Toolkit, in cooperation with IHSN, aiming to provide developing countries with software and guidelines for proper preservation, documentation and dissemination of survey micro data. The Toolkit is based on the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard. The Toolkit is by a large number of agencies in over 60 countries. The World Bank, in partnership with PARIS21, is providing training and technical support to statistical agencies and other national and regional data producers and curators on the use of the DDI standard. In 2012, this technical support program is expected to cover an increasing number of countries in Easter Europe and Central Asia.

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. This work will continue in 2012, in collaboration or coordination with European-based agencies (EUROSTAT, OECD, University of Vienna, and others).

The World Bank and IHSN will continue the development of methodological guidelines related to the implementation of household surveys and the use of survey data. These guidelines will include i) the documentation of microdata management and dissemination good practices; ii) a global assessment of the relevance of household food consumption survey data, with recommendations for improving data collection methods (with FAO), and iii) guidelines for the implementation of the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) in the specific context of household survey implementation.

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 database 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 metadata 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.

• 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. The goal is to foster increased use of household data as a basis for policy decision-making. The LSMS is working to develop new methods to monitor progress in raising levels of living, to identify the consequences for households of past and proposed government policies, and to improve communications between survey statisticians, analysts, and policy makers. A variety of printed and electronic materials are also available to survey planners and analysts. Several of these are:
i) the 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.
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 88 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, Serbia, and Tajikistan. For more information, visit the LSMS site.

4.5 Dissemination, data warehousing (World Bank)

The Development Data Group of the World Bank uses the following systems for data retrieval and dissemination:

• As part of the World Bank's new open data initiative (ODI), the Bank launched a new website in April 2010 to provide free, open and easy access to over 5,000 indicators in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Arabic. Visitors to the site can easily find, download, manipulate, use, and re-use the data compiled by the World Bank, without restrictions. They can also take advantage of graph and mapping tools. Over the past year more World Bank datasets, such as for example, Climate Change, Projects and Operations, Finance and Microdata have been added to the data repositories that have joined the ODI. The site allows individuals, groups, and organizations to create applications, programs, visualizations, and other tools that will help monitor and measure progress of various development initiatives and projects. Additionally, the data can be used to create new and innovative solutions for international development, helping with the World Bank's mission to reduce poverty across the globe. One of the components of the new Open Data is the data retrieval system called the DataBank providing access to about 30 databases. The Data Bank is the external version of what we have as an internal Bank system, DDP (see below for information on DDP). Some of the links available from the DataBank on various topical databases include:
   - Gender at;
   - Education at;
   - Health-Nutrition-Population HNPStats at;
   - Etc.

•  Development Data Platform (DDP), a web-based statistical data collection and dissemination system,providing access to many databases under one umbrella.

• 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 system is especially useful for any organization with a need to publish statistical data on the web.

• 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

• As part of the World Bank's new Access to Information Policy and building on the success of the Open Data initiative the Mapping for Results Platform was launched on October 7th, 2010 by the World Bank Institute and AidData in partnership with various World Bank departments (AFTSD, LCSDE, DECDG, OPCS) to geo-reference and visualize the geographic location of World Bank financed projects and international aid programs at the sub-national level. See

•  The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) web site provides access to documentation and data from LSMS surveys done in all regions, including ECE Region.

• The World Bank Microdata Library ( provides access to survey and census data and metadata. The number of surveys and censuses listed in this catalog is expected to grow significantly in 2012.

•  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 new version of the World Bank's DataFinder 2.5 is now available for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad at Apple's App Store. This application is part of the World Bank's Open Data Initiative to make development data more accessible and easier to use. This is an offline application and does not require a 3G or WiFi connection to the World Bank's Open Data website. Users can are presented with a pre-selected set of indicators for a country/country grouping or for a thematic topic (e.g. environment, gender, trade etc.). Data can be charted or viewed on an animated map. Users can also select a development indicator from a list of over 200 and view it for all countries. Users can also compare indicators for two countries. All tables, charts, maps can be shared via email or via social media software such Facebook and Twitter.

• The DataFinder 3.0 mobile app will be released in January 2012 on three platforms - iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry. Besides having all the features of the DataFinder 2.5 described above, the DataFinder 3.0 has an Advanced Query Feature that allows users to create their own data tables and charts from 50 years of World Bank data on more than 1,100 global social and economic indicators for over 200 countries/economies and country groups - all of which can be used in presentations, projects, and shared via email. it also contains improved visualizations including a map with zoom-in features. Since the launch of the first DataFinder application, major improvements have been made, including the ability to switch between tables, lines and bar charts; view data in tabular forms; display charts with more than one country and more than one indicator; navigate forward/backward between countries and indicators, etc. will be downloadable in 2012 from Apple, Google and the Blackberry stores.

•  EdStats has just launched the World Bank EdStats DataFinder, the new iPhone/iPad application. This free app is a comprehensive mobile data and analysis source for key topics in education with over 2,000 education indicators for more than 200 countries and regional/income groups. The app's Data tab allows one to conduct a fast, customized data query, chart/ visualize the resulting data, and share the data. The Book tab presents a data profile of a selected country, region or income group. The EdStats DataFinder holds data on Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary education from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS); Learning Outcomes from international learning assessments including PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS, LLECE, PASEC, and SACMEQ; Education Equity from DHS and MICS household surveys; Education Expenditures and Teachers from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS); etc.

•  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.

• For WITS and Trade visualizers, see section 2.6.