The Use of Random Geographic Cluster Sampling to Survey Pastoralists


Livestock are an important component of rural livelihoods in developing countries, but data about this source of income and wealth are difficult to collect because of the nomadic and semi-nomadic nature of many pastoralist populations. Most household surveys exclude those without permanent dwellings, leading to undercoverage. This study explores the use of a random geographic cluster sample as an alternative to the household-based sample. In this design, points are randomly selected and all eligible respondents found inside circles drawn around the selected points are interviewed. This approach should eliminate undercoverage of mobile populations. The results of a random geographic cluster sample survey are presented with a total sample size of 784 households to measure livestock ownership in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 2012. The paper explores the data quality of the random geographic cluster sample relative to a recent household survey and discusses the implementation challenges.


Himelein, K.; Eckman, S.; Murray, S. The Use of Random Geographic Cluster Sampling to Survey Pastoralists. The World Bank, Washington DC, USA (2013) ii + 23 pp.

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