The DHS Program User Forum
Discussions regarding The DHS Program data and results
Home » Countries » Nigeria » "Work at or away from home" Variable Question
"Work at or away from home" Variable Question [message #12787] Thu, 13 July 2017 09:46 Go to next message
rachel.wilder5 is currently offline  rachel.wilder5
Messages: 1
Registered: July 2017

I am a research intern at the Urban Institute. A researcher here had previously used data from Nigeria's 2008 DHS to analyze the relationship between working outside the home and empowerment for Nigerian women, and I am involved in a project to update that analysis with the 2013 data as well as extend it to other countries.

The variable of interest that was used in the previous analysis was V721, whether the respondent works at home or away from home. This was important since the research was drawing on the theory that it is not just working, but working outside the husband's farm, that leads to empowerment. However, that question was dropped from the core questionnaire for DHS VI. We would really appreciate some insight into why the question was dropped, as well as any recommendation as to how we could use the data from the new survey to identify the women that work away from the home.

Thank you,
Re: "Work at or away from home" Variable Question [message #13185 is a reply to message #12787] Sun, 01 October 2017 21:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 1516
Registered: February 2013
Senior Member
Dear User,
Do you still need assistance with this post?
Thank you!
Re: "Work at or away from home" Variable Question [message #14000 is a reply to message #13185] Thu, 01 February 2018 13:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 1516
Registered: February 2013
Senior Member
A response from Dr. Kia Reinis:

Hello Rachel,

We see that no one has replied to your post, so in case a reply may also still be helpful to you or others:
It is true that the question asked of women: "Do you usually work at home or away from home" was dropped from the DHS6 Model Questionnaires. That it continued to be asked in the 2013 NDHS was likely the choice of our colleagues in Nigeria. The question was introduced to DHS Model Questionnaires in DHS3, and retained in DHS3-DHS5.

Regarding why it is not included in DHS6 or DHS7 Model Questionnaires is similar to the rationale for dropping other questions that dropped: the result of a continual balancing act between making room for new questions while retaining the most widely used questions (the latter often determined by whether they feed into indicators of international interest). That being said, questions may be included that are specifically of national interest; every survey undergoes a questionnaire review process in country, with all major stakeholders, and the final questionnaires that are fielded are the result of those negotiations.

The DHS questionnaires have nearly doubled in size over the lifespan of the DHS project as a result of the program responding to data needs. We regret that the Urban Institute may not be able to have the variable available for data analysis for surveys in which it would be useful to the UI.

The best way to determine whether the data have other information you could use would be to read the questionnaires they are printed as an appendix in final reports.

Thank you for providing the context of your question.

[Updated on: Thu, 01 February 2018 14:09]

Report message to a moderator

Re: "Work at or away from home" Variable Question [message #14604 is a reply to message #12787] Sun, 22 April 2018 15:09 Go to previous message
kingx025 is currently offline  kingx025
Messages: 95
Registered: August 2016
Location: Minneapolis. Minnesota
Senior Member
I'm not sure if this will be helpful, but I can help you identify some other surveys that did include V721, out of the 117 surveys currently included in IPUMS-DSH: ction

Note that a few quite recent surveys, including Egypt 2014, retained this variable, and there are certainly many samples that you could include if you want to extend the analysis to other countries. If you wish to work with multiple samples, you may find it easier to log in at the IPUMS-DHS website ( with your DHS email and password, explore variable availability and variable-specific documentation for variables of interest, and make a customized data file in your preferred format for the variables and samples that interest you.

Miriam King

Dr. Miriam King
IPUMS-DHS Project Manager (
Previous Topic: Exclusive breastfeeding; clarification on the numbers.
Next Topic: Inaccessibility of Nigeria DHS 1999
Goto Forum:

Current Time: Fri Mar 1 12:55:03 Coordinated Universal Time 2024