The Child Activity Survey 2008/09, the second in the series of its kind. The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) conducted the first Sri Lanka Child activity survey (CAS) in 1999. The conduct the survey was sponsored by the International Labour Organization (ILO) through its project, International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
Child Activity Survey was designed to measure the economic activities and also other activities such as leisure, education and housekeeping activities in which average Sri Lankan child is involved.
Key objectives of the survey
- To identify the activity status of children
- To identify the health and safety of the working children
- To identify the perceptions of the parents/guardians of the working child
- To identify the labour force information of all persons of age 10 yrs. and over belonging to the household.
- To identify the housing conditions and family income of the household
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
1. Child aged between 5 and 17 yrs
2. Household where the child lives
Version 1.0: Full edited dataset, original version for internal DPD use.
The 2008 Sri Lanka Child Activity Survey covered the following topics:
- Demographic Characteristics
- Activity Status of Children (for children 5 – 17 years old); Economic Activity, Unemployment, Usual Activity Status, Family work and Usual Residence of Child’s Parents
- Health and Safety (for all children 5 – 17 years, who have worked at any time during last week or during last 12 months)
- Perception of Parents / Guardians of the currently working child (This includes all children in the age group 5 – 17 years who usually live in the household and children who are members of this household but live elsewhere. However, boarders and servants who live in the household are not included in this.)
- All children 5 – 17 years who are living away from the household/family.
- Housing and Household Characteristics.
LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT 
National coverage (excluding Nothern province)
In implementing the Household sample Survey, the DCS experienced limitations in covering the whole of Sri Lanka due to unsettled conditions over a long period in the Northern and the Eastern provinces. However, as the situation in Eastern province improved in late 2006, the DCS was able to extended it's coverage of the survey to the 3 districts of the Eastern province in 2007. The child activity survey thus covered eight, out of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, excluding only the Northern Province on account of the situation that prevailed there in 2007.
Child population in Sri Lanka
Producers and sponsors
Department of Census and Statistics
Ministry of Finance and Planning
International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
Technical advice through ILO/ IPEC project
Mr. Bijoy Raychaudhuri
Coordination of survey activities between the ILO and DCS
Ms. Shyama Salgado
Assistance to Mr. Raychaudhuri in coordinating survey activities between the ILO and DCS
At the time of the Census of Population & Housing - 2001, Sri Lanka (excluding the Northern Province) was divided in to approximately 100,000 enumeration areas (called census blocks) mainly for the convenience of Census enumeration. Before the Census enumeration, all the building units located in these Census blocks are listed and the Census is conducted using the lists of building units prepared. After the Census enumeration, when the computer data files and the Census data are available, a sampling frame, with such 'Census blocks' as primary sampling units (PSU), was constructed. This sampling frame used in the Household Sample Surveys conducted by DCS was updated in 2006, by making adjustments in the frame; in order to accommodate material changes that took place during the period 2001 to 2005. This updated frame was used as the sampling frame for the purpose of child Activity Survey 2008/09.
The survey is based on a national sample of 16,000 households (excluding Northern Province). It should be noted that estimates based on sample surveys are always subject to sampling errors and therefore, it is not possible to obtain estimates at every desired level. Estimates at lower geographical levels such as Province, District, Sector will be provided when such estimates are feasible subject to the relevant sampling errors.
DCS has a District Statistics Office in each district and thus all its statistical activities are coordinated through these District Statistics Offices for administrative convenience with the first stratification used being the district. Further, there are 3 sectors of residence in Sri Lanka, viz (1) Urban (2) Rural and (3) Estate
In a given district, people living in each of these 3 sectors of residence could be considered to have homogeneous characteristics endemic to those sectors while heterogeneous characteristics may be identified among persons of different sectors, in terms of their socio- economic backgrounds. Therefore in a further stratification the districts are further divided by the sector of residence and since there are 20 districts in the survey domain we should have 60 strata altogether. However there are two districts with no identifiable urban sector and 8 districts with no estate sector. Hence we have 50 strata in the sampling frame for the selection of samples.
Primary Sample Allocation and Selection
In order to achieve a sample of 16,000 housing units in the sample, a sample of 1609 census blocks or primary sampling units (PSUs) were selected, as the PSU sample (Later 10 sample housing units from each such PSU were selected to achieve the required ultimate sample of approximately 16,000 housing units). The primary sample of 1609 census blocks were then allocated among the 50 stratums defined earlier, proportionate to the number of housing units in each stratum.
Secondary sample selection
Lists of the building units of the census blocks (PSUs) so selected were sent to the district statistics office for an 'updating operation'. At this updating operation, details of the building units appearing in the lists were updated to accommodate the changes that have taken place (Additions and/or deletions of units or changing the description).
When the updated lists were received at the DCS, Head office, the secondary sampling units (the sample housing units) were selected by using a systematic sampling method. At this stage a final sample of 10 housing units were selected from each list of updated building units pertaining to a given census block. However, at the time of the survey enumeration, 505 sample housing units were found to be either vacant or demolished making the effective sample housing units for the survey 15,408.
Details on the sampling design used for the Child Activity Survey 2008/09 can be found in Chapter 2 of the Child Activity survey 2008/09 report.
Interview completion rate for Sri Lanka is 98.6%. Table 2.4 of the Child Actvity Survey 2008/09 presents interview completion rate and the number of sample children enumerated by district and sector.
Computation of the sampling weights is discussed in detail in Chapter 2 of the Child Activity Survey 2008/09 report. Further adjustments to the weights to account for unit non-response are also discussed in said chapter.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
‘On Field’ Management of the Survey
Managing the Logistics
A Supervisor was appointed in charge of every survey team and it was the responsibility of the supervisor to manage all aspects of the survey team including the supply of logistics. A vehicle was provided for every Team Supervisor for the team’s transport requirements. However, members of each survey team were expected to have common accommodation during the survey time in order to facilitate standard quality and consistency in the measures adopted. The supervisor was expected to manage the logistics of the place, where the team had their common accommodation.
The list containing sample housing units of the sample census blocks were issued to the supervisors, along with the maps providing directions of access to sample census blocks. It was the responsibility of the supervisor to assign sample housing units among his/ her team members for enumeration and the supervisor was also expected to visit the sample housing units with the respective team members as an observer. Supervisors had been instructed to note down the weaknesses of the enumerators by taking turns as an observer with each and every enumerator. At the end of each day's work, the supervisor had to initiate discussions on the enumerators’ day’s performance with the view of overcoming the issues to achieve team objectives. A common place of accommodation was essential for such discussions and it was also the responsibility of the supervisor to handle, non- responding units, differed interviews etc.
Field Editing and Coding
Arrangements were also made to complete the editing and coding of the field questionnaires while the survey team was still in the field. Field enumerators took turns as the Field Editor in performing this operation. At the end of each day’s work, the supervisor reviewed the field editor’s work and the remaining issues were discussed with the other team members. However, if and when the supervisor feels that clarification or information is required on certain situations, the supervisor was to decide the repetitions of visits to such households in seeking clarifications or information.
All these measures were adopted to maintain high quality in the data collected on the field. Few senior officers of the DCS, visited the survey teams at regular intervals to ensure the progress of the survey and they formed a conduit to brief the Director General of Census & Statistics on the state of the survey.
Data Collection Notes
Field enumeration of the Child Activity Survey was carried- out during the period from last week of October 2008 to first week of April 2009. To minimize fatigue among the survey staff, breaks were given at regular intervals to save the survey staff from being continuously on the field for longer periods of time.
With a view of completing survey field enumeration within the scheduled time period, altogether eleven survey teams were appointed, each consisting of 5 field enumerators and a supervisor. Care was taken to ensure that the staffs appointed to the survey field enumeration (including supervisors) are experienced permanent staff members of the DCS. Training was provided to the survey staff including supervisors, covering all the aspects of survey before the commencement of survey fieldwork. This training was provided to the survey staff in batches and the training program was also attended by Mr. Bijoy Raychoudhiri of ILO/ IPEC Geneva and Ms. Shyama Salgado of ILO, Colombo. On successful completion of the training, survey field work was commenced simultaneously in all parts of Sri Lanka, (excluding Northern province) with each team covering a selected number of districts.
Department of Census and Statistics
Ministry of Finance and Planning
A questionnaire, designed specifically to elicit information required for building up relevant estimates, was canvassed among the households selected in the sample. First the basic demographic information of all the person living in the sample households is recorded in the questionnaire and then the enumerator is directed to collect the relevant information from all the children in the age group of 5 - 17 years, living in the household. This is section A of the questionnaire.
The questions in section B (from B1 to B16) of the questionnaire are designed to ascertain the facts relating to the child's school attendance. The information on children, engaged in some form of economic activity, is collected in section B1 (questions from B17 to B30). If the child can be considered unemployed, relevant information is collected in section B2 and if the child is engaged in Family work, such information is collected in section B3. Health and safety issues of the working children are addressed in section C and the parent's/guardian's perceptions on working children are included in section D of the questionnaire. Information, to build up some indicators that reflect the social and economic status of the household is collected in section F of the questionnaire.
The Sections in Detail
Section A: Demographic Characteristics
In this section, all the persons who usually live in the selected household were listed and their basic demographic characteristics such as , year and month of birth, gender, ethnicity, religion, school attendance, level of education, marital status etc. were collected.
In addition, the members of this household who do not usually live here, but live elsewhere were also identified and their basic demographic characteristics were recorded.
Section B: Activity Status of Children
This section of the questionnaire was canvassed for all the children in the age group of 5 - 17 years, belonging to the sample household. This covers children who usually live in the particular household as well as those who live elsewhere but belongs to this household.
It has been primarily designed to ascertain the child’s school attendance status. If the child is attending school; the grade he/she is in; the distance to the school; mode of transport; number of school days missed etc, were collected. If the child is not attending school, the reason for such non attendance was also recorded.
Thereafter, questions were asked under the following sub sections, directly from the child:
If the child is engaged in some form of economic activity, following information was collected:
1. Age at the time of working
4. Employment status
5. Benefits and Income
6. Hours worked etc.
Section B2: Unemployment
A set of questions were asked to find out whether the child is in an ‘unemployed’ state, meaning that he/she is seeking work. Duration of unemployment was also asked if the child is considered “unemployed” according to the definition of “Unemployment”.
Section B3: Usual Activity Status
In this section, questions were asked to ascertain whether the child has done any work for a substantial period of time during last 12 months, in order to obtain the “Usual activity status” of the particular child. Occupation, Industry, Employment Status, days worked etc were asked from the child to ascertain whether he/she has done substantial work, during the past 12 months.
Section B4: Family work
Most of the children in Sri Lanka help the parents in their family work such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes etc., while attending school or even when engaged in some form of economic activity. However when the child’s activity in such engagements exceed acceptable limits affecting his/her studies and other personal activities, such engagements have warranted the attention of the survey. Questions were focussed to ascertain whether the child has been engaged in family work and if so the duration of such work. On the other hand if the child was never engaged in family work the reason for such a state of affairs to exist were also queried.
Section B5: Usual Residence of Child’s Parents
Questions were asked to find out whether the child’s parents live with the child. If either both or one of them do not live with the child, the place where they live was questioned.
Section C: Health and Safety (of all 5 – 17 year children who have worked anytime during the last week /12 months)
This section of the questionnaires is specially designed to ascertain the health and safety issues that arise when children are engaged in work. If the child has worked at any time during the last week or the last 12 months and if he has fallen ill or has been injured during that time, the following information relating to such illness or injury were collected.
1. The nature of such illness or injury
2. Frequency of occurrence of such illness or injuries.
3. Seriousness of the illness or injury
4. Whether the child was admitted to hospital
5. Whether the child operates any machinery/ heavy equipment.
6. Whether he/she is exposed to any health hazards
Section D: Perception of Parents / Guardians of the working child (of all children in the age group 5 – 17 years who usually live in this household including children who are members of this household but live elsewhere. However, this excludes boarders and servants who are found in the household.)
This section is designed to obtain the perception of Parents / Guardians of the working child with regards to
1. The type of work/activity they prefer the child to be engaged in
2. Their perceptions of the problems the child is faced with, at his/her work place
3. The main reason why the child is sent for work
4. The likely consequence of the child ceasing to work
5. Relationship of the child with his/her employer
Section E: Children living away from Household/ Family ( 5 – 17 years)
This section of the questionnaire aims to find out from the household, the reasons as to why the child is living away from this household: the commencement and the duration of this situation where the
child lives elsewhere and whether the child remits cash to the household, and if so the amount and frequency of such remittances.
Section F: Housing and Household Characteristics.
Generally it is believed that child labour is associated with living standard of the household. Therefore an attempt was made to measure the living standard of household by questioning on, housing characteristics, household assets, loans taken and income / expenditure of the household. The detail information collected under each area are listed below:
1. Housing characteristics
Type of structure, tenure-ship of household; number of rooms; total floor area; materials used in the construction of walls, floor and the roof; sources of lighting and cooking; source of drinking water, toilet facilities, etc. were collected.
2. Household assets
Livestock owned by the household was collected.
3. Loans taken by the household members
Whether any household member has obtained loans during past 12 months, the reason for obtaining such loan and the sources of obtaining such loans etc., were asked under this section.
4. Average monthly income and expenditure
Obtaining accurate information on household income and expenditure is not easy. Yet, as the household income and expenditure is expected to be highly correlated to the child labour situation, an attempt was made to obtain even some form of information to estimate the average monthly income and expenditure of every household that appears vulnerable to child labour.
5. Information on migration of household members.
Whether the particular household has ever changed the place of residence and if so, the previous district of residence, year moved to current residence, reason for moving etc. were collected. Finally, the enumerator’s determination of the household’s living standard was recorded in the questionnaire.
Consequent to the data entry at the Data Processing Division of DCS, the data files were transferred to the Sample Survey Division (SSD) of DCS. The SSD of DCS is the Division responsible for the survey operation and at the division the following computer editing was performed:
(i) Checking of ID's for completion, correctness and duplication
(ii) Checking the structure of data records for validity and necessary components (Structural edit).
(iii) Checking the values of data fields, to ascertain whether they are in the given valid range (Range edit).
(iv) Checking the consistency between different data fields, according to a pre specified set of rules (Consistency edit).
Computer Data Entry
On the average, 41 work stations were utilized at the Data Processing Division of the DCS for computer data entry of data collected at the Child Activity Survey. The software used for the preparation of the data entry program was CSPro ver.3.1.
Tabulations required for the preparation of the survey report were obtained from data files thus prepared to ensure there error free status and consistency. All possible actions have been taken at different stages of the survey to ensure that the data produced were of the highest quality.
Estimates of Sampling Error
Reliability statistics including standard error, coefficients of variation, 95% confidence intervals and design effects were computed for estimates of total child population and total child labour. These are presented in Annexure 2 of the Child Actvitiy Survey 2008/09 report.
Department of Census and Statistics
Department of Census and Statistics
Sample Surveys Division
Department of Census and Statistics
Under the Statistical ordinance, micro data cannot be released with identifications for public use. Procedures are in place to ensure that information relating to any particular individual person, household or undertaking will be kept strictly confidential and will not be divulged to external parties. Information on individual or individual household/establishment will not be divulged or published in such a form that will facilitate the identification of any particular person or establishment as the data have been collected under the Census/Statistical ordinance, according to which the information at individual level cannot be divulged and such information is strictly confidential.
The dataset has been anonymized and is available as a Public Use Dataset. It is accessible to all for statistical and research purposes only, under the following terms and conditions:
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently.
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the Department or among data from the Department and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the Department will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with each dataset.
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the Department.
The following rules apply to micro data released by the Department of Census and Statistics.
• Only the requests of Government Institutions, Recognized Universities, Students, and selected international agencies are entertained. However, the Data users are required to strictly adhere to the terms stipulated in the agreement form.
• All the data requests should be made to Director General (DG) of the DCS as the sole authority of releasing data is vested with the DG, DCS. DCS of Sri Lanka reserves sole right to approve or reject any data request made depending on the confidential nature of the data set and intended purpose of the study or analysis.
• Requests for micro data should be made through the agreement form designed by DCS for this purpose (Form D.R.1). The agreement form should be filled in triplicate and the Study/project proposal should accompany the filled agreement form. If requests are made for the micro data of more than one survey, a separate agreement should be signed.
• If the data request is from a student a letter from the respective Dept. Head/Dean/Supervisor, recommending the issue of data, should also be accompanied.
• If the request is approved only 25% of the data file is released at the first stage. The release of the total data file is considered only after reviewing the draft report prepared on the basis of the 25% sample data file.
• The released Data file should be used only for the specific study/Analysis mentioned in the agreement form and shall not be used for any other purpose without the prior approval of the Director General of the DCS. Moreover, Copies of the micro-data file, obtained from the DCS, shall not be given to anyone else without the prior written approval of the Director General of the DCS.
• The draft report of the Study/Analysis should be submitted to the DCS and the concurrence of the DG, DCS, should be obtained before publishing it. Once published, a copy of the final report should be submitted to the DCS.
[Department : The Department of Census and Statistics]
Source : http://www.statistics.gov.lk/databases/data%20dissemination/DataDissaPolicy_2007Oct26.pdf
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), Sri Lanka. Child Activity Survey 2009. Ref. LKA_2009_CAS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://statistics.sltidc.lk/index.php/catalog on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The Department of Census and Statistics bears no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the secondary use of the data.
(c) 2009 Department of Census and Statistics
DDI Document ID
Department of Census and Statistics
Minstry of Finance & Planning
Documentation of the study
Accelerated Data Program
International Household Survey Network
Editing for IHSN Survey Catalog
DDI Document version
Version 1.0 - Department of Census and Statistics - Original documentation of the study.
Version 2.0 - Edited version by ADP based on Version 1.0 of DCS downloaded from http://statistics.sltidc.lk/index.php/catalog on 30 May 2013.