Estimating the Size of Populations through a Household Survey
Obtaining reliable size estimates for key populations is crucial for the Rwanda Biomedical Center/Institute of HIV/AIDS, Disease Prevention and Control (RBC/IHDPC) and their partners to design an effective HIV response in line with the national HIV strategy. Estimating the size of key populations at higher risk for HIV not only allows for an understanding of the magnitude of the response that is needed, but also helps in more accurately projecting the future of the epidemic in Rwanda. To be effective, it is important to produce consistent and comparable estimates over time. The following study utilized a single household survey to estimate the size of several key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDU), and clients of sex workers. These populations include several groups outlined in the National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS as most at risk for HIV infection, specifically sex workers and MSM.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
- Household questionnaire: household characteristics, wealth index, identify women and men who were eligible for the individual interview.
- Individual Questionnaire: socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and behaviour related to HIV and AIDS, known population, adult mortality, stigma.
Producers and sponsors
Rwanda Biomedical Center/Institute of HIV/AIDS, Disease Prevention and Control Department (RBC/IHDPC
School of Public Health (SPH), University of Rwanda
National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR)
Provided data and logistical advice on the survey
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
University of Florida
Technical assistance and funding
Technical assistance and funding
The government of Japan
The ESPHS used a two-stage sample design, implemented in a representative sample of 2,125 households selected nationwide in which all women and men age 15 years and above where eligible for an individual interview. Each of these households was visited to obtain information using the Household Questionnaire. All women and all men age 15 years and above were eligible to be individually interviewed, if they were either usual residents of the household or visitors present in the household on the night before the survey. A total of 4,669 women and men were successfully interviewed.
The sampling frame used was the preparatory frame for the Rwanda Population and Housing Census (RPHC) 2012, provided by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR). The sampling frame is a complete list of natural villages covering the whole country (14,837 villages). Two strata were defined: the city of Kigali and the rest of the country. One hundred and thirty Primary Sampling Units (PSU) were selected from the sampling frame (35 in Kigali and 95 in the other stratum). To reduce clustering effect, only 20 households were selected per cluster in Kigali and 15 in the other clusters. As a result, 33 percent of the households in the sample were located in Kigali.
The list of households in each cluster was updated upon arrival of the survey team in the cluster. Once the listing had been updated, a number was assigned to each existing household in the cluster. The supervisor then identified the households to be interviewed in the survey by using a table in which the households were randomly pre-selected. This table also provided the list of households pre-selected for each of the two different definitions of what it means “to know” someone.
The number of occupied households successfully interviewed was 2,102, yielding a household response rate of 99%. From the households interviewed, 2,629 women were found to be eligible and 2,567 were interviewed, giving a response rate of 98%. Interviews with men covered 2,102 of the eligible 2,149 men, yielding a response rate of 98%. The response rates do not significantly vary by type of questionnaire or residence.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Trainees were assigned to eight data collection teams; each team consisted of a team supervisor, two female interviewers and two male interviewers. Senior staff from SPH coordinated and supervised the fieldwork activities.
The survey used two types of questionnaires: a household questionnaire and an individual questionnaire. The same individual questionnaire was used to interview both women and men. In addition, two versions of the individual questionnaire were developed, using two different definitions of what it means “to know” someone. Each version of the individual questionnaire was used in half of the selected households.
Household questionnaire: The Household Questionnaire was a short version of the 2011 Rwanda DHS questionnaire. It was primarily used to list all the usual members and visitors in the selected households and to collect some basic information on the characteristics of each person listed, including age, sex, status of residence, and marital status. The main purpose of the Household Questionnaire was to identify women and men who were eligible for the individual interview. The Household Questionnaire also collected information on characteristics of the household’s dwelling unit, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, and ownership of various durable goods. This information was used to create an index representing the wealth of the households. The wealth index is a proxy for long-term standard of living of the households and is used in the following analysis as a background characteristic of the respondents who are members of these households.
Individual questionnaire: The individual questionnaire was organized accordingly and included six sections:
- Respondent’s background;
- Known population;
- Target population;
- Proxy respondent; and
The processing of the ESPHS data began shortly after the fieldwork commenced. Completed questionnaires were returned periodically from the field to the SPH office in Kigali, where they were entered and checked for consistency by data processing personnel who were specially trained for this task. Data were entered using CSPro, a programme specially developed for use in DHS surveys. All data were entered twice (100 percent verification). The concurrent processing of the data was a distinct advantage for data quality, because the School of Public Health had the opportunity to advise field teams of problems detected during data entry. The data entry and editing phase of the survey was completed in late August 2011.
Rwanda Biomedical Center/Institute of HIV/AIDS, Disease Prevention and Control Department
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
Rwanda Biomedical Center/Institute of HIV/AIDS, Disease Prevention and Control Department and School of Public Health, University of Rwanda. Estimating the Size of Populations through a Household Survey (RSES) 2011. Ref. RWA_2011_RSES_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [url] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.