Short Household Survey

From energypedia

Overview- General Approach

Short and structured household questionnaire focused on impact-oriented information that can be easily elicited. Comparison of people provided with the modern energy service (stove or household connection) in the intervention area before and after the intervention. Complemented by open, semi-structured key informant interviews (cf. Annex on qualitative methods).


Focused on the usage of the main services and opportunities provided by electricity or improved stoves. Indirect impacts on non-connected households and households without stoves cannon be verified. Delivers statements about impacts close to the project’s results that do not necessarily need extensive survey set up and data analysis with control groups for causal attribution. Relation to poverty impacts is established theoretically by means of result chains. For example, information for electrified households on the average daily time primary school children study at home allows gauging impacts of electric lighting on studying of children. The link of these (potentially) improved studying conditions to changes in school performance is, however, only of theoretical nature based on plausibility.

Included Tools

  • Household questionnaire draft
  • Data entry template (including basic data analysis)
  • Implementation notes on the questionnaire and data entry
  • Guidelines for open, semi-structured interviews

Implementation Procedure

This M&E instrument is designed to be implemented in a short time frame and does not require staff with evaluation background. Preparatory needs are limited. In general, only parts of the Household questionnaire draft have to be adapted to local circumstances (see Implementation notes). The indicators that should be covered in this approach are presented below. Additional indicators or project-relevant questions can be added to the questionnaire. It should be kept in mind not to address aspects that cannot be credibly analysed without substantially increasing the survey and data analysis efforts. In most cases, it is sufficient to assign survey tasks to junior project staff or hire two external enumerators.

Depending on the extent to which the questionnaire deviates from the proposed (and already tested) standard one, pre-testing the questionnaire with 5 interviews can help to verify the formulation of questions. For the actual survey execution, a sample size of 10 to 15 households per village is recommended. In the case of electrification projects it is important to survey those households who live under the planned electricity grid and who do not already possess an alternative modern energy source (genset, solar panel or car battery). For stove projects, areas benefiting from the intervention have to be chosen as survey regions accordingly. In spite of the methodologically boiled-down approach, it is crucial that respondents are randomly sampled.

For that purpose, the interviewer essentially has to conform to the following two principles:

  1. Cover the whole intervention area, especially in terms of centrally and remotely located dwellings
  2. Do not skip absent households but revisit them later. Otherwise a certain part of the population may be excluded from the sample, e.g. salespersons in a nearby village or teachers

The Implementation notes also give details on the data entry and analysis. If available for a sufficiently disaggregated level, official statistics can be consulted as well.

Expected Costs

The module can be implemented by project staff, local NGOs or consultants working in the field of social intermediation. Roughly, an enumerator can be expected to do 5 interviews per day including preparation and logistical efforts. Per day, 8 questionnaires can be entered in Excel or SPSS. 5 man days for preparation and 5 for reporting. Additional Inputs: 750 copies, (logistics).

Integrated Indicators

The indicators presented in the following have been selected according to the following criteria: Direct results of the intervention, quantitative and easily processable data, easy to determine by respondent, low sensitivity to formulation of questions, low probability of auspices bias (the tendency for responses to be affected by the respondent’s awareness of the survey sponsor), few sensitive information.

The last column of the table gives reference to the whether the indicator is applicable to stove projects (S), electrification projects (E) or both.

Observation fields

MDG relevance


What to measure?

Applicable for

Additional income generating activities


Increased home­business activity facilitated by improved working conditions

  • Number and percentage of households using electricity for productive purposes

-in terms of lighting services only

-in terms of machines and appliances


  • Number of newly created businesses
  • Number of closed down businesses


More food available and additional income generating activities


Increased agricultural activity

  • Number and percentage of farmers

-using electric irrigation pumps

-processing their crops


Savings in energy expenses


Monetary savings through reduced energy costs

  • Energy (liquid fuels, wood fuels, batteries, electricity, dung) prices
  • Average total household expenditures on energy (liquid fuels, wood fuels, batteries, electricity, dung) per month


  • Broken devices and respective expenditures per year


  • Firewood and charcoal prices
  • Rate of firewood collected and bought
  • Expenditures for cooking energy


Improved food storage


Increased penetra­tion of food storage facilities

  • Number and percentage of households owning fridges, freezer


Time savings

MDG 1 + 3

Decrease of time spend on obtaining cooking fuels

  • Relation of firewood collected versus firewood bought
  • Time spent weekly on firewood collection
  • Time spent weekly on obtaining charcoal
  • Household member responsible for obtaining cooking fuels

S & E

Decrease of time spent on cooking

  • Average total daily cooking time
  • Household member responsible for cooking

S & E

Decrease of time spent on obtaining lighting fuels

  • Time for obtaining lighting fuels
  • Household member responsible for obtaining lighting fuels


Improved reading and studying conditions of school children


Increased studying and reading hours of school children

  • Average time per day used for reading, studying at home and at school of school children by school type (primary, secondary) and gender
  • Average total hours traditional (hurricane lanterns, traditional tin lamps) and modern lighting devices (light bulbs and tubes) are lit per week


Improved information and communication opportunities

MDG 2 + 3 + 6

Increased penetra­tion of information and communication facilities

  • Number and percentage of households owning TV, video, DVD, radio, cell phone, landline phone


Hygiene in the kitchen

MDG 3 + 4 + 5 + 6

Kitchen cleanness raised to “living room standard”

  • Cleanness in kitchens compared to observations of cleanness in living rooms (observation made by interviewer)


Cleaner air in the household

MDG 3 + 4 + 5 + 6

Reduced emissions from burning of liquid fuels

  • Average monthly amount of liquid fuels and candles used per household
  • Average total hours hurricane lanterns and traditional tin lamps are lit per week


Reduced emissions from burning of wood fuel

  • Average monthly amount of wood fuels (firewood, charcoal, sawdust) used per household

S & E

  • Number and percentage of households owning an electric cooking stove

S & E

  • Number and percentage of households using Improved Cooking Stoves (by type)
  • Quantity of wood fuel used per head/ stove type
  • Saving rate
  • Stove utilisation rate
  • Percentage of mud stoves maintained regularly
  • Percentage of worn out stoves and parts replaced


Resource savings and reductions in toxic waste


Decreased use of wood fuels

  • See “Reduced emissions from burning of wood fuel“


Decreased use of dry cells

  • Average monthly amount of dry cells used


Further Information