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Measuring Household Expenditure on Education: A Guidebook for Designing Household Survey Questionnaires


This Guidebook is intended to be a reference for survey practitioners seeking guidance on designing and implementing household surveys that include measurement of education expenditure. Household education expenditures are often included in consumption-based poverty and inequality measures and are a critical input in monitoring the main education financing indicator (4.5.4) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, information on individual education expenditure allows for micro-econometric research on intrahousehold resource allocation, which can provide useful insight into policy and program designs. However, despite the importance of household education expenditure, the data in many developing countries are often missing or incomplete, making it difficult to link household education expenditure to other economic indicators.

Education expenditures are collected in a wide variety of surveys, including Living Standards Measurement Studies (LSMS) surveys, Household Budget Surveys (HBS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), and others. These surveys differ in scope and face unique constraints, but adoption of a consistent methodology across all would present new opportunities for collection of comprehensive expenditure data on education and make comparisons over time and across countries easier. This Guidebook highlights important considerations and best practices for designing and implementing a module for collecting high-quality household education-expenditure data.


  • Gbemisola Oseni
  • Friedrich Huebler
  • Kevin McGee
  • Akuffo Amankwah
  • Elise Legault
  • Andonirina Rakotonarivo

Issued on 

Dec, 2018