Living conditions monitoring survey (LCMS)

The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey (LCMS) is a population-based household survey that collects data using structured personal interviews with household members. The survey is coordinated by Living Conditions Monitoring Branch, under the Economic Statistics Division.

The LCMS evolved from the Social Dimensions of Adjustment Priority Surveys conducted in 1991 (PSI) and 1993 (PSII), by the then Central Statistical Office. The first LCMS was conducted in 1996. Since then, seven (7) surveys have been undertaken. These are:-

  1. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey I of 1996
  2. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey II of 1998, and
  3. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey III of 2002/2003
  4. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey IV of 2004
  5. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey V of 2006
  6. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey VI of 2010
  7. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey VII of 2015

The main objective of the LCMS is to measure the wellbeing of the Zambian population, and to provide trends in the different measures of social wellbeing over time, as well as to highlight and monitor the living conditions of the Zambian society. The survey includes a set of priority indicators on poverty and Living conditions that are periodically monitored and evaluated.

The LCMS has a normative point of departure that is, describing the Living conditions as good or bad, as improving or deteriorating, and identifying those, which require policy action. It is designed in such a way that it provides estimates at national, provincial as well as residence (rural/urban) levels. The survey estimates are also disaggregated by age, sex, and socio-economic strata.

It should be noted, however, that the survey is not a fully-fledged survey on any of the topics covered; it is concerned with information necessary to monitor Living conditions. The survey collects information on the following areas of wellbeing or topics: –

  • Demography and migration
  • Orphan-hood
  • Marital Status
  • Health
  • Education
  • Economic activities
  • Income
  • Household assets
  • Household amenities and housing conditions
  • Household access to facilities
  • Self-assessed poverty and household coping strategies
  • Agricultural Production
  • Household expenditure
  • Community developmental issues
  • Child Health and Nutrition
  • Deaths in the household

The LCMS has nationwide coverage on a sample basis. It covers both rural and urban areas in all the provinces of Zambia. The survey will also be able to provide data for each province in Zambia. Hence a very big sample size of Enumeration Areas (EAs) and an approximated number of households is drawn.

The LCMS employs a two-stage stratified cluster sample design. During the first stage, EAs are selected using the Probability Proportional to Estimated Size (PPES). The second stage involves systematically selecting households in an EA after Listing. During the survey, all households are listed before enumeration can be done.

Three types of questionnaires are used in the survey, namely: –

  1. The Listing Questionnaire – to be used for listing all the households residing in the selected EAs.
  2. The Main Questionnaire – to be used for collecting detailed information on all household members.
  3. The Prices Questionnaire: – to be used to collect data on unit prices of various commodities in the established trading places found in districts, provincial capitals, and cities. This information is Vital for the harmonizing of regional differences in prices.