Resources

Here, we have listed a couple of the most important public datasets relating to Sierra Leone from the perspective of economic researchers. For each, we provide detailed descriptions of what the dataset contains, relevant years, sample sizes and details on access. We have also provided details of datasets derived from particular recent publications on Sierra Leone, including links to the publication and links to the data – useful both for replication and for original research. If there are further resources you would like us to list here, please get in touch with the Sierra Leone team.

National Public Service Survey (NPS)

  • Years: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011 (ongoing)
  • Data: link (public access)
  • Sample size: 6300 households across 635 enumeration areas

 

The National Public Services Surveys are nationally representative surveys focusing on quality and satisfaction with public services in Sierra Leone collected by the Decentralization Secretariat of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Together the measures collected provide a comprehensive longitudinal picture of the state of public services, political attitudes, and community organization before, during and after the decentralisation process. The enumeration areas are the same across the different waves and many of the same households are used. These surveys have been widely used in research.

 

First wave (2005): The survey collects information on knowledge of decentralization and interest in government; local priorities for social and economic development; participation and voice in local decision-making; and social cohesion of communities. The survey covers a number of topics, including: household access to public services and perceptions of service quality, knowledge of decentralization and interest in government, local priorities for social and economic development, participation and voice in local decision-making and social cohesion of communities.

Second round (2007): The questionnaire covers a number of topics, including: i) household access to public services, costs of services and perceptions of service quality; ii) knowledge of, attitudes towards and involvement in various levels of government; iii) political and social attitudes; iv) justice services and dispute resolution; v) war experiences; and vi) social cohesion of communities.


Third round (2008):
The questionnaire covers a number of topics, including: i) household access to public services, costs of services and perceptions of service quality; ii) knowledge of, attitudes towards and involvement in various levels of government; iii) political and social attitudes; iv) justice services; and v) social cohesion of communities.

Agricultural Household Tracking Survey (ATS)

  • Year: 2010
  • Data: link (access must be requested)
  • Sample size: 8,803 households across 903 enumeration areas

 

This survey was conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Statistics Sierra Leone and IPA-SL. The AHTS focused on eight core crops: rice, cassava, maize, groundnut, sweet potato, cacao, coffee, and palm oil. The survey consisted of three instruments: the household questionnaire, community questionnaire, and the monitor questionnaire.

 

The data collected by the household questionnaire includes a crop inventory and modules on farm characteristics and ownership, use of inputs and machinery, specific sections for each of the eight AHTS core crops, access to services, food security, livestock, household assets, and a post-interview assessment. Spatial and longitudinal data was also collected.

 

The community questionnaire focuses respectively on prices and units at the community level, community facilities for drying and storage of cereals and mechanized farming, general information on agricultural practices within the community, community farms, rice varieties and awareness of NERICA rice, labour costs, access to local markets, routes and transportation costs to markets and district headquarter towns, access to fertilizer, community-based agricultural organizations and NGOs, general community facilities such as radio coverage, mobile phone coverage, electricity supply and drinking water supply, as well as a post-interview assessment.


The monitor questionnaire was designed and conducted with the purpose of allowing robustness and quality checks on the household data. The monitor survey was therefore conducted with households who had recently responded to the AHTS household questionnaire. The survey instrument consisted of a shortened version of the household questionnaire, with specific attention devoted to the crop inventory and the rice section.

Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)

  • Year: 2008, 2013 (ongoing)
  • Data: link (public access)
  • Sample size: 3280 individuals (2008), 7262 (2013, ongoing)


The first DHS in Sierra Leone was conducted by Statistics Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The survey includes nationally representative data on fertility, family planning, childhood mortality, infant and child feeding practices, maternal and child health, maternal mortality, female genital cutting, and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge and behaviour.

Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)

  • Year: 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010
  • Data: 2000 (request access here), 2005 (request access here), 2010 (request access here)
  • Sample size: 4000-11000 households (depending on wave)

 

MICS is an international survey supported by UNICEF and implemented by Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL). It is a household survey programme designed in order to help countries in filling data gaps on the monitoring of human development, especially focused on women and children. Each survey contains three instruments: a household survey, a questionnaire for women aged 15-49 and a questionnaire for children under five years old. Topics include maternal health, education, sexual health, HIV/AIDS, demographic characteristics, and general health.

Project-based Datasets

Acemoglu, D., Reed, T. & Robinson, J. (2014). Chiefs: Economic Development and Elite Control of Civil Society in Sierra Leone”. Journal of Political Economy.

  • Data: link (public access)
  • Description: The linked dataset contains a number of the surveys described above (which are utilised in the paper) and some novel data with accompanying replication files. This new data relates to chiefdom-level information on political competition and historical data on economic development in all 149 chiefdoms. It also includes GIS files from Statistics Sierra Leone on chiefdoms. Chiefdom identifiers correspond to codes used in the 2004 national census.

 

Casey, K., Glennerster, R. & Miguel, E. (2012). Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan”. Quarterly Journal of Economics.

  • Data: link (public access)
  • Description: The linked dataset uses data from the GoBifo project implemented by the government of Sierra Leone and partner donor agencies including the World Bank. GoBifo was a Community-Driven Development (CDD) programme. 118 treatment villages and 118 control villages were selected, within which 12 households were surveyed in 2005 and 2009. Data collected includes participation in collective activities, household demographics and socioeconomic information.

 

Bellows, J. & Miguel, E. (2009). “War and Local Collective Action in Sierra Leone”. Journal of Public Economics.

  • Data: link (public access)
  • Description: The linked dataset includes representative household survey on conflict experiences, postwar economic outcomes, local politics and collective action drawn primarily from the NPS dataset, GoBifo project and 2004 Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey (not publically available). It also includes data on chiefdom-level indicators of violence drawn from the No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) project, 2005 School Survey data and GIS data on the location of diamond mines, roads and population densities in Sierra Leone.

 

Humphreys, M. & Weinstein, J. (2006). “Handling and Manhandling Civilians in Civil War”. American Political Science Review.

  • Data: link (public access)
  • Description: Dataset collected includes the results of a survey conducted by the Post-Conflict Reintegration Initiative for Development and Empowerment (PRIDE) with the authors in 2003 with a sample size around 1200. Data relates to the internal dynamics of the civil war, with evidence on how factions were organised, how combatants demobilised and the process of re-integration.