Learning by design: lessons from a baseline study in the NAMWASH small towns programme, Mozambique

Danielle Jennifer Barrington, Ryan Admiraal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the design and application of a baseline study for a comprehensive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) intervention in Mozambique. The study was developed to investigate the relationships among key parameters of interest both for comparison to post-implementation data and to contribute to planning the WASH intervention itself. We use this study to discuss key issues surrounding baseline studies. This includes providing guidelines for designing a WASH baseline survey, determining an appropriate sample size, and highlighting key considerations in analysing the survey data, such as incorporating the study design in statistical analyses, post-stratifying, and utilizing geospatial data. We also show how statistical analyses from a baseline survey can be used to inform subsequent surveys. For example, results from this study suggest that in future WASH studies, self reporting by households should be supplemented by observational or population data to remove or quantify reporting bias, and care must be taken to reduce respondent fatigue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13 - 25
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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