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There are many types of survey design that can be used in different contexts. The design determines whether the outcomes of the survey will meet the agreed objectives. It also affects most aspects of a survey, including sample size calculations and data analysis. This module describes the more common types of household-based surveys used to assess indicators for the coverage of interventions, micronutrient status, and other relevant factors (for example, knowledge of a specific micronutrient deficiency and practices in relation to an intervention).

Certain aspects of the survey design will depend on whether the survey is intended as a single assessment of micronutrient status or intervention coverage, or whether it is part of a series of periodic assessments over time. A single survey may be conducted to assess the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia in one or more population groups to determine the need for an intervening or for policy and programme changes. The data may also be used for global reporting. A series of periodic assessments or an endline survey may be conducted to assess the status or effect of an intervention or programme compared to a baseline survey.

This module focuses on the most typical aspects of large-scale micronutrient survey design. For updates on basic sampling theory and terminology, it may be useful to review the document “Definitions of Survey Sampling Terminology” prior to reading this module.