SACMEQ IV Study Design

Quantitative Study
  • Overall approach to data collection: paper-based assessment and paper-based survey
  • Specification: cross-sectional
Target population


  • All pupils at grade 6 level
  • Mainstream primary schools, excluding
    • Special schools
    • Small schools
    • Unregistered primary schools
    • Hard-to-reach primary schools
Sample design
    • First stage: Sampling schools
      • Stratification of regions
      • Probabilities proportional to the size of the school (PPS)
      • Random-start fixed-interval systematic sampling
    • Second stage: Sampling students
      • Random selection of pupils within the sampled school
    Sample size
    • Intended sample size, per country:
      • School sample: 25–310 schools
      • Student sample: 1,300–7,600 pupils
      • Teacher sample: 100–700 teachers


    • Total sample size achieved:
      • 62,218 pupils
      • 6,667 teachers
      • 2,507 schools’ heads
    Data collection techniques and instruments


    • Day 1
      • Pupil Homework Questionnaire (part of the pupil questionnaire was taken home by pupils in order to obtain and verify information from their parents)
      • HIV-AIDS knowledge (HAK) test
      • Reading test
    • Day 2
      • Mathematics test
      • Filling in questionnaires



    • Tests in three areas administered to teachers and timed:
      • Reading test
      • Mathematics test
      • HAK test
    • Questionnaire


    School Heads

    • Questionnaire
    • School information booklets completed by school head/deputy
    • School form



    • Pupil Name Forms completed by data collectors using information obtained from school documents
    • Inspecting, counting, and recording physical school infrastructures


    All instruments were implemented as pencil and paper versions.


    • achievement test
    • documents
    • questionnaire
    • others

    Administration of tests and questionnaires in official instruction languages:

    • English
    • Kiswahili
    • Portuguese
    • Others
    Translation procedures
    • Translation, by a team of experts, was from English into the other two languages; then back into English by a second team of experts.
    • The translations were professionally checked for discrepancies, inconsistencies, distortions, etc.
    • Amendments were then made to produce the final versions.
    Quality control of operations

    Measures during data collection

    • Three trained data collectors were assigned to the sampled schools to administer the data collection instruments.
    • The data collectors checked all completed questionnaires (learner, teacher, and school head) and, if necessary, obtained any missing or incomplete information on the second day, before leaving the school.
    • Tests were administered in controlled school settings.
    • Clarification of items in the instruments was provided to respondents when required.
    • Information about parents provided by students in the questionnaires was verified with the parents.


    Measures during data processing and cleaning

    • The SEACMEQ Coordinating Centre organized a training program for all national research teams (NRTs).
    • Data files were cleaned by the NRTs, emailed to the Coordinating Centre for checking, and then emailed back to the NRTs for further cleaning.