As family planning and reproductive health programs increasingly emphasize strategies designed to meet the needs of individual women, information on the circumstances under which women make and implement reproductive decisions is crucial. The Negotiating Reproductive Outcomes (NRO) study is an effort to understand the realities of women's everyday life and to identify the obstacles they may face in achieving their reproductive and health goals by investigating the nature of negotiation within sexual unions.
The NRO study was conducted in two districts in Uganda--Masaka and Lira. It was implemented jointly by the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) program of Macro International Inc. and the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (ISAE) at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The study has two components, a focus group study and a survey of women and men. The survey population includes 1,750 women age 20-44 and 1,356 of their male partners, whether formally married or living together. The survey data are representative of the two districts and were designed to enable estimates to be made for urban and rural areas separately within each district.
The study has three primary objectives:
- To examine how reproductive decisions and their outcomes are negotiated within sexual unions;
- To determine which characteristics of the individual, household, and community influence the negotiation process; and
- To investigate how the position of women influences their ability to negotiate the outcomes they desire.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
The NRO study was conducted in two districts in Uganda -- Masaka and Lira.
Unit of Analysis
- Women age 22-44
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (ISAE), Makerere University
Macro International Inc.
United States Agency for International Development
The NRO sample was designed to provide estimates for women and men in Lira and Masaka separately. It was also designed to allow estimation for urban and rural areas within each district.
In order to complete a full interview, a woman had to pass three eligibility criteria. She had to be a regular resident of the household. She had to be between age 20 and age 44 in completed years. Finally, those women meeting the age and residence criteria were asked a series of introductory questions about marital status. Within the accepted age range, women who reported themselves to be "married" were automatically considered eligible to complete the full questionnaire. Unmarried women were asked to complete the full questionnaire only if they reported being in a conjugal relationship lasting six months or more. The rationale for the six-month cutoff was that non-marital, short-term relationships would be less likely to involve negotiations about long-term issues of family formation, family planning, and so forth. Teenagers were excluded on the same grounds; even in a young-marrying population, it was thought that the sample would yield a sizeable proportion of short-term, uncommitted relationships.
A different set of eligibility criteria were set for men. They were required to be partners of eligible women, either formally married or living with a woman. No age criteria were set. Residence criteria depended on marital status. Any married or unmarried partner living in the same household with an eligible woman was considered eligible to answer the male questionnaire. Husbands living in a different residence were still considered eligible, and interviews were attempted if the husband could be located within a reasonable distance of the survey area. If the woman was not married and her partner lived elsewhere, however, he was ruled ineligible (to protect the confidentiality of both partners), and no attempt was made to trace him. Men with multiple wives living in the same household and meeting the other eligibility criteria were administered separate questionnaires for each wife. In general, locating males for interview, whether they were resident or not, proved to be the most difficult and time-consuming part of the fieldwork, requiring multiple visits and visits at irregular times in the early morning or late evening.
The sample was selected in two stages. At the first stage, census enumeration areas (EAs) were selected systematically with probability proportional to size in the 1991 census. In order to take advantage of the household listings assembled for the recent Uganda DHS, all of the DHS EAs in each district were included. The selection proceeded as follows: if 5 EAs were selected in a district for the DHS survey with a selection interval I and the NRO sample required the selection of 10 EAs, then the NRO sample was selected by reducing the interval by half (i.e., I/2) and maintaining the first random selection as in the DHS sample. At the second stage, households were selected systematically within each EA.
A random stratified sample of 40 enumeration areas was selected from each district. Due to the tendency of Masaka EAs to be larger than Lira EAs, a higher proportion of the total sample was expected from Masaka compared with Lira. In order to obtain adequate representation of urban areas, urban areas were oversampled. In Masaka district, with a population that was 10 percent urban at the time of the 1991 census, 20 EAs--or half of the sample--were drawn from urban areas.
Urban areas in Lira also were oversampled. With 5 percent of the population categorized as urban at the time of the 1991 census, 16 out of the total 40 EAs in Lira were selected as urban. The selection procedure in Lira was altered to adjust for varying definitions of "urban" in Uganda. The Department of Statistics in Uganda defines urban in one of two ways. The first is based on a set of objective demographic criteria taken during every decennial census; these include a population of over 10,000 people, access to roads, water supplies, schools, and related "urban" amenities. The presence of such amenities is determined prior to each census during the mapping of enumeration areas. The second way to achieve urban status is for an area legally to register itself as a city or town. At the time of the 1991 census, many northern districts, including Lira, were never mapped due to local political instability. In the absence of mapping to establish demographic criteria for urban status, Lira town is the only officially recognized urban area in Lira district; its status is based on legal registration. Because Masaka was mapped prior to the 1991 census, the two districts have asymmetric definitions of urban areas.
To improve the comparability of the definitions of "urban" between the two districts and to avoid oversaturation of the one official urban site in Lira, a secondary set of potential urban sites was chosen. A list of the 12 largest trading centers outside Lira town was compiled using the 1981 census records. Six of these were selected at random and included in a kind of second tier, "small urban" sample. The remaining 10 urban EAs were drawn from Lira town.
A total of 3,869 households were selected for interview. Of these, 3,710 were found. The remainder was not valid households either because the dwelling was vacant or destroyed or because the household was absent for an extended period or could not be located. Approximately 97 percent of the contacted households (3,610 households) were successfully interviewed.
The household questionnaires identified 2,384 eligible women. Interviews with 485 of these women were terminated after the initial questions on marital status, however, because they did not meet the study criteria for marital status or long-term relationship. Interviews were completed with 1,750 women who were married, living together with a partner, or in a stable sexual relationship, for a response rate of 92 percent. Among the 1,750 women with complete interviews, there were 1,660 male partners who were eligible for interview. Of these, 1,356 were successfully interviewed, for a male partner response rate of 82 percent.
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
Type of Research Instrument
Based on the results of the focus group study and on an examination of the relevant demographic and anthropological literature, three questionnaires were developed: a household questionnaire, a women's questionnaire, and a men's questionnaire. The men's and women's questionnaires are alike, with minor exceptions.
The questionnaires were originally written in English, then translated into Luganda and Lango by staff from the Department of Languages at Makerere University. A pretest of the survey instruments was conducted in July 1995. Eight interviewers (4 men and 4 women) received approximately one week of training to administer the questionnaires. The training included classroom instruction and practice interviews. A day of field practice was conducted in two areas of Kampala where residents are mainly from the ethnic groups predominating in Lira and Masaka districts.
The pretest was conducted at two sites, Mukono (a Luganda speaking area) and Lira. At each site, one urban and one rural area was selected. Sixty couples were interviewed: 20 in Mukono and 40 in Lira. The results of the pretest were used to modify the skip patterns, translations, and precoded responses in the questionnaires.
Data entry began two weeks after the commencement of fieldwork. The survey data were entered on three microcomputers in the project office in Kampala. All data processing for the survey was done with ISSA (Integrated System for Survey Analysis). Initial editing and consistency checking of the questionnaires was performed in the field by the team supervisors. Some further coding and editing was carried out in the project office prior to data entry. The data entry program detects range, skip, and many consistency errors at the data entry stage. In addition, one hundred percent of the questionnaires were reentered for verification. Finally, secondary editing was performed using a program that carries out complex internal consistency checks and prints out a list of errors, which are then checked against the questionnaires and corrected where possible.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.