Depends Who’s Asking: Interviewer Effect on Abortion Data in the Sub-Sahara African DHS

Tiziana Leone , London School of Economics
Laura Sochas, London School of Economics
Ernestina E. Coast, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Little is known about the interviewer effects on questions about abortion in Low and Middle Income Countries. Stigma, fear and cultural norms can have an impact on the likelihood of reporting an abortion in a survey. The aim of this study is to test the impact of the interviewer on the probability of reporting an abortion and whether there is a variation at community level. Preliminary analyses from the Malawi 2015-16 DHS used a logistic regression of the outcome: reporting ever having an abortion, with cross-classified random intercepts at the level of the sampling cluster and the level of the interviewer. Results show a clear interviewer effect accounting for nearly 28% of the variance the odds of reporting an abortion and community effects at only 5% of the variance, after controlling for women’s demographic characteristics. The final paper will present these analyses for 16 sub-Saharan African countries.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2