The simplest method of collecting EquityTool data is to sign up to our web app. To use the EquityTool in DHIS2 or another data collection platform, you will need to download the supporting file. Click on your preferred data collection method and complete the form to receive the file via email. Please check your junkmail folder if you do not receive an email from us.

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      EquityTool: Released May 14, 2018

      Source data: Madagascar MIS 2016


      # of survey questions in original wealth index: 32

      # of variables in original index: 122


      # of survey questions in EquityTool: 12

      # of variables in EquityTool: 15


       QuestionOption 1Option 2Option 3
      Q1Does your household have… Electricity?YesNo 
      Q2A radio?YesNo 
      Q3A television?YesNo 
      Q4A refrigerator?YesNo 
      Q5Does any member of your household have… a watch?YesNo 
      Q6A mobile phone?YesNo 
      Q7A motorcycle/scooter?YesNo 
      Q8Does anyone in your household have a bank account?YesNo 
      Q9What is the main material of the floor of your home?MatCementOther
      Q10What is the main material of the exterior walls in your home?CementOther 
      Q11What is the main material of the roof of your home?Thatch/Palm/LeavesMetal SheetsOther
      Q12What type of fuel does your household mainly use for cooking?CharcoalWoodOther


      Technical notes:

      The standard simplification process was applied to achieve high agreement with the original wealth index. Kappa was greater than 0.75 for the national and urban indices. Details on the standard process can be found in this article. The data used to identify important variables comes from the factor weights released by ICF.

      It is important to note that the Madagascar Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) 2016 is not a nationally representative survey. Areas more than 1500 meters above sea level, and the regions of Antananarivo Renivohitra, Antsirabe 1, and Finarantso were excluded because no malaria transmission occurs in those places in Madagascar. The areas that were not surveyed are indicated by black stripes in the map below (right), adopted from the Madagascar MIS 2016 Final Report, available here. According to that report, the population remaining in the sampling frame for the 2016 MIS represents about 85.7% of the population. The regions of Antananarivo Renivohitra, Antsirabe 1, and Finarantso house the most densely populated urban areas of Madagascar, including the capital, Antananarivo. Urban households were surveyed elsewhere, and those households make up the ‘Urban-only’ sample used to generate the urban wealth index. These urban households were selected from all of the remaining regions of Madagascar, except for Analamanga and Vakinankaratra. The table below provides more information about the distribution of the urban sample throughout the country. When using the Madagascar MIS 2016 EquityTool to calculate urban wealth quintiles, users should carefully consider how the population on which the urban wealth index is based compares to the excluded urban population in Antananarivo Renivohitra, Antsirabe 1, and Finarantso. Furthermore, it is not recommended for you to use the Madagascar MIS 2016 EquityTool if your respondents reside in the excluded urban regions.


      RegionHouseholds Surveyed
      Haute Matsiatra61443504
      Amoron | Mania64442506
      Vatovavy Fitovinany64512576
      Atsimo Atsinanana128352480
      Alaotra Mangoro94403497
      Atsimo Andrefana63492555
      Madagascar (Total)1,9899,29511,284

      Level of agreement:



      National Population


      Urban only population


      % agreement84.7%84.6%
      Kappa statistic0.7610.759

      Respondents in the original dataset were divided into three groups for analysis – those in the 1st and 2nd quintiles (poorest 40%), those in the 3rd quintile, and those in the 4th and 5th quintiles (richest 40%). After calculating their wealth using the simplified index, they were again divided into the same three groups for analysis against the original data in the full DHS. Agreement between the original data and our simplified index is presented above.

      What does this mean?

      When shortening and simplifying the index to make it easier for programs to use to assess equity, it no longer matches the original index with 100% accuracy. At an aggregate level, this error is minimal, and this methodology was deemed acceptable for programmatic use by an expert panel. However, for any given individual, especially those already at a boundary between two quintiles, the quintile the EquityTool assigns them to may differ to their quintile according to the original DHS wealth index.

      The graph below illustrates the difference between the EquityTool generated index and the full DHS wealth index. Among all of those people (20% of the population) originally identified as being in the poorest quintile, approximately 74% are still identified as being in the poorest quintile when we use the simplified index.  However, approximately 23.5% of people are now classified as being in Quintile 2.  From a practical standpoint, all of these people are relatively poor. Yet, it is worthwhile to understand that the simplified index of 12 questions produces results that are not identical to using all 32 questions in the original survey.

      The following table provides the same information on the movement between national quintiles when using the EquityTool versus the original DHS wealth index:


        EquityTool National Quintiles
        Quintile 1Quintile 2Quintile 3Quintile 4Quintile 5Total
      Original DHS National QuintilesQuintile 114.80%4.70%0.50%0.00%0.00%20.00%
      Quintile 26.50%9.30%4.20%0.10%0.00%20.00%
      Quintile 30.70%3.70%12.60%3.00%0.00%20.00%
      Quintile 40.00%0.10%3.00%15.60%1.20%20.00%
      Quintile 50.00%0.00%0.00%1.20%18.80%20.00%

      The following graph provides information on the movement between urban quintiles when using the EquityTool versus the original DHS wealth index:

      The following table provides the same information on the movement between urban quintiles when using the EquityTool versus the original DHS wealth index:

        EquityTool Urban Quintiles
        Quintile 1Quintile 2Quintile 3Quintile 4Quintile 5Total
      Original DHS Urban QuintilesQuintile 117.20%2.60%0.10%0.10%0.00%20.00%
      Quintile 22.90%13.50%2.90%0.80%0.00%20.10%
      Quintile 30.00%4.00%12.70%3.00%0.30%20.00%
      Quintile 40.00%0.00%3.80%11.30%4.80%19.90%
      Quintile 50.00%0.00%0.40%4.70%15.00%20.10%


      Data interpretation considerations:

      1. This tool provides information on relative wealth – ‘ranking’ respondents within the national or urban population. The most recent available data from the WorldBank indicates that 77.8% of people in Madagascar live below $1.90/day[1]. This information can be used to put relative wealth into context.
      2. People who live in urban areas are more likely to be wealthy. In Madagascar, 73% of people living in urban areas are in the richest national quintile, compared to only 13.7% of those living in rural areas[2].
        1. If your population of interest is predominantly urban, we recommend you look at the urban results to understand how relatively wealthy or poor they are, in comparison to other urban dwellers.
        2. If the people you interviewed using the EquityTool live in rural areas, or a mix of urban and rural areas, we recommend using the national results to understand how relatively wealthy or poor they are, in comparison to the whole country.
      3. Some districts in Madagascar are wealthier than others. It is important to understand the country context when interpreting your results.
      4. In most cases, your population of interest is not expected to be equally distributed across the five wealth quintiles. For example, if your survey interviewed people exiting a shopping mall, you would probably expect most of them to be relatively wealthy.

      Metrics for Management provides technical assistance services to those using the EquityTool, or wanting to collect data on the wealth of their program beneficiaries. Please contact and we will assist you.

      [1] From, reporting Poverty headcount ratio at $1.90/day at 2011 international prices.

      [2] From the Madagascar MIS 2016 dataset household recode, available at