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METHODOLOGY
Kaiser R, Woodruff BA, Bilukha O, Spiegel PB, Salama P.
Using design effects from previous cluster surveys to guide sample size
calculation in emergency settings. Disasters 30(2), 199211, 2006.
A good estimate of the design effect is critical for
calculating the most efficient sample size for cluster surveys. We reviewed the
design effects for seven nutrition and health outcomes from nine
populationbased cluster surveys conducted in emergency settings. Most of the
design effects for outcomes in children, and onehalf of the design effects for
crude mortality, were below two. A reassessment of mortality data from Kosovo
and Badghis, Afghanistan revealed that, given the same number of clusters,
changing sample size had a relatively small impact on the precision of the
estimate of mortality. We concluded that, in most surveys, assuming a design
effect of 1.5 for acute malnutrition in children and two or less for crude
mortality would produce a more efficient sample size. In addition, enhancing the
sample size in cluster surveys without increasing the number of clusters may not
result in substantial improvements in precision.
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