What we do

AIM:
To understand the implications of harmonizing definitions of the 'household' for survey and census data to represent the realities of intergenerational relationships in Anglophone and Francophone settings in Europe and Africa.

OBJECTIVES:
- To analyse the evolution, over space and time, of household definitions used in
censuses and surveys in Francophone and Anglophone Africa, France and the UK since 1960 and to establish the extent to which harmonization of household concepts has occurred.
- To evaluate the implications of these definitions for capturing intergenerational support, links and exchanges.
- To assess how National Statistical Offices in Uganda, Senegal, Burkina Faso, France and England & Wales perceive the household and represent it as a social unit.
- To investigate how users of household-level analyses understand and employ household-level data in developing and evaluating policies and interventions
- To examine the ability of conventional household definitions in each country to represent different forms of intergenerational relations and support.
- To compare and contrast the influence of diverse factors such as place, language, colonial history and heritage, ideology of nationhood and identity, level of socio-economic development, role of local and regional statistical training centres on the evolution of definitions, the extent of harmonization and the implications for understanding and interpreting household-level data.
- To disseminate our findings to a wide range of audiences.

The objectives will be achieved by addressing 3 interrelated research questions:
1. What factors have influenced, and continue to influence, definitions of the household and their harmonization in Anglophone and Francophone settings?
2. What are the implications of current household definitions for analyses of, intergenerational relations?
3. How might differences in survey and local conceptions of the household impact on policy-making related to intergenerational relations?
It is worth underlining that we do not intend to redefine the household but rather identify the strength and limitations inherent to the use of a harmonized household statistical unit in national surveys.
A rigorous combination of secondary and primary data analysis will use a strategy of multiple case studies and mixed methods in an iterative and interpretative research process, with a continuous collaborative interplay between collection and analysis across linguistic and geographic settings. Data from three sub-Saharan African countries: Burkina Faso and Senegal (Francophone); Uganda (Anglophone) and France and England will be integrated with results from an ESRC-funded pilot study in Tanzania (ESRC RES 175-25-0001) in order to answer the 3 research questions.