Shared Decision Making

Indicator Phrasing

% of women actively involved in household decision making

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of women actively involved in household decision making

What is its purpose?

Women’s decision-making power is one of the key aspects of gender equality. This indicator therefore measures the percentage of the target women who are actively involved in household decision-making regarding consumption and expenditures, reproductive choices, and other decisions.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Calculate the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Review the set of questions below and, if required, adjust them to the context in which the survey takes place. To do so, it is recommended that you conduct key informant interviews with both women and men where you ask what the most important decisions they routinely make as a household are. Their responses will help you decide on what changes to the survey questions need to be made (if any). The total number of survey questions should be between 6 to 10 questions. Avoid using too many questions, as people might provide less accurate answers due to being tired of enumerators asking them many similar-sounding questions.




Q1: Who usually decides how much of the staple crops grown by your household will be kept for consumption in the household and how much will be sold?

Q2: Who usually decides how many of the vegetables grown by your household will be kept for consumption in the household and how many will be sold?

Q3: Who usually decides how to spend the income that you bring into the household?

Q4: Who usually decides on who will do the household chores, such as who will clean the house or who will fetch water or firewood?

Q5: Who usually decides about purchasing daily household needs, such as food and other less expensive items?

Q6: Who usually decides about making more expensive purchases, such as animals or household equipment?

Q7: Who usually decides on which family members you will visit and when?

Q8: Who usually decides whether your child will be taken for treatment to a health facility when s/he is sick?

Q9: Who usually decides whether you or your partner will use any types of contraception, such as condoms or pills?

Q10: Who decides how many children you will have?


A1-10: [one option only; do not read the answers]

1) Respondent herself

2) Husband

3) Respondent and husband jointly

4) Another household member

5) Respondent and another household member jointly

6) Someone outside the household

7) Household not involved in this activity


2) Collect the required data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of women who live with a husband or partner.


3) Next, for each respondent, take the following steps:

  - provide 1 point for each activity the respondent either decided on alone or contributed to making (= answers 1, 3, 5)

  - calculate the total number of points per each respondent

  - count the total number of answered questions – you have to exclude those questions where the household was not involved in the activity (for example, the household members did not grow any vegetables)

  - divide the total number of points by the total number of answered questions – for example, 7 divided by 10 = 0.7

  - a woman is considered to be “actively involved” in household decision-making if her “score” is equal to or higher than 0.6666


4) To calculate the indicator’s value:

- count the number of women with a score equal to or higher than 0.6666

- divide this number by the total number of interviewed women

- multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage

Disaggregate by

to be added later

Important Comments

1) Only conduct the survey with women who live with their husbands/partners.


2) If your resources allow, consider collecting the data from both women and men, so that you can compare their responses and see where the main differences in their perceptions of household decision-making are. To ensure that the data is sufficiently accurate, you should collect the data using a representative sample of women and a representative sample of men (i.e. two samples; one sample involving both women and men would be acceptable only if you have a very large sample of respondents so that the data is sufficiently accurate).


3) Consider analysing which aspects of household decision-making recorded the biggest changes (for example, there might be changes in the decisions regarding the grown crops but little change in the use of the generated income). Compared to the overall indicator value, such analysis will provide you with deeper insights into the changes in household decision-making.


4) This indicator was adapted based on Oxfam (2017) Measuring Women’s Empowerment (see below).

This guidance was prepared by Tearfund from People in Need’s IndiKit guidance ©

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