For Immediate Release
December 3, 2010
Contacts: Ryan Holtz, 301-405-7515 or email@example.com
University of Maryland Faculty Conduct India Human Development Survey
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The India Human Development Survey (IHDS) is a nationally representative, multi-topic survey of 41,554 households in 1,503 villages and 971 urban neighborhoods across India. Two one-hour interviews in each household covered health, education, employment, economic status, marriage, fertility, gender relations and social capital. Children aged 8-11 completed short reading, writing and arithmetic tests and village, school, and medical facility interviews were held. Fieldwork began in November 2004 and was mostly completed by October 2005. The IHDS team, led by University of Maryland sociologists Sonalde Desai and Reeve Vanneman (both pictured - right), will extend their seminal work in India with a second wave of surveys set to begin next year under two new grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) totaling $5.7 million.
IHDS was designed to complement existing Indian surveys by bringing together a wide range of topics in a single survey. This breadth permits analyses of associations across a range of social and economic conditions. For example, studying children's outcomes (e.g., learning, immunizations) requires joint consideration of the role of poverty, family structure, gender relations, community context and the availability of facilities. The survey also provides insight into the social traditions that still govern the life of women in India today.
The second wave of surveys, labeled IHDS-II, will provide a multi-topic, multi-purpose source of data for international and Indian research on health, education, income, employment, gender and social inequality - within the context of vast changes since 2005. Data collection will be expanded to include new modules to study regional disparities in health and education and there will be a follow-up on the 8-11 year olds as they begin to make their transitions to adulthood, thus permitting an examination of young adulthood in India. The second survey will also permit an analysis of two major government programs initiated since 2005 - the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which will create new opportunities to investigate the causes of gender inequalities in employment, education and health.
Sonalde Desai is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and a member of the executive committee of the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC); Reeve Vanneman is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland as well as a MPRC faculty associate. The survey team includes personnel from India's National Council of Applied Economic Research. Funding comes from NICHD.
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) is home to nine academic departments, including the nation's No. 1-ranked Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Four university research centers are based in the college, which also has more than 30 other centers and clinics addressing topics from speech deficiencies and brain imaging to international economics and world peace. Based on degrees awarded, BSOS is the largest of the 12 colleges and schools at the university and offers four of the five most popular majors on campus. Last year, the college's faculty brought in more than $57 million in research support from organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others.
Photos courtesy of Sonalde Desai.