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Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP), 1998 and 2001 (ICPSR 20840) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


The Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP) was originally developed as a sister project of the Kenya Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (KDICP), but with a larger sample and greater geographical dispersion. Both the KDICP and the MDICP aimed to examine the role of social interactions in changing demographic attitudes and behavior. The first two waves of the MDICP (carried out in 1998 and 2001) focused on two key empirical questions: the roles of social interactions in (1) the acceptance (or rejection) of modern contraceptive methods and of smaller ideal family size and (2) the diffusion of knowledge of AIDS symptoms and transmission mechanisms and the evaluation of acceptable strategies of protection against AIDS. Beginning with the third wave in 2004, the MDICP expanded in several directions: (1) A sample of adolescents (age 15-24, married and unmarried) was added to the base sample of ever-married women and their husbands, (2) Biomarkers for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections were collected from all respondents who consented, and the results were provided to those who requested them, (3) GPS coordinates were collected for all sampled households.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS1:  Malawi Men's Questionnaire Data, 1998: Wave 1 - Download All Files (14.5 MB)
DS2:  Malawi Women's Questionnaire Data, 1998: Wave 1 - Download All Files (14.5 MB)
DS3:  Malawi Men's and Women's Questionnaire Data Combined, 1998 (Husbands and Wives): Wave 1 - Download All Files (29.7 MB)
DS4:  Malawi Men's Questionnaire Data, 2001: Wave 2 - Download All Files (20.6 MB)
DS5:  Malawi Women's Questionnaire Data, 2001: Wave 2 - Download All Files (26.7 MB)
DS6:  Malawi Men's and Women's Questionnaire Data Combined, 2001 (Husbands and Wives): Wave 2 - Download All Files (46 MB)
DS7:  Malawi Men's 1998/2001 Questionnaire Data Combined: Wave 1 and Wave 2 - Download All Files (35.2 MB)
DS8:  Malawi Women's 1998/2001 Questionnaire Data Combined: Wave 1 and Wave 2 - Download All Files (42.2 MB)
DS9:  Malawi Master 1998/2001 Questionnaire Data Combined (Husbands and Wives): Wave 1 and Wave 2 - Download All Files (86.3 MB)

Study Description


Behrman, Jere R., Agnes M. Chimbiri, Angela Chimwaza, Hans-Peter Kohler, and Susan C. Watkins. Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP), 1998 and 2001. ICPSR20840-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-05-21.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Rockefeller Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   AIDS, birth control, birth expectations, communicable diseases, family planning, family structure, health attitudes, health behavior, health status, HIV, household composition, household income, husbands, livestock, livestock income, marital status, marriage, religious affiliation, remarriage, reproductive history, sexual attitudes, sexual behavior, social life, social networks, spouses, traditional healers, wives

Geographic Coverage:   Africa, Global, Malawi

Time Period:  

  • 1998
  • 2001

Date of Collection:  

  • 2001

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   Ever-married women and their husbands in the Rumphi, Balaka, and Mchinji Districts of Malawi.

Data Types:   survey data


Sample:   The sampling strategy was not designed to be representative of the national population of rural Malawi, although the sample characteristics closely match the characteristics of the rural population of the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey. The target sample was 500 ever-married women in each district, plus their husbands. Husbands were included in the sample not only to gauge the effect of informal conversation networks on their sexual and fertility behavior, but also to examine the extent of informal conversations between husbands and wives on these issues. For polygamous men, it was important to restrict the men's responses about dealings with their spouse to one of their wives. This was done by randomly assigning the reference wife prior to interviewing. If a man had two or three wives who qualified for our sample, each wife had an equal chance of being a referent wife. Thus, w/ 2 wives --> 1/2 chance, and w/ 3 wives --> 1/3 chance. In each case we marked questionnaires before going to the field (e.g., "if 2 wives then ask about second wife in this case"). However, the way that the questionnaires were distributed in the field was random.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview


Original ICPSR Release:  

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