Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Baseline Wave, Malawi, 2009-2012 [Healthy Futures] (ICPSR 36863)

Version Date: Oct 22, 2018 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Jenny Ann Trinitapoli, University of Chicago; Sara Yeatman, University of Colorado at Denver



Version V3 ()

  • V3 [2018-10-22]
  • V2 [2018-06-04] unpublished
  • V1 [2018-05-14] unpublished
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The Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Baseline Wave collection contains data collected as part of the Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT) Study. TLT is a longitudinal study in Balaka, Malawi designed to examine how young people navigate reproduction in an AIDS epidemic. Tsogolo la Thanzi means "Healthy Futures" in Chichewa, Malawi's most widely spoken language. New data is being collected to develop better understandings of the reproductive goals and behavior of young adults in Malawi -- the first cohort to never have experienced life without AIDS. To understand these patterns of family formation in a rapidly changing setting, TLT used the following approach: an intensive longitudinal design where respondents are interviewed every fourth months at TLT's centralized research center. Data collection began in May of 2009 and was completed in June of 2012. To assess changes on a longer time-horizon, a follow-up survey we refer to as Tsogolo la Thanzi 2 (TLT-2) was fielded between July and October of 2015.

The Women dataset (dataset 1) contains variables that pertain to pregnancy, family composition, partners and relationships, mental health, marriage, sex and protection, sexually transmitted diseases, goods purchases, and diet.

The Male Partners dataset (dataset 2) contains variables that pertain to relationships, religion, politics, family composition, mental health, sex and protection, pregnancy, marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, goods purchases, and diet.

The Random Men dataset (dataset 3) asked respondents about their mental health, partners and relationships, sexually transmitted diseases, sex and protection, family composition, goods purchases, and diet.

The Male Partners at Alternative Waves dataset (dataset 4) includes baseline data collected for male partners who began participating in the study between Wave 2 and Wave 8. If male partners entered the study at Wave 2 or later, their first interview was the baseline questionnaire (Wave 1), and at the next round of data collection they received the current wave's questionnaire. This dataset includes variables that pertain to relationships, religion, mental and physical health, family composition, sex and protection, fatherhood, marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, good purchases and diet.

Demographic variables in each dataset include age, tribe, language, and education.

Trinitapoli, Jenny Ann, and Yeatman, Sara. Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT): Baseline Wave, Malawi, 2009-2012 [Healthy Futures]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-10-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36863.v3

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD058366), United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD077873)


This data may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is strictly prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, this data collection is restricted from general dissemination. To obtain this file, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement in accordance with existing ICPSR servicing policies.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2009 -- 2012
2009-05-25 -- 2010-01-20 (Women), 2009-05-29 -- 2009-09-28 (Male Partners), 2009-06-04 -- 2010-12-14 (Random Men), 2009-10-01 -- 2012-01-30 (Male Partners at Alternative Waves)
  1. For further information about the Tsogolo La Thanzi [Healthy Futures] Study, please visit the Tsogolo La Thanzi website.

The Tsogolo La Thanzi (TLT) Study administered a survey asking females about their reproductive behavior in Balaka, Malawi. The TLT team collected data to develop a better understanding of the reproductive goals and behaviors of young adults in Malawi - the first cohort to never have experienced life without AIDs. It sought to determine the prevalence of STDs, characteristics of the respondents' pregnancy(s), and marriage and family history. The study additionally interviewed the male partners of these women and also random men of the same age, asking both groups similar questions.

The TLT is an ongoing longitudinal study of young Malawians living within 7-kilometer radius of Balaka. After being drawn into the sample, respondents were sorted by location in the sampling area and randomly assigned to a primary interviewer, matched by gender. Each TLT interviewer was responsible for recruiting and interviewing their roster of approximately 100 respondents. Each interviewer recruited their respondents in their homes, obtained parental consent for minors, and invited respondents to the TLT-Center to complete their baseline interview. The data was collected during face-to-face interviews.

This baseline survey is the first wave of the multi-wave study.

Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT) placed considerable emphasis on drawing a genuinely representative and random sample of respondents. Researchers conducted a complete household census of all households in census enumeration areas where at least half of the area was within 7 kilometers of the Balaka town. TLT selected residents who usually reside in a given household. At the time of recruitment, respondents were considered ineligible if they were outside of the age range, were permanent migrants, or were deceased. Respondents were considered non-responders if they refused to participate in the study, were not found after three attempts to locate them, did not show up to their scheduled interview or to the second attempt to reschedule, or were deemed unable to participate because of language or severe mental disability.

At the time of listing, the aread contained 6696 eligible women and 6180 men. 1500 women were randonly selected for inclusion in the sample. The only people excluded at the time of the random draw were members of the immediate TLT staff and their spouses. At selection, an additional 200 women were marked as reserve respondents to compensate for ineligible women. A similar protocol was followed for the 600 male respondents drawn from the general population (as opposed to the respondent-driven partner sample). The sampling raton is approximately a 1 in 4 for women and a 1 in 10 for the random sample of men.


Young women and men aged 15-25 in 2009 living in a 7km radius around Balaka, Malawi.


95 percent of recruited respondents completed interviews at baseline. The female response rate was 96 percent and the male response rate was 94 percent.



2018-10-22 This collection has been updated to include an additional data file for the additional male partners surveyed whose baseline interview occured after wave 1.

2018-06-04 This collection was updated to include publically available ICPSR Codebooks with the frequencies redacted and the P.I. provided questionnaire.

2018-05-14 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.