Access our data

The Young Lives datasets from the first three rounds of household and child surveys are publicly archived and available to download from the UK Data Service, along with the documentation and questionnaires for each survey round. For users in our study countries, they are also available on CD-Rom, on request from the Principal Investigator.

We completed fieldwork for the Round 4 survey in early 2014 and have released preliminary findings. Following data cleaning, we expect to archive the data in March 2016. The survey documentation is available on the Round 4 documentation page.

Access via UK Data Service

The UK Data Service has developed a Study Guide for Young Lives which acts as an entry point for the data. The datasets have been assigned the following study numbers:


The Archive contains complete documentation relating to the survey, including:

  • The household, child and community questionnaires for each survey round
  • Fieldworker manuals
  • Justification documents that describe what questions were asked and how they were arrived at
  • A data dictionary that describes each variable, the relevant question, and gives the code values where appropriate
  • For calculated variables, the description includes the method of calculation (see also Young Lives Technical Note 30).


Using our data

Users are required to register and apply for a password with the UK Data Service and sign a confidentiality agreement before they can access the data. We also ask that users inform the Archive and Young Lives of any analysis or publications resulting from their work with the dataset. This helps us maintain an overview of how the data is being used, and is also required in our reporting to our funders. If you use the Young Lives data in any publication, we would be grateful if you include the following acknowledgement:

‘The data used in this publication come from Young Lives, a 15-year study of the changing nature of childhood poverty in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Vietnam ( Young Lives is funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development (DFID), with co-funding from 2010 to 2014 by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 2014 to 2015 by Irish Aid. The views expressed here are those of the author(s). They are not necessarily those of Young Lives, the University of Oxford, DFID or other funders.’

Data from our qualitative research are not archived in the same way as the survey data because of concerns about confidentiality. If you could like to use our qualitative data for research purposes, please contact us outlining your areas of interest and your research questions, and we will discuss with you whether the data are appropriate for your work.

Protecting the confidentiality of our study children and sites

As part of our ethical commitments, we have guaranteed to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of our study sites and respondents so we only make geographical identifiers available at zone level in Ethiopia, district level in India, province level in Peru, and province level in Vietnam. We do not release any location data on a lower level.
In rare and exceptional circumstances, matched data at a lower level may be released to external researchers if the following criteria are met:

  1. the matched dataset has already been developed within Young Lives
  2. in the assessment of the Young Lives Research Management Committee, the analytical power of the data is substantially enhanced
  3. the research question is of interest to the broader Young Lives research programme
  4. the RMC is satisfied that there are adequate safeguards to ensure the anonymity of our respondents and sites is maintained.

Any such requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis after the potential user has submitted a research proposal. In all cases that are approved, the applicant will be required to sign an additional data release agreement. Please note that location identifiers will be removed prior to the release of any matched data.

World Bank Microdata Service

As well as having all of our survey data available through the UK Data Service, Young Lives is also listed as a microdata set in the World Bank data catalogue.

Research methods and ethics

Further information about our approaches can be found in our

Methods Guide and our Research Ethics page.

Key contact

Anne Solon, Data and Survey Manager

We need to end child poverty in order to break the cycle of poverty.