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RANQ toolbox

Attributed to: Jackeline Velazco
For enquiries contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk

WeD Toolbox : Resources and Needs Questionnaire (RANQ) Version 7, Dated September 2005

1. What is RANQ?
2. Conceptual rationale for RANQ
3. How RANQ contributes to WeD research
4. Description
5. How RANQ was developed
6. How RANQ was implemented
7. How RANQ can be analysed
8. Links to other research tools
9. RANQ questionnaire- password protected file. Please contact Emer Brangan j.french@bath.ac.uk
10. RANQ codebook restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk
11. RANQ guidelines restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk
12. Roster card restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk
13. Further reading


1. What is RANQ

The Resources and Needs Questionnaire (RANQ) is a survey instrument applied to circa 1000 households per country across a range of rural and urban communities in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and Thailand. The RANQ is a distinctive methodological tool designed to assess household’s access to a wide range of resources and the need satisfactions they achieve.

2. Conceptual rationale for RANQ

RANQ is informed by two of WeD’s theoretical foundations: the Theory of Human Need and the Resource Profiles Approach.

  • The theory of human need conceives of wellbeing as full participation in a social form of life that depends not only on physical health but also healthy relationships. It a) derives a universal set of basic and intermediate needs and b) distinguishes these from culturally specific ‘needs-satisfiers’. RANQ provides information on both of these categories.
  • The resource profile approach, developed in parallel to the livelihoods framework, uses the concept of resources rather than ‘capitals’. In particular it seeks detailed information on the social and cultural resources that influence wellbeing outcomes. RANQ provides information on households’ control over a wide range of resources.

More specifically, RANQ gathers information on household resources (human, material, natural, social and cultural), the extent of needs satisfaction for households (health, education, food and housing) and long-term shocks and fortunes.

3. How RANQ contributes to WeD research

RANQ serves the following three purposes for the WeD research:

1. The collection of baseline data including access to resources and need satisfactions amongst the households and individuals in the research communities; this subsequently enables purposive sub-samples of individuals and households for ‘post-RANQ’ fieldwork.
2. The generation of data that can be used for comparative analysis - statistically and qualitatively – both within countries and across the four countries.
3. Developing an instrument specifically designed for the study of wellbeing.

4. Description

The RANQ questionnaire is identical across research sites and countries. However, the RANQ codebook identifies a wide range of locally different answers. The common format and procedures permits analysis within site, across sites in the same country (rural and urban) and across the four countries.

RANQ is organised into six sections:
1. the organisation of the household
2. a brief general assessment of subjective well-being
3. human resources: household member’s occupations, education and health.
4. access and use of material resources such as land and natural resources, livestock, asset ownership, housing utilities and sanitation. This section also gathers data on long-term shocks and fortunes, food shortages and clothing, wealth, transfers and income support. (Both the third and fourth sections also include questions on household’s perceptions, expectations and satisfaction on various resource dimensions)
5. social resources such as kin and fictive connections, connections to the local community, to the wider world, to markets and government
6. cultural resources such as language, social identity and honorific titles

5. How RANQ was developed

Before RANQ was administered, it underwent an intensive grounding and piloting phase within each of the four countries. This involved the identification of the empirical data required to address the conceptual issues; preparation of the survey instrument for the collection of empirical data; selection of the communities and households from which the data was to be gathered, and the planning of a data management system.

Translation of the RANQ into the different languages that took account of the different dialects within the four countries proved a challenging task. Special care was taken to ensure ongoing iteration between the country teams and pilot community respondents to establish the correct local terms for various items to be used within the questionnaire and to ensure that questions were phrased in a meaningful way that were both context specific and relevant. These were subsequently incorporated into a finalised translated RANQ appropriate to each of the research sites.

In each country, the selection of communities was consistent with an analytically reasoned case for why such a selection of communities provides insights into relationship between poverty, inequality and the quality of life in that country. Details on the rational for site selection within the four countries are summarised in Box 1.

Box 1: Site Selection (link to country websites)

Bangladesh is a highly dynamic country that has experienced profound demographic, economic, social, political and cultural changes over the years. One of the most visible changes is the gradual urbanisation of the country with a real increase of urban populations as well as the gradual coverage of new areas by urban growth. The expansion of the country’s capital (Dhaka) epitomises this process. One consequence of this is a much more obvious sense of connectedness and integration in the country. The WeD Research in Bangladesh argues that the process of connectedness and integration generates complex patterns of benefits and disadvantages.

The six research sites are located in two districts distinguished by their distance from Dhaka. The first district (Manikganj) is close to and enjoys very good communication with Dhaka while the second (Dinajpur) is quite distant from the capital and the communication is much more restricted. In each of the two districts, we chose one urban site (within the main town district) and two rural sites. One rural site was chosen close to the main district town and the other far from it in a remote site.

Within the Ethiopian context, the WeD team is seeking to analyse the production, reproduction and reduction of poverty within inequality dynamics and in relation to the cultural constructions of subjective wellbeing. This is being achieved through three separate, but linked programmes. At the core is an in-depth study of six sites, four rural and two urban. The rural sites are in the two largest regions (Amhara and Oromia), and in each case one site is close to market and state influences and the other more remote and less integrated. One of the urban sites is a key town for step-migration from one of the selected rural sites to the capital city. The other site is located in a market area on the outskirts of the capital city Addis Ababa in which a range of manifestations of poverty and destitution are apparent.

Given the considerable diversity in terms of ecology, livelihoods, cultures and societies, and in order to locate the selected sites meaningfully within the broader Ethiopian context, the country-wide analysis is based on grounding research in 20 sites conducted in the summer of 2003. This wider coverage enables the WeD project to situate the sites selected for in-depth study through both longitudinal panel data as well as comparative spatial analysis covering much of the country's diversity.

The distribution of income and wealth in Peru is one of the most unequal in the world. A key objective in the Peru WeD research is to investigate how this inequality is perpetuated and explore its impact on different measures of wellbeing along the “corridor” that runs east from Lima into the Central Highlands of the country. The concept of the "corridor" is not solely geographical (coastline/desert, highlands and jungle), but reflects variation in:

-Environment, including altitude and access to natural resources
-Population density and degree of urbanisation
-The relative importance of local and global trade
-Proximity to centres and sub-centres of political power
-Ethnicity (including the relative importance of Quechua and Spanish)
-The relative importance of individual and collective values

This variation is captured in the selection of seven sites along the corridor including two urban, two peri-urban and two rural sites. An additional rural site located in the jungle was added at a later stage to capture more diversity along the corridor. In doing this, diversity between urban, peri-urban and rural sites is fully captured taking as reference Lima, the capital city, and its influence on wellbeing across the Andean and Amazon regions.

The WeD research in Thailand addresses the rapid transformation of Thai society, which the country has been experiencing over the last three decades and considers its overall impact on wellbeing. Although Thailand has the highest per capita income in comparison to the other three WeD research countries, its strong economic growth and high incomes have been accompanied by a remarkable persistence in inequality.
The WeD study focuses in two distinctive regions of the country. The Northeast is often acknowledged as the poorest, while the South is a relatively prosperous area. Within each region, however, there is diversity and the WeD research is designed to explore this and capture the distinctiveness of the ways in which people construct their wellbeing.

Three rural sites have been selected in both the Northeast and the South to capture the impact of proximity and connectedness to urban centres, degree of infrastructure development, ethnic composition and dependence on agriculture and natural resources. Most studies in Thailand exploring problems related with urbanization have primarily concentrated on Bangkok, but there has been significant urban growth in the provinces. As a result, two rapidly growing provincial centres (Khon Kaen in the Northeast and Hat Yai in the South) have been selected as a focus for the urban studies.

In the study, we ruled out the possibility of drawing a nationally representative sample of communities for the following reasons:

  • Difficulty of gaining a nationally representative picture with a relatively small sample.
  • Availability of data from previous surveys increases the advantage of going back to the same samples.
  • Conditions important for the study of poverty, inequality and quality of life are significantly different in the four countries. Thus using the same criteria to dictate samples for all countries may be difficult and even counter productive.
  • The research experiences and interests of WeD members, both in Bath and the project countries, differ - an identical sampling procedure may not give sufficient flexibility to accommodate the strength of this diversity.

6. How RANQ was implemented

RANQ was administered to approximately 250 households in each research site in the local language by a team of interviewers selected by each of the country teams. Before RANQ was carried out, interviewers underwent intensive training using guidelines in how to carry out the RANQ and input details on the household using the roster card and the responses to questionnaire using the correct codes from the codebook. (The guidelines, roster cards, questionnaire and roster cards are all restricted access files. For more details please conatact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk)

RANQ is designed as a single respondent instrument. Where possible the single principal respondent to the questions was the Head of Household. In the absence of the Head of Household another senior member of the household was taken as the principal respondent. In order to obtain information or views from other members of the household, interviewers were encouraged to allow the main respondent to be informed by other members of the household. This type of ‘group’ interview is often unavoidable but RANQ procedures encouraged the principal respondent to consult other available household members, if it was acceptable to do so.

The same coding system and data verification procedures were used to ensure that comparable data was collected across all sites of the same country and across the all countries to facilitate analysis. Upon completion, the responses were inputted into English by the each of the country teams into a specially designed RANQ Microsoft Access database. This was followed by a series of consistency checks to avoid error.

7. How can RANQ be analysed

The RANQ data permits analysis a) within a site, b) across sites of the same country, eg. by rural and urban areas, and c) across the four countries. The following are examples of the research questions it could address:

  • To what extent are basic needs satisfied and how does this vary across groups? For example, is there any significant difference in access to health services, household member’s health status and education levels across the sites and groups (classified by age and sex)?
  • What are the major need satisfiers in different communities?
  • What access do households have to different resources, including social and cultural resources? For instance, do the poorest households have the lowest endowment of material resources such as land, livestock, housing, transfers, income support, and others?
  • To what extent are need satisfactions based on markets, government services, other providers, and relational resources? For example, how are need satisfactions affected by household participation in: a) labour market (as self-employed or wage worker), b) product market (buyer and seller), c) credit market, and d) input markets? Do the more market-integrated households have the highest level of need satisfaction?
  • What long-term shocks and fortunes affect different households?
  • How do different communities differ in all the above?

8. Links to other research tools

RANQ provides a large data source on households to which other WeD research tools can be linked. For example, links can be made to the Quality of Life (QoL) research by looking at how people’s access to resources relates to their own perceptions of wellbeing. Similarly, the structures and community profiles research can be used to look for explanations of inequality in access to resources and need satisfactions at the local, regional and national context

9. RANQ questionnaire restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk

10. RANQ codebook restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk

11. RANQ guidelines restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk

12. Roster card restricted access. Please contact Jane French j.french@bath.ac.uk

13. Further reading

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