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Absence of Domestic Animals in Children’s Living Areas

Indicator Phrasing

% of households with children aged 6-23 months with no domestic animals present in the children’s living areas
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of households with children aged 6-23 months with no domestic animals present in the children’s living areas

French: % de ménages avec des enfants âgés de 6 à 23 mois n’ayant pas d’animaux domestiques présents dans les espaces de vie des enfants

Portuguese: % de agregados familiares com crianças com idades entre 6-23 meses sem presença de animais nas áreas habitacionais destinadas às crianças

Czech: % domácností s dětmi ve věku 6-23 měsíců bez přítomnosti domácích zvířat v místech kde děti tráví svůj čas

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the proportion of households where children are not likely to be exposed to animal faeces. Children’s exposure to animal faeces is among the main causes of environmental enteropathy (EE), a state of intestinal inflammation reducing the body’s ability to effectively absorb consumed nutrients. EE is believed to be one of the most significant causes of chronic undernutrition.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of the primary caregivers of children aged 6-23 months:


Q1 for data collector: if you have not done so earlier, ask for the name of the youngest child aged 6-23 months


Q2: Can you show me the place where [specify the child’s name] spends most of the day when s/he is at home? 

A2: the specific place was shown / the specific place was not shown


(ask the following questions only if a specific place was shown)


Q3 for data collector: Are there any animals present in the areas shown by the respondent?

A3 observation: yes / no


Q4 for data collector: Are there any animal faeces or other signs of animal presence (e.g. feathers) visible in the areas shown by the respondent? 

A4 observation: yes / no


Q5: How often do chickens / goats / pigs  … come into this place? (point to the place previously shown by the respondent)

A5: every day / a few times per week / very rarely / never


Children’s living areas can be considered “free from the presence of domestic animals” only if:

1) the data collector does not see any animals or the signs of animals’ presence (faeces, feathers …); and

2) the respondent says that animals come to these areas either “very rarely” or “never”.


To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of households with no domestic animal presence in the given area, by the total number of surveyed households (exclude those who did not show a place where children play). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 

Important Comments

1) This is a new indicator based on PIN’s experience with “Baby WASH” programming in Angola. If you decide to use it, please inform us of your experience and send us your suggestions for improving the provided guidance.


2) If the respondent indicates an area that is too large or too general, ask: “Can you please show me the exact place(s) where s/he spends most time?” Pilot this part of your survey extensively, so that you increase your chances of gaining meaningful data.


3) Since chicken excrement has a very high content of harmful Escherichia coli bacteria, instruct the data collectors to pay particular attention to the presence of chickens in the children’s living area.


4) Consider adding an extra question: “What types of animals sometimes come to this area?” (ask it only if answer to Q5 is other than “never”)


5) While the survey will not give you solid proof of the proportion of children living in “faeces-free” areas, it should help you to understand the effectiveness of your behaviour change activities (i.e. caregivers preventing animals from entering children’s living areas).


6) Always adjust the questions to the local contexts (for example, if no pigs are raised, do not ask about them) and to the intervention you implement (for example, if you promote baby play mats, you can ask whether the caregivers use any type of mat).


7) Do not count dogs and cats as “domestic animals” (it is not realistic to prevent them from running all round the living areas).


8) If possible, conduct the interviews when the weather is dry as rain makes observing any signs of animal presence much more difficult.

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This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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