International Household Survey Network (IHSN)


The International Household Survey Network (IHSN) is a network of international agencies that aims to improve access to quality survey data within developing countries, and encourage its use. It is comprised of a Central Survey Catalog, that has over 6500 searchable studies and provides access to various surveys and censuses conducted in low- and middle- income countries, and a Citation Catalog, that has nearly 71,000 searchable citations and allows users to browse various published articles, working papers, books, and other scholarly works that are associated with their search criteria. The Central Survey Catalog also provides an array of metadata, when available. *

*This description is a paraphrased version of the description on the IHSN website.

Available data file formats

The format of the data files will depend on the external source from which the data is made available. Being that there is a wide range of external sources, there is no specific file format that can be guaranteed when seeking out the data.


This is an open data source that is for public use.


how to retrieve data by example


Suppose you wish to obtain survey data on employment in the Philippines for the most recent year possible.


  • Go to the IHSN main website. At the top of the screen, hover over the tab that says Survey catalogs to view the dropdown menu. From this dropdown menu, click on IHSN Survey Catalog.
  • On the left of the screen in the Search by Keyword box, search employment in the study description field.
  • To filter results by data that is available, go to the Filter by Data Access field and check the box that says Data available from external repository. To filter results by country, go to the Filter by Country field and select View/Select More to select Philippines from the listed countries.
  • The results listed are defaulted to be sorted by relevance. Directly above the results are options to sort the results by country, year, title or popularity. To get the most recent year possible, click on the Year option next to Sort results by. Notice the results are automatically put in ascending order (older years are listed first). To have the most recent year as the first result, click on the Year option twice.
  • The first result now says Labor Force Survey 2016, April for the country of the Philippines. Select this result and you will be taken to the general information page for this survey.
  • Under the general information, go to the last tab on the right that says Get Microdata. You will now see a link that will take you to an external site to retrieve the data from there. Note you will no longer by on the IHSN website, so the format, layout and navigation of the site will be different than before.

After visiting the external source, you should now have access to the employment data for the Philippines within the survey Labor Force Survey 2016, April. Links to access and download the accompanying codebooks and/or metadata should also be available on the general information page for the survey on the IHSN website.

Be sure to consult with the source website on how to properly cite your data. For this scenario, the citation is found by clicking on the Study Description tab and then selecting Data Access on the left side. The citation is found towards the bottom of the page and is as follows:

"Philippine Statistics Authority, April 2016 Labor Force Survey, Version 3.0 final data for public use.