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Egypt - Survey of Young People in Informal Urban Areas of Greater Cairo, SYPE-IGC 2016

Sampling Procedure

The SYPE-IGC was designed to be comparable with the Population Council's two previous nationally representative longitudinal surveys: the 2009 and 2014 Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE)

-----> Survey design and implementation

Although there is broad agreement among researchers and government bodies on the historical patterns leading to the informalization of Cairo and the main characteristics of informal areas, there is no consensus regarding the exact definition of informal areas. Based on the history of how informal areas emerged, Sims (2003) classifies the main types of informal areas in Cairo as: 1) informal settlements on private, formerly agricultural lands; 2) informal settlements on state- owned desert land; 3) deteriorated sections of the old city core; and 4) deteriorated urban pockets. The General Organization of Physical Planning (GOPP) uses the same definition and classification for identifying informal areas.

In contrast, CAPMAS defines informal areas based only on the legal status: "Neighborhoods that have been constructed by individuals either on their own agricultural land or on vacant state desert land under the process of 'hand claim' without formal licenses or building documents" (Khadr et al. 2008). Yet another definition has been adopted by the Informal Settlement

Development Fund (ISDF), which distinguishes between unsafe and unplanned areas. Whereas unplanned areas simply do not comply with planning and building regulations, unsafe areas are defined as those in which 50% of the housing structures satisfy one or more risk criteria. These areas thus require more urgent intervention and are the ISDF's main focus (ISDF 2009).

Finally, the Participatory Development Program in Urban Areas, of the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform (MOPMAR) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), adopted a definition that relates to both the legal status and the physical condition of the buildings in the area (Kipper and Fisher 2009; TU Berlin 2010; Abdelhalim 2011). Three categories are considered informal areas according to this definition: 1) legal but deteriorated structures, such as old inner-city houses; 2) structures that are illegally built but are in acceptable physical condition, and in addition suffer from a lack
of basic services and infrastructure; and 3) areas with illegal and deteriorated structures.

Given the lack of a standard definition for informal areas, there is also no agreement on the number of informal areas, their geographical boundaries and their population size. According to Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) figures, there were 1,171 slum areas in Egypt in 2007/2008 (IDSC 2008). The MOPMAR figure was 1,133 areas in 2003, whereas the Ministry of Local Development's figure was 1,221 areas in 2002 (Sabry 2009). The 2008 Millennium Development Goals monitoring report highlights that the number of informal areas in Egypt increased from 1,174 in 2004 to 1,210 in 2006 (UNDP Egypt and Ministry of State for Economic Development 2008). The lack of a common definition for informal areas complicated the process of defining the sampling frame for the SYPE-IGC survey.

Since the main purpose of the project was not only to assess risk conditions and safety of informal areas but also to gain a broad understanding of young people's lives in these areas, we did not focus on unsafe areas (as defined by the ISDF), but included both deteriorated and unplanned areas, which both the GOPP and the MOPMAR agree should be considered informal.

-----> Survey sample

ArcView GIS software was used to identify the boundaries of each area which met the criteria of these two definitions, resulting in a total number of 245 such areas in Greater Cairo, of which 139 were in Cairo governorate, 65 in Giza and 41 in Qalyubia. Based on the boundaries defined by the GIS, CAPMAS provided maps of street names and buildings and estimated the number of households in these buildings for each defined area. The areas of each governorate were geographically sorted and then divided into enumeration areas primary sampling units (PSUs) that each contained around 100 households, resulting in 10,587 PSUs: 6,127 in Cairo, 2,754 in Giza and 1,706 in Qalyubia. The target sample size was 3,600 households, in order to reach a sample of around 3,000 eligible individuals aged 15-29 years.

The population was divided into three strata representing the three governorates and the selection of the households was then completed in three stages:

First stage: A number of PSUs were selected systematically from each governorate proportional to the total number of households in the informal areas in that governorate. In the selected PSUs, the CAPMAS fieldwork team listed all the households, which provided information on the name of the household head and the number of eligible individuals by age group and sex.

Second stage: Based on the average number of eligible individuals in each PSU from the listing, it was decided to select 12 households from each PSU using a systematic random sampling technique to achieve the required sample of 3,000 young persons.

Third stage: Within the selected households, the household listing was used to select the eligible young people who would be interviewed in the SYPE-IGC. At this stage, the eligible youth population was divided into four age/sex groups of 15-21 years old (males and females), and 22-29 years old (males and females). A maximum of one individual from each group from each household was selected using a Kish grid.

Response Rate

The survey consisted of two questionnaires, the household questionnaire and the eligible individual questionnaire. Households selected in stage two were administered a household questionnaire, even if the household did not include any eligible young person. Out of 3,616 covered households only 2,991 (82.8%) household questionnaires were fully filled out. The refusal rate and incomplete questionnaires were quite minimal (2.8%). However, the main reason for non-response was due to closed dwelling throughout the fieldwork days in the relevant PSU.

In the interviewed households, 2,948 young person aged 15-29 were eligible for the young person survey, of whom 2,942 completed the individual questionnaire. Three young people were unavailable during the whole survey time, and three refused, resulting in a response rate of 99.8% at the level of young people.


Based on the sample design three weights were estimated to represent the households, the roster individuals, and the interviewed young people (aged 15- 29). The weights were adjusted for non-response. Also, expansion factors were calculated, using the estimated number of individuals and households residing in the total 10,587 PSUs, to reflect the actual size of the informal areas population.

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