The original World Management Survey (WMS) project pioneered the methodology of measuring management in manufacturing firms using an interview-based survey tool that evaluates a range of day-to-day management practices on a set scale. The tool has also been adapted to education and healthcare sectors. As part of the core research team of the WMS, we have worked to significantly expand the original data collection project and systematically measure management practices within and across countries since 2008.

As the dataset grew we noticed that when we applied the tool to schools and hospitals in developing countries, the distribution of management was very tight and sometimes truncated at the lowest score. We were clearly missing important variation at the substantial left tail of the distribution.

We created the Development WMS to allow us to more finely capture the practices used in these establishments. The survey is fully backwards comparable to the WMS. For a thorough description of the new tool check out the working paper here, but we provide a summary of the key differences between the two surveys below.


Break down type of activities within management practices

We identified three activities within each management practice in the WMS that could not be extricated ex-post from a score in the original methodology: implementation, usage, and monitoring.


Map and independently measure different activity types

We expanded the survey “vertically” by disentangling and mapping an activity type to each question of the survey’s management practices. With this we reduce measurement error and greatly increase the amount of codified information. Policy-wise we can now pin-point the bottlenecks and where policy could be most effective.


Capture key variation in strength of practices and activities

We expanded the survey “horizontally” to allow for greater variation of scores and allow interviewers to differentiate at a finer level between the strength of activities in places. This way we “un-bunch” some of the crucial lower-tail variation prevalent in the distribution of scores in developing countries.


On this page you will find all the available survey materials, but please visit the How to Run Your Survey page to see the steps we suggest to run your survey project properly. Click below to download each set of documents.

THE MATERIALS BELOW ARE FOR REFERENCE AND INFORMATION OF PROSPECTIVE SURVEY TEAMS AND INTERESTED RESEARCHERS. Everyone is welcome to use the survey questions and responses grid, but please note that to ensure comparability it is necessary to ensure the methodology is followed in a similar way to previous survey teams. Please get in touch with us if you would like to run your survey and we can help you set it up.


Scoring guide

The D-WMS scoring guide explains how to systematically score the school management practices that you hear described by the school principals during your interviews. Click below to download the PDF of the guide.



To ensure comparability, we use the same set of questions from the original World Management Survey. They are listed in the original survey tool instrument below. The difference between the WMS and the D-WMS lies in the scoring methodology, which takes a more detailed approach in the D-WMS.


Field forms

We have used SurveyCTO as the data entry tool for the D-WMS. We would be happy to set up a project space in our SurveyCTO server – please get in touch if you are interested. A screen shot of what the data collection tool looks like can be downloaded here. If you prefer to set up your own SurveyCTO form, please visit their website.