Research team smeru researchers hastuti, syaikhu usman, bambang sulaksono, r. justin sodo, asri yusrina, rahmitha, gracia hadiwidjaja, prio sambodho field researchers: basyri nasution, muhammad imam zamroni, asep kurniawan, muhammad badar translators: stephen girschik, mukti mulyana, budhi adrianto abstract to support the implementation of numerous social protection programs and the development of a unified database for social protection programs, statistics Indonesia (bps), in coordination with the national team for accelerating poverty reduction (tnp2k) and world bank, conducted the 2011 data collection for social protection programs (ppls 2011). ppls 2011 was implemented in order to build a unified database system containing information on all the 40% poorest households in Indonesia which will be used for the purpose of targeting social protection programs to eligible beneficiaries. to achieve this goal, around 45%-50% of low to lower middle socioeconomic households have been enumerated as part of the ppls 2011 implementation. in order to assess the quality of ppls 2011, the smeru research institute carried out a rapid appraisal of its implementation in four provinces covering eight kabupaten/kota, and sixteen villages/kelurahan. this appraisal was formulated based on interviews with bps staffs in kabupaten/kota and kecamatan (ksk), regional government officials, field enumerators (pcl), field supervisors (pml) and 253 households. in this qualitative study, smeru also observed training, data collection, data verification and data entry activities. in this appraisal, smeru finds that ppls 2011 has a number of improvements compared to previous data collections used to determine social protection program beneficiaries, namely the 2005 socioeconomic census (pse 2005) and the 2008 data collection for social protection programs (ppls 2008). some of these improvements are: a far greater coverage of households, clearer standard operating procedures (sop), the use of pre-listed lists of households as starting points based on technical analysis of census data, the neutral association of ppls 2011 to any programs, and the more detailed household information.meanwhile general criticisms of ppls 2011 are: the survey was perceived as being too centralized and/or insufficiently able to accommodate local socioeconomic characteristics, socialization to the community was limited, the criteria of low to lower middle socioeconomic households were not clear, and there were indications of possible under-coverage of households in some areas. this study offers several important recommendations that may be useful for future rounds of data collection for social protection programs. first, a fine, precise and firm explanation on the purpose of ppls should be given to all stakeholders, including the general population. second, in order to get high quality partners, enumerators must be recruited through an open and objective recruitment process. third, more precise and clearer definitions of what constitutes a low to lower middle socioeconomic household should be defined well in advance. fourth, training and field supervision activities should be improved. keywords: poverty, unified database, middle to low socioeconomic household, social protection program.