A simple method for comparing independent groups of clustered binary data with group-specific covariates is proposed. It is based on the concepts of design effect and effective sample size widely used in sample surveys, and assumes no specific models for the intracluster correlations. It can be implemented using any standard computer program for the analysis of independent binary data after a small amount of preprocessing. The method is applied to a variety of problems involving clustered binary data: testing homogeneity of proportions, estimating dose-response models and testing for trend in proportions, and performing the Mantel-Haenszel chi-squared test for independence in a series of 2 x 2 tables and estimating the common odds ratio and its variance. Illustrative applications of the method are also presented.