27 May

Spotlight on New Staff: Abibata Handley

This is the second in a series of posts introducing readers to new staff at The DHS Program. Welcome, Abibata!

Abibata Handley

Abibata Handley

Name: Abibata Handley

Position title:  Senior Advisor, Capacity Strengthening

Languages spoken:  French, English, Bambara, Dioula, Moore, Siamou.

When not working, favorite place to visit:  Turkey and Italy.

Favorite type of cuisine:  West African cuisine.

Last good book you readHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof.

Where would we find you on a Saturday?  With my husband at either our son’s music studio or our daughter’s Taekwondo Demo class.

First time you worked with DHS survey data: December 2013.

2008 Ghana DHS

2008 Ghana DHS

What is on your desk (or bulletin board/wall) right now?  Reframing Evaluation Through Appreciative Inquiry by Hallie Preskill and Tessie Catsambas and The Art of Facilitation by Dale Hunter, Anne Bailey and Bill Taylor.

What is your favorite survey final report cover?  The 2008 Ghana DHS.

What’s your favorite way to access The DHS Program’s data?  It depends on what I am working on:  our DHS Program website and sometimes our mobile app.

What population or health issue are you most passionate about?  Why?  Girls’ education/gender equity and reproductive health issues.  As an African woman I know that one influences the other.  As someone said “when you educate a girl, you educate a nation.”  If international development (public health) programs are to succeed in Africa, we need to maximize on girls education.  We need to invest more in educating girls and young women to bring about change, promote best health practices and improve economic returns in the households.  When hardship hits it is the girls that take the first hit.  Of course we need to do all this within the social and cultural contexts and ensure men are involved as well.  We cannot ignore that part of the equation.

What are you most looking forward to about your new position?  The DHS Program is going through an exciting time and I am thrilled to be part of it.  I look forward to leading our newest initiative, the Capacity Strengthening Program, and to working with our counterparts in making quality DHS data available worldwide.

What do you look forward to bringing to The DHS Program (job-related or not!)? Integrating new capacity strengthening approaches into all of our activities along the DHS survey continuum.  Outside of work, having fun and getting to know my colleagues better. I love to organize cookouts and I am looking forward to having them over.

09 May

Spotlight on Implementing Agencies: Jordan

Ikhlas Aranki and Ahmad Abu Haidar.

Ikhlas Aranki and Ahmad Abu Haidar.

In October 2013, The DHS Program welcomed visitors from the Jordan Department of Statistics. This is the second in a series of interviews with visitors to DHS headquarters. Find the first post here.


Ikhlas Aranki (Assistant Director General, Department of Statistics) and Ahmad Abu Haidar (Social Statistics and Poverty Studies Advisor, Department of Statistics).

When not working, favorite place to visit:

Restaurants, shopping centers, and parks.

First time you worked with The DHS Program’s data:

Ikhlas: 1990

Ahmad: 2012

What has been the nicest surprise visiting The DHS Program headquarters? 

Meeting old friends.

2012 Jordan DHS

2012 Jordan DHS

What do you miss most about home when you are here?

We miss family.

What is your favorite DHS final report cover?

All covers from Jordanian DHS reports.

FavoriteDHS chapter or indicator, and why?

Domestic Violence and Early Childhood development, because these chapters focus on marginalized segments of the population.

How do you hope theDHS data from your country will be used?

  • Planning for health programs and evaluating and improving existing programs as well as analyzing trends in demographic parameters.
  • Shaping health related policy through providing decision information useful for informed policy choices.

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