25 Nov 2014

DHS Curriculum Training in Kenya

Participants in the DHS Curriculum Training in Mombasa, Kenya

Participants in the DHS Curriculum Training in Mombasa, Kenya

By Peninah K. Masibo

The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) curriculum is a course that builds the capacity of faculty and students in African universities to understand and use DHS surveys. The course covers a general introduction to the DHS, basic statistics and demographic health terms, indicators in the DHS, conducting a DHS, collecting data on HIV/AIDS and malaria as well as dissemination and use of DHS data.

In May 2014, 40 participants from the Technical University of Mombasa and Pwani University went through a five day training on the DHS curriculum course. Participants were an interesting mix of senior university professors, deans of schools, heads of academic departments, members of various faculties, and graduate students. The participants came from various fields of specialization including medical sociology, public health, environmental science, laboratory management, entomology, epidemiology, and medicine.This range of scholars made it so much fun and generated very hearty debates regarding the DHS curriculum and the applicability of the materials in university teaching, learning, and research.

The DHS curriculum training spurred participants into finding ways of integrating DHS into their university teaching. Applicable fields include statistics, epidemiology, research methods, vector control, parasitology, human nutrition, medical laboratory, HIV/AIDS, research methods, and medical sociology. The graduate students from the Master of Public Health (MPH) programs at both universities found the training very applicable to their course and field work activities.

2008-09 Kenya DHS

One of the prominent areas of discussion was the new malaria module. The Kenyan coastal region is a malaria endemic zone, and the module is very relevant for research and academic teaching in the institutions of higher learning. The malaria trivia game made it a very memorable learning experience. Other interesting discussions centered on emerging health issues such as cervical cancer. Participants were thrilled to learn of the inclusion of cervical cancer knowledge questions in some DHS countries.

The training created a lot of interest in learning how to use DHS data for individual and group research activities. Working in small groups made the training very exciting allowing the graduate students to lead discussions along with senior faculty.

The training was well organized with full participation from the two public universities. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) of Academics, Research, and Extension at Technical University of Mombasa made the official opening speech. She highlighted the importance of DHS in informing health and development policy in Kenya and globally. The closing ceremony and the certificate award were conducted by the DVC of Academics and Student Affairs at Pwani University. He observed the need for participants to apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills from the training to enhance the universities’ training activities.


Dr. PM.photoPeninah K. Masibo is a lecturer at the Moi University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Kenya.




19 Nov 2014

GIS Resources at The DHS Program


By Clara Burgert

The first DHS survey to use geographic location data was the 1996 Benin DHS. At that time, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day didn’t even exist (it was first started in 1999)! But over the years, we’ve collected location data in more and more surveys—over 120 to date. Our offerings in terms of GIS tools for understanding the data we’ve collected have also become richer. These data serve the important role of helping us to understand the linkage between health behavior or outcomes and physical location.

One of the key GIS tools that The DHS Program has created is the Spatial Data Repository (SDR). The Spatial Data Repository provides geographically-linked health and demographic data from The DHS Program and the U.S. Census Bureau for mapping in a GIS.  The SDR has gone through many iterations before it arrived at its present design. Originally, the site was just a host for users to download .zip packages of information. When we launched the current SDR last year, it had been completely redesigned to include several new functionalities, including the Boundaries page, which allows users to take a look at ways in which boundaries have changed over time in DHS surveys. The SDR is one of the first USAID-funded sites that is fully open data, that is, any user can go to the site and download information for free, without having to go through a process of registration or requesting.

As of September this year, the SDR has added even more resources. The boundary page has a comparison page, and we’ve added more maps and search functions to the SDR Gallery, where users can peruse maps that were created from the SDR data. Users can submit their own maps, and they may also be featured on the site.

We’ve also created several video tutorials that explain more about how to use GIS resources (and three SDR-specific videos) at DHS.

Be it today for GIS Day or any day of the year, The DHS Program GIS resources are available to assist you in visualizing and analyzing DHS data.





The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

The DHS Program, ICF
530 Gaither Road, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: +1 (301) 407-6500 • Fax: +1 (301) 407-6501

Anthropometry measurement (height and weight) is a core component of DHS surveys that is used to generate indicators on nutritional status. The Biomarker Questionnaire now includes questions on clothing and hairstyle interference on measurements for both women and children for improved interpretation.