25 Sep 2018

The New and Improved Guide to DHS Statistics

What is the Guide to DHS Statistics?

The purpose of the Guide to DHS Statistics is to provide transparent documentation to users to assist them in understanding DHS datasets and to enable them to reproduce the statistics in DHS reports. DHS surveys collect a wealth of information on a wide range of topics from a representative sample of the population in the countries that participate in The DHS Program. For each country, the information collected is processed, tabulated, and presented in a report that describes the living conditions and the demographic and health situation in the country.

Many of the procedures involved are straightforward and are familiar to demographic analysts. However, other procedures need special attention and have been developed based on experience accumulated over many years regarding the preferred way of calculating certain indicators, what to guard against, and what not to forget.

Who is the guide for?

The Guide to DHS Statistics is meant to be a tool for all data users: for those just starting out in data analysis and for those with advanced skills who need a tool for checking procedures. It is intended to serve as a reference document for those directly analyzing DHS data as well as for users who desire a deeper understanding of indicator definitions. The tool can help those who use DHS data to monitor and evaluate programs and assist in informed decision-making.

What’s new in this version of the guide?

The updated Guide to DHS Statistics serves as a replacement for the old tool, but also as an expansion. Though it provides the same basic indicator definitions and calculation information as the original tool for the indicators used in DHS-4, the new guide goes far beyond the original content by adding the many new indicators and topics that are now covered by the DHS-7 tabulation planNew features in the guide include variables, details of numerator and denominator calculations, discussions of changes over time, links to other relevant data use tools and resources, and links to API indicator data. Complex indicators include examples or figures to facilitate understanding. View an example of an indicator page here.

Where can you find the guide? What else can you expect?

The new guide was a team effort of many DHS Program staff members, and the result is a document that is available as a PDF and online as an interactive tool. In the near future, the guide will be expanded to include chapters on female genital cutting and fistula. The tool will be continuously updated as the DHS core questionnaires and tabulation plans change to ensure that data users always work with the most up-to-date reference guide to the universe of DHS data.

Online Guide to DHS Statistics

PDF Guide to DHS Statistics

21 Sep 2018

Global Goals Week 2018

This week marks the beginning of Global Goals Week, a week where the United Nations and partners come together to bring awareness to accelerate progress to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals. The DHS Program collects data to calculate approximately 30 of the indicators supporting the SDGs. You can find the full list of DHS-related SDG indicators here.

The infographic below highlights three Global Goals using recent DHS data from Haiti, India, Timor-Leste, and Uganda:

Anyone can contribute to these goals by spreading the word. Share the infographic below, and don’t forget to stay connected by using #GlobalGoals throughout the week. Explore the indicators described in the infographic and more in one easy-to-read table using STATcompiler.

 

Click to share the infographic on Facebook
Click to retweet the infographic on Twitter

 

12 Sep 2018

Inside The DHS Program: Q&A with Erica Nybro

Name: Erica Nybro

Position title: Senior Advisor for Communication

What is your role at The DHS Program? I lead the communication and dissemination team at The DHS Program, supporting activities that make DHS data accessible and easy to use.

Languages spoken: English and French

Favorite DHS survey cover: Because the dissemination team uses the covers as the design inspiration for additional print materials and infographics, I prefer covers with strong colors and local art or repeating designs. The 2015-16 Tanzania DHS-MIS is a good recent example.

When did you start at The DHS Program? 2004. It was my first job after graduate school.

What has been the biggest change in The DHS Program during your time here? The range of assistance we provide has expanded dramatically. When I started in 2004, the dissemination team supported a national seminar by providing PowerPoints and a Key Findings report. Now we offer a suite of curricula to support data use, data visualization, and social media, we live-tweet survey results, and we train users to access data through STATcompiler and The DHS Program mobile app.

What work are you most proud of? I am very proud of The DHS Program’s ability to respond so quickly to emerging technology. Ten years ago no one had even considered that a mobile application would provide DHS data on smartphones, and last year more than 4,000 users downloaded The DHS Program mobile app. And since 2014, all DHS indicator-level data are available through The DHS Program API, allowing users to make their own apps and visualizations.


What’s your favorite trip to date? Any specific memory? 
In 2017, I was in Myanmar to help launch their first-ever Demographic and Health Survey. The pride and excitement they had to use nationally representative data for the first time was infectious.

Is there a country that you would like to visit that you haven’t been to? Many! India and Madagascar are on my DHS bucket list, while Iceland and Peru will hopefully be future vacation destinations.

What developments in data collection or global health, in general, are you excited about right now? I am a data visualization enthusiast, and never a day goes by that I don’t see a new dashboard, graph, or map illustrating global health data. I’m looking forward to seeing how The DHS Program can continue to visualize our data to maximize data use, increase global understanding, and generate interest and passion for population and health topics.  

Photo Credit: © 2018, ICF

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
dhsprogram.com

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.