Category Archives: Inside The DHS Program

20 Feb 2019

Inside the DHS Program Q&A: Tom Pullum

Name: Tom Pullum

Position title: Director of Research

What is your role at The DHS Program? I manage the analysis team, which prepares the majority of analysis reports that are released after the Final Reports and standard recode files have been produced. I am the lead author or co-author of at least a couple of these reports each year. The analysis team also conducts the DHS Fellows Program and Data Analysis Workshops. I also assist with data quality issues that occasionally arise during the preparation of Final Reports and frequently answer questions related to statistics, demography, or Stata that are submitted to the DHS User Forum.

When did you start at The DHS Program? I joined The DHS Program in May 2011. Previously, I had been a demographer in the academic world at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Washington. In 2010-11, I took a non-academic break to work with USAID as part of the Global Health Fellows Program, expecting to return to the University of Texas. However, the opportunity to join The DHS Program came up and I retired from the University of Texas to join The DHS Program.

What has been the biggest change in The DHS Program during your time here? The biggest change has been in the sheer volume of work, indicated by the increased number of surveys, Final Reports, and analysis reports that are conducted annually. The analysis team has become very efficient in producing analysis reports that include a large number of surveys.

What work are you most proud of? Personally, I am most proud of the methodological reports that I have been directly involved in, but in a broader way, I’m very pleased with the growth and development of the analysis team. The capacity to conduct high-quality research and workshops has steadily increased. My colleagues work well together, take initiative, and are very productive.

Do you have any newly authored publications or articles you would like to share? I would like to point people to some methodological reports that came out late in 2017 and 2018.

         

                          

How are the topics for analysis reports selected? Every year, we work with USAID/Washington to develop a list of topics for reports that will be completed by the end of the year. Reports in the Further Analysis series originate within the USAID Missions in countries that have recently done a survey. Those reports generally examine trends across at least the two most recent surveys. The Methodological Reports are intended to lead to improvements in future data collection or to increase our ability to extract useful information from the data that have already been collected.

Who is the audience for analysis reports? In addition to meeting the programmatic needs of USAID, there is a large community of DHS data users who would benefit from these reports. It is always a pleasure to hear from that larger community and to help them get the most out of the data. We hope that as many people as possible will visit our website become familiar with the reports that are available there.

07 Nov 2018

Spotlight on Implementing Agencies: Senegal

In July 2018, The DHS Program welcomed visitors from Senegal who came to the office to finalize the reports for the 2017 Continuous Survey (Continuous DHS (EDS-C) and Continuous SPA (ECPSS)).

Don’t read French? You can use the translate feature at the top of the page!

Nom, titre et organisation : Samba NDIAYE, Chef de Division du Recensement et des Statistiques Démographiques (DRSD) de l’Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie (ANSD) ; Papa Ibrahim Sylmang SENE, Directeur des Statistiques Démographiques et Sociales, ANSD ; Papa Mabeye DIOP, ANSD ; Ibou GUISSE, Médecin, ANSD ; Awa Cissoko FAYE, Chef de Bureau Conception et Méthodes d’Analyses Sociodémographiques, ANSD

Qu’est-ce qui vous a le plus surpris lors de votre séjour à «The DHS Program »?

NDIAYE : Le dispositif organisationnel et la répartition des fonctions.

Qu’est-ce qui vous manque le plus quand vous êtes ici ?

GUISSE : Ma famille, les plats sénégalais, le téléphone.

Quel est votre chapitre ou indicateur préféré de l’EDS-C ou l’ECPSS, et pourquoi ? 

FAYE : La mortalité maternelle car elle est collectée tous les cinq ans  dans l’EDS, c’est-à-dire très attendue par le Ministère de la Santé et de l’Action Sociale.

GUISSE : La planification familiale (PF), car depuis le début de l’EDS en 2012 on constate une nette amélioration des indicateurs de la PF (taux de prévalence  contraceptive et disponibilité des produits).

L’équipe sénégaglais partage l’expérience de l’Enquête Continue avec The DHS Program.

Comment espérez-vous que les données de l’Enquête Continue soient utilisées ?

SENE : Pour le renseignement des documents de suivi et évaluation des programmes nationaux et régionaux, pour l’élaboration des lettres des politiques sectorielles, pour la recherche (état, privé et université, etc.), pour la planification des projets et programmes.

GUISSE : Les données de l’EDS doivent être utilisées à des fins de planification (aider à la prise de décision). Mais pour cela, il faudra faire beaucoup d’efforts dans la dissémination et essayer de sortir les résultats un peu plutôt avant la planification des utilisateurs.

Sénégal va bientôt terminer son projet pilote d’implémenter une Enquête Continue qui fournit des données annuelles au cours d’une période de 5 ans. Pour vous, quel est le plus grand succès ce modèle ?

DIOP : La capacité de réaliser et d’enquêter toutes les années en respectant la publication annuelle.

NDIAYE : La prise en compte des besoins spécifiques des programmes, la production continue d’indicateur clés sur la planification familiale, le renforcement des capacités dans tout le processus.

Quel est le défi le plus grand que votre agence a surmonté lors de l’Enquête Continue ?

SENE : 1) Le défi technique ; 2) Le défi du financement ; 3) Le défi de l’appropriation par les ministères cibles comme la santé, la famille etc. ; 4) Assurer la transition vers la pérennisation, l’enquête qui est en cours en 2018.

FAYE : L’autonomie dans la réalisation de l’Enquête Continue

Quelles sont d’autres leçons apprises ou pensées que vous aimeriez partager ?

GUISSE : Travail en équipe (surtout avec d’autres personnes de culture différente), gestion des ressources surtout humaines ; la négociation avec les responsables de structures surtout privées pour faire accepter le SPA (l’ECPSS).

SENE : 1) Un excellent encadrement d’ICF dans toutes les phases du début à la fin ; 2) Un excellent programme de renforcement des capacités de l’équipe technique de l’ANSD et des utilisateurs (Ministères santé, famille, économie, etc.)

                            

Les données de l’Enquête Continue 2017 ont été restituées le 27 septembre 2018. Téléchargez les rapports finaux ici.

Légende de la photo: De gauche à droite : Peter Aka, Mamadou Diallo, Michelle Winner, Awa Cissoko Faye, Metahan Traoré, Ibou Guissé, Papa Ibrahim Sylmang Sene, Papa Mabèye Diop, Abibahata Handley, Annē Linn, Samba Ndiaye, Jose Miguel Guzman

Photo Credit: © 2018, ICF

16 Oct 2018

In Memory of Bernard Barrère

Click here for a French translation

A life of service to global health, data, and cross-cultural collaboration

On October 14th 2018, Bernard Barrère, Deputy Director of The DHS Program, passed away from complications of esophageal cancer. Bernard served The DHS Program for 29 years in various capacities. He will be remembered as a pillar of the Demographic and Health Surveys, and as a survey expert with an incomparable work ethic and a huge and gentle heart.

Bernard earned degrees in Sociology, Demography, and International Development from the University of Toulouse in the 1970s. Bernard then moved to Cote d’Ivoire where he spent most of the 1980s teaching demography to undergraduates at the School of Medicine of the University of Abidjan. It was in Cote d’Ivoire that Bernard was first involved in large household surveys. He participated in the design of the World Fertility Survey (WFS, the predecessor of the DHS) and then supervised the implementation of the WFS in Cote d’Ivoire.

Bernard joined the DHS team in Maryland in 1989 as a Senior Demographic Expert, managing surveys in West Africa. His expertise and influence grew as he took on the position of HIV Coordinator, leading the DHS through the development of the AIDS Indicator Survey and the innovative process of collecting blood spots for HIV prevalence testing in DHS and AIS surveys. In 2012, Bernard became Deputy Director of The DHS Program, overseeing the design and implementation of more than 60 surveys every 5 years.

Over the course of almost 30 years, Bernard has been a mentor and friend to countless colleagues at The DHS Program offices and far beyond and was especially well known in virtually every francophone low- and middle-income country in Central and West Africa and around the world. He had deep relationships with data and development experts at USAID, UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, and the World Bank. He spent countless months providing technical assistance to surveys in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Director of The DHS Program, Sunita Kishor summarizes:

“To say that Bernard will be missed underestimates how central Bernard’s contributions to The DHS Program have been. The DHS Program is committed to carrying forth the legacy that Bernard helped build. We can fill his position, but we cannot hope to ever replace him.”

Bernard returned home to France annually to enjoy friends, family, French culture, food, and wine. He is survived by his wife Monique and his son Maxime.

Colleagues and friends worldwide are invited to share memories with The DHS Program and Bernard’s family through the email address: inmemory@dhsprogram.com.

Photo Credit: © 2018, ICF


Une vie au service de la santé globale, des données et de la collaboration interculturelle

Le 14 octobre 2018, Bernard Barrère, le directeur adjoint du DHS Program, est décédé suite à des complications d’un cancer de l’œsophage. Bernard a occupé, pendant 29 ans, un nombre varié de rôles au sein du DHS Program. Nous nous souviendrons de lui comme un pilier des Enquêtes Démographiques et de Santé, et aussi comme un expert en enquêtes ayant une éthique de travail incomparable et un cœur à la fois énorme et doux.

Bernard a fait ses études en Sociologie, Démographie et Développement International à l’Université de Toulouse dans les années 70. Après ses études, il déménagea à la Côte d’Ivoire, où il passa la majorité des années 80 à enseigner la démographie aux étudiants en licence à la Faculté de Médicine de l’Université d’Abidjan. C’est en Côte d’Ivoire que Bernard s’est impliqué pour la première fois dans les grandes enquêtes auprès des ménages. Il participa à la conception de l’Enquête Mondiale sur la Fécondité (EMF, le prédécesseur de l’EDS) et à ensuite a supervisé sa mise en œuvre

Bernard a rejoint l’équipe du DHS Program à Maryland en 1989 en tant qu’expert senior en démographie et responsable des enquêtes d’Afrique de l’ouest. Son expertise et son impact se sont accrus quand il a occupé le poste de Coordonnateur VIH. À ce poste, il a guidé The DHS Program dans le développement de l’Enquête sur les Indicateurs du Sida (EIS) et le processus innovateur de la collecte des échantillons de gouttes de sang séché pour mesurer la prévalence du VIH. En 2012, Bernard est devenu le directeur adjoint du DHS Program, responsable de la conception et la mise en œuvre de plus de 60 enquêtes tous les cinq ans.

Au cours des 30 dernières années, Bernard fut un parrain et un ami pour ses innombrables collègues à la fois dans le bureau du DHS Program et ailleurs. Il était particulièrement reconnu dans tous les pays francophones du monde où il a apporté son expertise. Il a noué des liens profonds avec les experts en données et en développement de l’USAID, l’UNICEF, l’OMS, l’UNAIDS et de la Banque Mondiale. Son assistance technique pour les enquêtes des pays de l’Afrique sub-saharienne, de l’Asie, du Moyen-Orient et de la Caraïbe, est inestimable.

La directrice du DHS Program, Sunita Kishor, a résumé notre perte en disant :

« Dire que Bernard nous manquera sous-estime le rôle central qu’il occupait au sein du DHS Program. Nous, du The DHS Program nous engageons à poursuivre l’héritage que Bernard a aidé à construire. Nous pouvons combler son poste, mais nous ne pourrons jamais le remplacer. »

Bernard aimait, chaque année, retourner en France pour y retrouver ses amis, sa famille, la culture, la nourriture et le bon vin français. Il laisse dans le deuil sa femme Monique et son fils Maxime.

Les collègues et amis partout dans le monde sont invités à partager leurs souvenirs avec The DHS Program et la famille de Bernard à l’adresse suivante : inmemory@dhsprogram.com.

Photo Credit: © 2018, ICF

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

23 May 2018

Inside The DHS Program: Q&A with Dr. Sunita Kishor

Name: Dr. Sunita Kishor

Position title: Director, The DHS Program

What is your role at The DHS Program? To lead, inspire, foster innovation, nurture staff, solve problems, and celebrate successes

When did you start at The DHS Program?  October 1993. Yup—just a few months shy of my 25th anniversary!

Languages spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi

Favorite DHS cover: Not a cover of a country report, but of the 2004 study “Profiling Domestic Violence: A Multi-country Study” in the DHS Occasional Paper series. Why is this my favorite cover? Because it uses no words, and yet speaks so very loudly about the silence that surrounds the scourge that is domestic violence.

What work are you most proud of?  The inclusion of gender issues into the DHS survey, of course! I sometimes wonder if the SDGs would have been able to include and monitor goals related to women’s empowerment and gender-based violence if The DHS Program had not been consistently collecting these data and making the data widely available for monitoring and analysis.

What’s your most memorable trip to date? Any specific memory?  Not just one trip, but the trips I made as part of field monitoring for the 1998-99 India NFHS-2 fieldwork. These trips into the many hearts of India—way outside the comfort of the urban, elite bubble of New Delhi where I grew up—opened my eyes to the real, multidimensional India. I met women whose life experiences made me proud to be a woman and humbled me too, especially when I looked at my life through their eyes.

One event that showed me what son-preference really looks like in real life was when a grandmother in an NFHS sample household in remote rural Madhya Pradesh asked me to take away her baby granddaughter, barely a month old. In no uncertain terms, she told me that the girl child was unwanted and I could have her. It was only the intervention of her son that prevented the woman from forcing the baby into my hands.

What developments in data collection or global health are you excited about right now? The continued improvements in technology that allow real-time tracking and monitoring of fieldwork and the advances in biomarker measurement are among the many data collection-related developments that excite me.

In the broader arena of global health and development, I am excited about The DHS Program continuing to provide high-quality, timely, and ethically collected data to ensure that the SDGs do indeed lead to greater accountability for meeting the aspirations of all people.

Photo Credit: © 2018, ICF

14 Dec 2017

Inside The DHS Program: Q&A with Gulnara Semenov

Name: Gulnara Semenov

Position title: Senior Medical Officer

What is your role at The DHS Program? I served as Regional Coordinator for Anglophone Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia and as a survey manager for DHS and Service Provision Assessment (SPA) surveys for the last 15 years. I was responsible for negotiating scope, content, logistics, and budgets for both DHS and SPA surveys, in addition to working with survey stakeholders to develop, manage, and train staff for surveys. I recently started as Senior Medical Officer and will provide technical support for all health-related aspects of DHS Program surveys. I will also work on new health-related modules and represent The DHS Program in various technical working groups.

Languages spoken: Russian and English

Favorite DHS Program survey cover (country, survey type, and year): I love covers that open your eyes to the people we describe in the report. My all-time favorite is the 2005-06 Honduras DHS cover featuring the Maya numeral system; I think it is an incredibly cool cover showing that science and art are closely related.

I also like the 2005 Armenia DHS and 2010 Armenia DHS covers featuring miniatures from the medieval Armenian illuminated manuscripts, a very refined and remarkable art form showing the character of the people they represent.

        

What has been the biggest change in The DHS Program during your time here? The most obvious is using the computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) system for data collection. We started collecting information using paper questionnaires, and now we are moving towards using electronic devices to collect data, which requires a different kind of technical assistance and skills from the interviewers. The DHS Program has also expanded the questionnaires which are now much larger and cover lots of subjects. We added additional trainings and biomarkers which require various skills and expertise from The DHS Program staff.

What work are you most proud of? Hard to single out, but I think the most rewarding is to be part of The DHS Program family and work side by side with my colleagues who are all remarkable professionals. They demonstrate exceptional examples of work ethic ensuring countries receive the best technical assistance the survey deserves to maintain the reputation of the DHS survey as the gold standard. The DHS program is truly dedicated to capacity building and it is always rewarding to hear from the colleagues that our technical assistance is very comprehensive and transparent in skills transfer.

What’s your favorite trip to date? Every new country is a surprise. I remember Egypt for its remarkable temples, art, history, and their wonderful people. I came to Cairo over the Easter break and was very surprised to learn it was a national holiday and the office was closed!

I was so surprised to find out how lush and green West Africa is when I first visited Ghana. I certainly love to go back to the countries of the former Soviet Union, my home region, to see for myself their achievements in building democracy over the last 20 years.

What developments in data collection or global health are you excited about right now?  Developments in technology are hard to ignore whether it is a personal device that can store tons of information or the availability of genetically tailored treatments to treat a specific form of cancer. I am very hopeful that global health is now more and more people-centered. It is amazing how a small mobile phone became a daily part of life for a person in every corner of the word.

12 Oct 2017

The New Nutrition Team

Hemoglobin analysis in DHS surveys in carried out with a portable HemoCue analyzer.

Did you know that nutrition is one of the most published topics using data from The DHS Program? This shows what a major resource The DHS Program is for nutrition-related policy, programs, and research. Recognizing the important contribution of nutrition data, two new nutrition experts have recently joined The DHS Program team, Drs. Sorrel Namaste and Rukundo K. Benedict.

As our new nutrition experts, they will manage all aspects of nutrition data collection and use, working to:

  • Ensure provision of high-quality nutrition data within The DHS Program
  • Explore innovations for nutrition data in low- and middle-income countries
  • Support evidence-based programming and policies with relevant and timely nutrition data
  • Build capacity in nutrition data measurement, analysis, and use around the world

Some of The DHS Program’s recent activities on nutrition include the new Hemoglobin report, and we are also currently seeking applications for the 2018 DHS Fellows Program. To stay up-to-date with more nutrition activities, sign up for our upcoming nutrition newsletter.

So join us in welcoming our new nutrition team in the comment section, and learn more about them in their bios below. If you still have any questions or comments, you can reach out to them directly at nutrition@dhsprogram.com.


Dr. Sorrel Namaste is the Senior Nutrition Technical Advisor for The DHS Program. She is an epidemiologist with expertise in nutrition assessment and implementation research. Dr. Namaste has a particular interest in the use of data to strengthen the feedback loop between the scientific, policy, and implementation communities. Prior to joining The DHS Program, she was the Anemia Team Lead for the USAID-funded SPRING project. In this capacity, she provided technical assistance to governments to develop national strategies, supported program implementation, and contributed to the formation of global policies. Previously, she also worked for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she was responsible for supporting large-scale global nutrition research projects. While at NIH, she served as the co-principal investigator on the Biomarkers Reflecting Inflammation and Nutrition Determinants of Anemia (BRINDA) Project. She completed her DrPH at George Washington University and holds an MHS from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Global Epidemiology.

Dr. Rukundo K. Benedict is a Nutrition Technical Specialist for The DHS Program. She is a public health nutrition practitioner with expertise in infant and young child feeding (IYCF), water-sanitation hygiene (WASH), community health systems and the delivery of integrated interventions in low-resource settings. Prior to joining The DHS Program, she worked as a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University on policy and program relevant projects. She led a project with UNICEF South Asia to examine the epidemiology of breastfeeding in South Asia and to explore the effectiveness of strategies to support breastfeeding and maternal nutrition and infant feeding counseling. She also conducted implementation research on the delivery of nutrition and nutrition sensitive interventions by community health workers in the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial in rural Zimbabwe. She has a PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University and an MSPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Photo Caption: Hemoglobin analysis in DHS surveys in carried out with a portable HemoCue analyzer

09 Aug 2017

The First-ever DHS in Myanmar: The Value of a Nationally Representative Survey

2015-16 Myanmar DHS Final ReportMany DHS countries have completed 3, 4, or 5 surveys, and look forward to their next DHS to examine trends and assess progress. But the 2015-16 Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) was the first DHS conducted, providing, for the first time ever, internationally comparable and nationally representative DHS data. For Myanmar, this is an especially meaningful achievement, as some areas of Myanmar have previously been too insecure for inclusion in national surveys.

The Myanmar DHS team, including the Ministry of Health and Sports, USAID/Burma, the 3MDG Fund, and ICF staff decided at the beginning of the survey process to prioritize inclusion of all people in Myanmar. This meant that many extra efforts were taken to collect data in even the hardest-to-reach areas, including clusters that had previously been unreachable by survey programs due to insecurity and violence. Deliberate efforts were made to hire interviewers from all regions and states and to ensure that interviewers could speak minority languages. In one case, data collection teams traveled to a selected cluster in ambulances to ensure fieldworker safety. Extensive advocacy efforts took place before the survey teams arrived at sensitive locations to make certain that communities were informed about the survey and felt comfortable participating. Ultimately, 98% of selected households participated in the MDHS. You can read more about sampling here.

With the 2015-16 MDHS, Myanmar joins the DHS club with nationally representative, transparent, and freely available data for decision makers in Myanmar and worldwide. During the national seminar releasing the MDHS data, the Minister of Health urged 150 eager audience members,

“I do not want this survey to be on a shelf… it must be on the desk of program managers and state and regional health directors”.

The Ministry of Health and Sports has been working towards this goal, holding dissemination workshops in all 15 states and regions in May.

As someone who has been with The DHS Program for 13 years and helped to support dozens of surveys, the release of a new survey final report never gets old. But in Myanmar, the survey signifies more than new data. It represents a new era in Myanmar where information is shared, all people are included, and representative data are used to inform decision making.

All of us at The DHS Program offer our congratulations to the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports. Your hard work and dedication over the last two years have paid off. We look forward to working with you again. And next time we can talk about trends.

Representatives of the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports, USAID, the 3MDG Fund, and other key stakeholders share the results of the 2015-16 Myanmar DHS on March 23, 2017, in Nay Pyi Taw.

06 Apr 2017

Inside The DHS Program: Q&A with Trevor Croft

Name:  Trevor Croft

Position title: Technical Director/Capacity Strengthening Technical Coordinator (way too much and doesn’t really capture what I do).

Languages spoken: French (not great, but workable), Spanish (pretty weak, but I have worked in Spanish speaking countries), a smattering of Russian (when I worked in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia), and a few words of Bahasa Indonesia, plus enough to order a beer in most other places.

Albania and Health Survey 2008-09 [FR230](English)Favorite DHS cover: 2008-09 Albania DHS – it is based on a photograph I took of a piece of cloth with a very stylized version of the Albanian double-headed eagle that is seen on their national flag.

What has been the biggest change in The DHS Program during your time here? There are many, many changes but two of the biggest have been firstly the change in questionnaire content from a relatively small family planning focused survey in the 1980s to the much bigger and more extensive health content that we see today; and secondly the changes that computing and the internet have brought, going from computers with only floppy drives for data entry of paper questionnaires to the use of tablet computers, data capture in the field, and the rapid transfer of data, but with the ever increasing complexity of the data collection and processing systems.

What work are you most proud of?  Several things come to mind – in the early days the creation of standard tools and conventions for the processing of surveys that are still in effect (and effective) today, the widespread distribution of datasets through the internet, the development of CSPro with colleagues at the US Bureau of the Census, and the development of  STATcompiler back in 1999 and its further development in more recent years.

What’s your favorite trip to date?  There have been several memorable trips including fascinating trips to Zimbabwe, Nepal, and Indonesia. A visit to Zimbabwe for the 1988 DHS particularly comes to mind and combined a successful work trip with my first visit to Victoria Falls – probably my favorite place to visit anywhere in the world.

Is there a country that you would like to visit that you haven’t been to?  I’ve worked in over 65 countries, but there are still many that I would like to visit.  I’ve still yet to work in Tanzania or Uganda.  There are also several Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines. I also want to visit Australia and New Zealand one day – purely for vacation.

Is there anything else you’re looking forward to? There continue to be changes at The DHS Program in how we conduct surveys, how data needs and interests change over time, and I’m interested to see how things will change in the next decade. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have brought a bigger emphasis in the use of high-quality data, and I’m expecting that to be more so with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  I’ve seen great improvements globally over the course of my career, and I’m looking forward to seeing greater improvements in the coming years.

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07 Dec 2016

Spotlight on New Staff: Julia Fleuret

Name: Julia Fleuret

Position title:  Survey Manager

Languages spoken: English and French

Favorite type of cuisine: Anything not involving hardboiled eggs.

Last good book you read: Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?: A Story of Women and Economics, by Katrine Marcal – very funny analysis/critique of traditional economic thinking.

When not working, favorite place to visit:  The northern California coast for gorgeous hiking/scenery.

Where would we find you on a Saturday?  Yoga, farmers’ market, library/bookstore – then back home for a baking project.

First time you worked with DHS survey data: During my first semester getting my MPH at Tulane I used Mali DHS data in a nutrition class.

What is on your desk (or bulletin board/wall) right now?  My desk is a mess, so let’s focus on the bulletin board: a postcard from Kansas City, a ticket from a highlife concert in Accra, art flyers from Kampala, and a snapshot (from the days of film cameras!) of a tailor’s door in Bamako.

2011 Uganda DHSWhat is your favorite survey final report cover?   I am partial to the 2011 Uganda DHS and its cheerful jumble of sunflowers, although that might be because I’ve been carrying it around for the last 6 months while supporting the 2016 Uganda DHS (which is currently in the field.)

Favorite chapter or indicator, and why?  I feel like nutrition is the foundation of health, so the children’s anthropometry results in Chapter 11 (Nutrition of Children and Adults) is one of the first things I look at in a report.

What’s your favorite way to access The DHS Program’s data?  I am in some ways a dinosaur, and I like hard copies of reports.

What population or health issue are you most passionate about?  Why? Since starting at the DHS I’ve become more interested in collecting data to understand more about disability in a population – both for the overall prevalence of disability but perhaps more interestingly, to look at health outcome disparities by disability status. We developed an optional module on disability for use in the Household Questionnaire (based on the Washington Group on Disability Statistics’ Short Set of Disability Questions) and it will be interesting to see if more countries adopt it and how they use those data.

What are you most looking forward to about your new position?  Well, I’ve been here for just under 18 months, so I’m not sure I’m new anymore – but I am really looking forward to seeing the data as they come out for Uganda, and working with the implementing agency to put out the Key Indicators Report and Final Report early next year.

What has been your biggest surprise so far?  The iodine test kits really work! I mean, I didn’t expect them to not work – but I felt like a magician actually turning the salt sample purple!

What do you look forward to bringing to The DHS Program (job-related or not!)? A sense of humor & the results of the aforementioned baking projects.

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