Category Archives: Partners

09 Aug

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.

01 Mar

Spotlight on Implementing Agencies: Madagascar

De gauche à droite: José Miguel Guzmán, Louise Ranaivo, Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy, Irène Hanitra Ranaivoarison, and Marius Randriamanambintsoa

De gauche à droite: José Miguel Guzmán, Louise Ranaivo, Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy, Irène Hanitra Ranaivoarison, and Marius Randriamanambintsoa

In January 2017, The DHS Program welcomed visitors from Madagascar. This post is one in a series of interviews with visitors to DHS headquarters.

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

Nom, titre et organisation : Louise Ranaivo (Assistante Technique, MOH, NMCP) Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy (Coordonnateur MIS-INSTAT), Irène Hanitra Ranaivoarison (Programme National de Lutte Contre le Paludisme), Marius Randriamanambintsoa (Chef de Service,  Enquêtes et Recensements Démographiques, Institut National de la Statistique)

Pays d’origine : Madagascar


Q: Racontez un peu la première fois que vous avez travaillé sur des données de « The DHS Program »:

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa: En 2010, on a utilisé les données de l’EDS pour le memoire sur l’Education de la mère et mortalité des enfants (IFOR)

Q: Qu’est-ce que vous avez trouvé comme surprise agréable lors de votre séjour  à « The DHS Program »?

R: Louise Ranaivo : Accueil, organisation, sécurité, spécialité de chacun.

R: Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy : Plus de femmes travaillent au bureau.

Q: Qu’est-ce que vous manque le plus de chez vous quand vous êtes ici ?

R: Louise Ranaivo : Famille.

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa : La chaleur; on dirait que tout le monde est  « cloitré » dans un coin et à envoyer de mails pour dire  « bonjour ».

Q: Quelle est la plus grande différence entre le bureau de « The DHS Program » et votre bureau dans votre pays ?

R: Irène Hanitra Ranaivoarison : La disponibilité de tout le monde en cas de problème.

R: Louise Ranaivo : Responsabilité, disponibilité, efficacité de chaque personne.

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa : Le bureau est très vaste et calme.

Q: Quelle est votre  page de couverture préférée ?

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa : Couleur verte
     Madagascar Enquête Démographique et de Santé 2003-04 [FR158]

R: Irène Hanitra Ranaivoarison : Paysage
     Madagascar Enquête Démographique et de Santé 2008-09 (French)

Q: Quel est votre chapitre ou indicateur préféré, et pourquoi ? 

R: Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy : La mortalité des enfants. Mortalité infantile est toujours un des grands problèmes dans les pays en développement.

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa : Connaissance et information en matière du paludisme. Je suis expérimenté pour ce chapitre et que ça a une influence sur les moustiquaires à imprégnation durable (MID).

R: Louise Ranaivo: Prévention : « Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir ».

Q: Quel est le thème de population ou de santé qui vous intéresse le plus, et pourquoi ?

R: Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy : Nutrition et vaccination (deux problèmes clés pour la réduction de la mortalité).

R: Louise Ranaivo: Paludisme, car c’est encore un fléau. Beaucoup de facteurs entrent en scène : homme – vecteurs – parasites – environnement.

Q: Comment espérez-vous que les données de l’EIP sur votre pays seront utilisées ?

R: Louise Ranaivo: Prévention : Comparaison avec celle des données antérieures et comparaison avec autres pays.

R: Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy : Les responsables concernés par chaque donnée doivent utiliser ces résultats et en tenir compte pour améliorer leur domaine respectif.

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa : C’est intéressant aux décideurs, les données de l’EIP. Ils ont confiance de ces données.

Q: Qu’avez–vous appris en travaillant avec « The DHS Program »?

R: Louise Ranaivo: Prévention : Qualité du travail, discussions.

R: Victor Rabeza Rafaralahy : Beaucoup de choses : productivité, rapidité contact, plus connaissance, et organisation du travail.

R: Marius Randriamanambintsoa : J’ai appris pas mal de choses comme : la méthode de travail pour faire une enquête, analyse descriptive des données, dissémination des résultats, analyse approfondie des données en utilisant les logiciels : SPSS, SPAD et STATA.


Madagascar MIS 2016 Cover Final.indd

The 2016 Madagascar MIS was released on February 28th.

Download the final report here.

 

 

 

 

13 Jul

Spotlight on Implementing Agencies: Tchad

De gauche à droite: BOYALNGAR MBATINA, YODIT BEKELE , NOUBADIGNIM RONELYAMBAYE and RIGUIDE MBAISSANADJ

In April 2016, The DHS Program welcomed visitors from Tchad. This post is one in a series of interviews with visitors to DHS headquarters. Don’t read French? You can use the translate feature at the top of the page!

Nom : Riguide Mbaissanadje (Point Focal du Ministère de la Sante Publique), Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye (Chef de Service des Etudes de Population et Perspectives Démographiques de e’INSEED), et Boyalngar Mbatina (Chef de Département des Etudes Démographiques  et de la Cartographie à l’Institut National de la Statistique)

Pays d’origine : Tchad

Racontez un peu la première fois que vous avez travaillé sur des données de « The DHS Program »:

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye: Je me suis retrouvé dans une situation semblable aux autres occasions où j’en ai travaillé sur la relecture et finalisation d’un rapport d’enquête nationale du Tchad

Boyalngar Mbatina : Préparation du mémoire de fin d’études pour l’obtention du Diplôme D’Études Supérieures Spécialisées en Démographie (DESSD)

Qu’est-ce que vous avez trouvé comme surprise  agréable lors de votre séjour  à « The DHS Program »?

Riguide Mbaissanadje : La sympathie.

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye : Le temps passe plus vite que je ne m’attendais.

Boyalngar Mbatina : L’organisation du travail ainsi que la spécialité de chaque agent.

Qu’est-ce que vous manque le plus de chez vous quand vous êtes ici ?

Riguide Mbaissanadje: Les chaînes de télévision en Français

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye: L’ambiance en famille

Quelle est la plus grande différence entre le bureau de «The DHS Program » et votre bureau dans votre pays ?

Riguide Mbaissanadje : La salle de café.

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye et Boyalngar Mbatina : Le bureau DHS est bien équipé avec le minimum requis et les cadres disposent de moyens matériels pour effectuer les travaux et les tâches sont réparties d’avance.  Ce n’est pas comme chez nous où une personne ne peut pas faire beaucoup de tâches en même temps.

Quelle est votre  page de couverture préférée ?

Tout : EDST-2 du Tchad de 2004

Quel est votre chapitre ou indicateur préféré, et pourquoi ? 

Riguide Mbaissanadje : Chapitre 12, Mortalité des enfants de moins de 5 ans parce qu’il montre que la mortalité infantile est faible dans le Barh, El Grazal et le LAC.  Il y a lieu de faire une recherche sur la corrélation qui existe entre la mortalité et les indicateurs sanitaires (soins prénatals, vaccination des enfants et accouchement assisté).

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye : Le paludisme.  Il y a 8 ménages sur 10 qui possèdent une MII (EDS-MICS 2014-15) bien qu’au Nord il n’y a pratiquement pas de paludisme.

Boyalngar Mbatina : Le chapitre sur la fécondité et l’ISF car il permet de bien comprendre les enjeux réels des problèmes et questions de population dans un pays en développement.

Quel est le thème de population ou de santé qui vous intéresse le plus, et pourquoi ?

Riguide Mbaissanadje : Le VIH/SIDA. Parce que pendant la collecte, avant la collecte, j’étais le responsable de tous les matériels… On a eu beaucoup de difficultés pendant la collecte et l’analyse au laboratoire mais les résultats nous réconfortent.

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye : La consommation d’alcool et de tabac, les maladies nontransmissibles constituent des pathologies émergentes faisant sournoisement de savage au sein de la population et il est intéressant d’étudier les causes les plus communes qui sont le tabagisme, l’abus d’alcool, un régime alimentaire  malsain et l’inactivité physique.

Boyalngar Mbatina : Malnutrition des enfants de moins de 5 ans, car un enfant qui a un problème de croissance après deux dans, il y a peu de chance pour qu’une intervention, quoiqu’elle soit, puisse améliorer la situation.

Comment espérez-vous que les données de l’EDS sur votre pays seront utilisées ?

Riguide Mbaissanadje : Les données seront utilisées pour l’élaboration des documents politiques et stratégiques des Ministères de la Santé Publique, de l’Education Nationale et de la Femme et de l’Action Sociale

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye : Restitution des principaux résultats aux institutions clés et personnes enquêtées; valorisation des données ; enseignements méthodologiques tirés ; concrétisation des objectifs et usages de données colletées

Boyalngar Mbatina : Pour la planification du développement et pour l’amélioration des conditions sanitaires et de vie de la population

Qu’avez–vous appris en travaillant avec «The DHS Program »?

Riguide Mbaissanadje : La collecte de sang à travers le DBS, conservation sur le terrain et la transmission au laboratoire.

Noubadignim Ronelyanbaye : La répartition équilibrée des tâches et la rigueur scientifique dans la rédaction des commentaires concernant les niveaux d’indicateurs qui ne sont pas attendues.

Boyalngar Mbatina : Le sens de responsabilité dans le travail, la rigueur dans le travail, le désir d’en savoir plus, et l’esprit d’équipe et de collaboration.

The 2014-15 Tchad EDS-MICS was released on July 11, 2016. Download the final report here.

 

 

 

 

 

29 Jun

Strengthening Afghanistan’s Health Sector: Evidence from the 2015 Afghanistan DHS

Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz (left), Sayed Alam Shinwari, Micheal Kugelman, and Larry Sample at The Wilson Center's Event, "A Good Diagnosis for Afghanistan: Strengthening the Health Sector"

Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz (left), Sayed Alam Shinwari, Michael Kugelman, and Larry Sampler at The Wilson Center’s Event, “A Good Diagnosis for Afghanistan: Strengthening the Health Sector”

Working in collaboration, two Afghan government organizations– the Central Statistics Organization and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) – conducted Afghanistan’s first Demographic and Health Survey (AfDHS). “This in itself is an enormous milestone,” said Larry Sampler, Assistant to the Administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID during a panel discussion at the Wilson Center, “A Good Diagnosis for Afghanistan: Strengthening the Health Sector.” Sampler, joined by the Afghanistan Minister of Public Health, Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz; Sayed Alam Shinwari, President of the Afghan Medical Professionals Association of America; and Michael Kugelman, Senior Associate for South Asia at The Wilson Center highlighted the implications of the Afghan government’s efforts to improve maternal and child health as demonstrated in the newly released 2015 AfDHS Key Indicators Report (KIR).

AfDHS-KIROf particular interest to both the MOPH and USAID, AfDHS results show progress in reducing childhood mortalityCurrently, about 1 in 20 children does not survive until their 5th birthday in Afghanistan. The majority of these childhood deaths occur during the first year of life. Compared to earlier time periods, both infant and under-five mortality have declined, suggesting that child health interventions are making a difference. Dr. Feroz explains, “The DHS survey shows that there is substantial improvement in maternal health and child health. This progress has been made through high-level commitments, a productive work environment with development partners as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local NGOs, scaling up of cost effective and lifesaving interventions across the country, training of midwives, as well as attention to equity and those living in remote areas.”

“The DHS survey demonstrates how far the Afghan public health sector has come and also how far it has to go,” stated Larry Sampler. What are the challenges of Afghanistan’s health sector? “Afghanistan still faces instability and insecurity, poverty, unemployment, the few number of midwives or health staff across the country,” explains Dr. Feroz. But in spite of these challenges, the Afghan MOPH is developing a national strategy for the next five years. “We will use this recent survey as a baseline to measure progress – to increase access to remote areas, improve the quality of services, introduce cost-effective interventions, and focus on equity issues.”

Dr. Fred Arnold of The DHS Program with Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Afghanistan Minister of Public Health

Dr. Fred Arnold (left)  of The DHS Program with Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Afghanistan Minister of Public Health

The survey covered topics including fertility and family planning, maternal and child health, childhood and maternal mortality, nutrition, malaria, HIV knowledge, and other health issues. The KIR is a short report of key indicators from the 2015 AfDHS that is meant to provide important data in a timely fashion to program managers and policy makers. Additional indicators such as the maternal mortality ratio will be included in the AfDHS Final Report, scheduled for release in late 2016.

To learn more about the Woodrow Wilson Center’s event, watch “A Good Diagnosis for Afghanistan: Strengthening the Health Sector” or visit the Wilson Center’s website.

The 2015 Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey (2015 AfDHS) was implemented by the Central Statistics Organization and the Ministry of Public Health from June 15, 2015, to February 23, 2016. The funding for the AfDHS was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). ICF International provided technical assistance through The DHS Program, a USAID-funded project providing support and technical assistance in the implementation of population and health surveys in countries worldwide.

16 Jun

Spotlight on Implementing Agencies: Lesotho

From left to right: Joanna Lowell of The DHS Program, Mr. Leutsoa Matsoso and Motsoanku Grace ‘Mefane of the Ministry of Health, Michelle Surdyk of USAID, Anna Masheane-Moseneke and Mahlape Ramoseme of the Ministry of Health

Name(s): Mrs. Anna Malefa Masheane/Moseneke (HIV/TB Clinical Officer), Miss Motsoanku Grace ‘Mefane (Sexual and Reproductive Health Manager), Miss Mahlape Ramoseme (Chief Statistician), and Mr. Leutsoa Matsoso (Head M&E Officer) of the Ministry of Health.

Country of origin:  Lesotho

When not working, favorite place to visit:

Anna: At the stadium watching football.

Motsoanku Grace: Public places to meet people, like hotels and parks, usually in the afternoon.

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

Anna: Everybody seem to be busy doing their work.

Motsoanku Grace: The lack of noise.

Mahlape: Your team spirit towards your visitors.

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

Anna: Family members.

Motsoanku Grace: Braai and Papa.

Mahlape: Friends.

Leutsoa: Colleagues.

What is the biggest difference between The DHS Program headquarters office and your office at home?

Anna: Security here is very tight.

Motsoanku Grace: Staff here can work from home while in Lesotho we are always expected to come on duty for work.

What is your favorite DHS final report cover?

All: The 2009 Lesotho DHS.

Favorite DHS chapter or indicator?

Anna: Maternal Health.

Motsoanku Grace: Child Health.

Mahlape: HIV/AIDS.

What population or health issue are you most passionate about? 

Anna: Children under five.

Motsoanku Grace: Women of childbearing age.

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

Anna: For advocating for support from partners.

Motsoanku Grace: Prioritizing funding.

Mahlape: Decision making.

What have you learned from the DHS experience?

Anna: I find it easy to read and understand the tables now.

Motsoanku Grace: How to interpret surveys and write what results from them.

The 2014 Lesotho DHS was released on June 15, 2016. Download the final report here: http://bit.ly/LDHS14

16 Dec

Engaging with DHS Data in Senegal

Days like today are why I love my job. “Thematic data use workshops are the most important part of the survey,” Fatou CAMARA, director of the Senegal Continuous Survey at l’Agence Nationale de la Statistique et la Démographie (ANSD), tells me over dinner. “They’re also my favorite,” she adds. I couldn’t agree more. It’s always rewarding to watch people engage directly with data from The DHS Program surveys, but even more so when it’s the women and men who manage a country’s health programs.

Representatives from ANSD, the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and USAID officially open the thematic workshop.

Representatives from ANSD, the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and USAID officially open the thematic workshop.

The topics for the thematic workshop are maternal health, child health, and nutrition. Regional medical coordinators, reproductive health coordinators, and nutrition supervisors have come from all 14 of Senegal’s regions to participate. They are joined by the national maternal health, child survival, and nutrition program directors.

Senegal DHS and SPA Report CoversThe morning is packed with introductions and presentations on the relevant results from the Senegal Continuous Survey. Data is collected each year in Senegal and the results are designed to guide program planning, monitoring, and evaluation. The Senegal Continuous Survey has two parts: 1) the Continuous DHS, which collects data on households, women, men, and children; and 2) the Continuous SPA, which collects data on health facilities, health care providers, and clients receiving health care.

Participants review the dissemination materials for the Continuous Survey.

Participants review the dissemination materials for the Continuous Survey.

Questions and comments during the discussion following the presentations are intriguing. “We trained our health care providers on the integrated management of childhood illness, but the [survey] results show that they aren’t putting this into practice during sick child consultations.” “Almost a quarter of births still occur at home instead of health facilities, though the availability of delivery services is high. We need to increase our communication efforts with women.” Continuous SPA coordinator, Dr Ibou GUISSE, and the director of field operations for the Continuous DHS, Mabeye DIOP, do an excellent job of providing detailed answers and explanations.

The afternoon begins with an activity on how to read and understand tables from the Continuous Survey. Participants are guided step-by-step, from reading the title and subtitle to finding the totals in the table. Over lunch, a participant tells me that the activity is useful, “Previously, I sometimes struggled to make sense of the tables. Now I’m more confident.”

Participants identify priority actions from their regional strategic plans during group work.

Participants identify priority actions from their regional strategic plans during group work.

The rest of the day is dedicated to group work. Each region must identify two priority actions from their regional strategic health plans that will be completed in the six months after the workshop. They must also indicate specific results from the Continuous Survey that support the actions they have chosen. Finally, they must create an action plan for these priority actions, including next steps and deadlines. The groups are so engrossed in the group work that they continue well past 6 PM. Tomorrow, they will present their priority actions, supporting data, and action plans. I can hardly wait see to see the data in action!

09 Dec

Global Health Gets Social

© 2013 Phoebe Gullunan, Courtesy of Photoshare

© 2013 Phoebe Gullunan, Courtesy of Photoshare

In 2012 when the Social Media for Global Health and Development working group started, many people were searching for some guidance on how to do social media for global health. The group started small with just a few interested organizations and has since grown to over 500 around the world. The need for social media technical assistance has increased and was the inspiration for the development of a new Global Health eLearning Center course, Social Media for Global Health and Development. The course provides tips and resources for using social media in one free and easy-to-use place.

The course provides an introduction to social media and how it can be used in global health and development. It gives a rationale for why social media is important with examples from organizations such as DefeatDD, Maternal and Child Survival Program, and the USAID | Deliver Project. The course also provides an overview of the top global platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more. Global health and development professionals can learn how to integrate social media within their programs with a step-by-step guide on creating a strategy and measuring social media.

The course targets beginner to intermediate social media users. There are helpful hints, case studies, and links to more information so learners can start their social media and do it effectively. Register today at the Global Health eLearning Center to begin the two hour course.

Anatomy of a Tweet

28 Oct

Spotlight on Implementing Agencies: Cambodia

Names: Phan Chinda, They Kheam, and Chhay Satia of the National Institute of Statistics/Ministry of Planning; Sok Kosal, Loun Mondol, and Lam Phirun of the Directorate General for Health/Ministry of Health; and Sarah Balian of The DHS Program

Country of origin: Cambodia

When not working, favorite place to visit:

Lom Phirun: Washington, DC.

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

Chhay Satia: It’s a nice place with friendly people.

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

Loun Mondol: Food and family.

2014 Cambodia DHSWhat is your favorite DHS final report cover?
All: 2014 Cambodia DHS with Angkor Wat Temple.

Favorite DHS chapter or indicator, and why?
Sok Kosal: Domestic violence, because it’s a new chapter for Cambodia and it specifies the different experiences of violence.

Lam Phirun: Maternal and child mortality, fertility rate, need for family planning, maternal health, and child health because all topics are related to my work/program.

What population or health issue are you most passionate about? Why?

Sok Kosal: Child health is an important issue because it alerts us to take attention on child immunizations and illnesses.

Chhay Satia: I believe domestic violence is an important issue for Cambodian culture as it’s not right to treat women badly.

They Kheam: Abortion at home, because this could be caused by a mother or woman’s health problems.

Phan Chinda: Child mortality is a key topic because it is very important for Cambodia’s strategy and policy.

Loun Mondol: Maternal mortality as well as nutritional status for women and children are important indicators because maternal and child health is still a priority issue in my country.

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

Sok Kosal: Cambodia DHS data should be used for program management and policy formation,  especially monitoring and evaluation of Cambodia’s 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

What have you learned from the DHS experience?

Loun Mondol: How to search for information and data on the DHS website, tools, maps, and the user forum.

11 Jun

From Population Pyramids to Ternary Plots: Visualizing Data for Demography

At this year’s Population Association of America (PAA) conference, The DHS Program staff (along with co-authors from JSI and Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs) presented the first paper in the data visualization session.  It was called “Why Demographers Need to be Data Visualization Experts.”  It appears we were preaching to the choir.  While this was the first year that PAA included data visualization as a topic, the session was attended by almost 200 people, and fellow presenters proved that innovation in data visualization is alive and well.

Circular plot of migration flows between and within world regions during 2005 to 2010

Dr. Nikola Sander’s Global Migration circular plot visualization

Dr. Nikola Sander, of the Vienna Institute of Demography, cited the Royal Society with the message: “Scientists must learn to communicate with the public, be willing to do so and indeed consider it their duty to do so.” (Royal Society, 1985). She is one of the creators of the Global Migration circular plot visualization that went viral in 2014.

 

 

 

 

Small multiples

Dr. Michael Bader’s small multiples

Dr. Michael Bader of American University introduced his visualizations of the distribution of racial diversity in three-dimensional tertiary plots. These 3-D animations allow the viewer to see the distribution of White, Black, Latino, and Asian neighborhoods in different cities. Small multiples (that is, multiple versions of the same graphic showing different pieces of the data) allow for the quick interpretation of change over time (see full paper here).

 

 

 

 

Lexus Surface color schemes

Jonas Schoeley’s Lexis surface qualitative color schemes

Jonas Schoeley, of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, proposed solutions for presenting composite data on the Lexis surface, including a qualitative sequential color scheme to show the most prominent causes of death over time and by age group in France (see full paper here). This image contains an amazing amount of data, but fascinating data stories quickly emerge, such as the spike in 1944 of “external” deaths.  This, of course, was D-Day.

 

 

 

Still, it remains that many academic journals, institutions, and data collection projects do not prioritize data visualization, communication, and dissemination, as part of their standard process.  Why should they?

  1.  We are competing with massive amounts of data and information. A good data visualization summarizes the major findings of any scientific study in a concise and compelling way. Assume you have only a few minutes of your audience’s attention.
  2. A good data visualization is shareable and accessible to a large range of audiences.  Visualizations are shareable if they summarize a compelling data story and are beautiful to look at.
  3. If the researcher or technical expert is not involved in the data visualization process, the accuracy and integrity of the data story may be threatened. Learning the basic principles of data visualization allows the demographer to interact with a larger team, including communication professionals, graphic designers, and programmers.

Ultimately, we are looking for our work to have impact. And measures of impact are quickly changing. We need to think outside the box of submitting papers to academic journals, but expand our toolkit to include user-friendly summaries of findings, interactive web tools, and social media. Data visualization is one of the most efficient ways to tell a complex and compelling data story. As Dr. Nikola Sander summarized, data visualization is not a luxury.  It is a requirement.

For more resources on data visualization in global health and demography, visit datavizhub.co.  Details on the PAA session and links to abstracts and papers are available here.

27 May

How Many Partners Does it Take to Run The DHS Program?

IMG_0466

The DHS Program Partners together in 2015.

Most people don’t know just how many collaborating institutions are involved in the day-to-day implementation of The DHS Program.  ICF International is the prime contractor for The DHS Program.  But 20% of us who sit at ICF’s office in Rockville, Maryland, are actually employed by other partner organizations.  Who are these partners?

Partners from Vysnova, JHUCCP, ICF, PATH, and USAID comparing maps, in “Good Map/Bad Map”

Staff from Vysnova, JHUCCP, ICF, PATH, and USAID comparing maps, in “Good Map/Bad Map.”

  • Avenir Health (formerly the Futures Institute) specializes in data analysis for decision making and planning. Avenir Health staff are key to The DHS Program analysis team.
  • Blue Raster is our web and GIS partner. They are instrumental in the development of the website, STATcompiler, mobile app, and API, and support mapping activities at The DHS Program.
  • EnCompass is our partner on capacity strengthening. They bring expertise in adult learning, elearning, building institutional capacity, and curriculum design.
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs brings a long history of communicating and disseminating complex health information to a wide range of audiences.
  • Kimetrica is our only partner based in Africa, and supports DHS survey data processing and survey implementation.
  • PATH brings expertise in innovation in improving global health through their support of The DHS Program’s nutrition, laboratory and biomarker work.
  • Vysnova Partners provides technical services in many areas of global health. For The DHS Program, Vysnova provides staff with data processing and survey management skills.
EnCompass and Blue Raster staff debate how to assess an audience in the data visualization session

EnCompass and Blue Raster staff debate how to assess an audience in the data visualization session.

Twice a year, staff from all 8 institutions and members of The DHS Program’s USAID management team sit together for a day of information sharing.  This spring’s “The DHS Program Partners’ Meeting” featured presentations on updates to the DHS-7 questionnairemethodological research on data quality in DHS surveys, results from a study on nutrition and WASH indicators,  results from the 2013-14 Malawi SPA survey, an update on recent training workshops, and the “world premiere” of the newest DHS Program tutorial YouTube video on the contraceptive prevalence rate.  Several DHS survey managers provided personal perspectives on how Ebola affected survey operations in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.  In addition, partners participated in hands-on activities on social media, data visualization, and mapping.

The participants summed up everyone’s sentiments quite well with the tweets they proposed in the social media session:

Sunita Kishor, DHS Program Director, drafts a Tweet in the social media session

Sunita Kishor, DHS Program Director, drafts a Tweet in the social media session. #DHSpartners #SunitasFamily

Dance with us @DHSprogram. We have great partners. #DHSpartners

Partnering to bring data & knowledge to YOU! #dataispower #DHSpartners #usedata

#DHSpartners’ family reunion today #SunitasFamily

@ICFI and #DHSpartners shine @DHSprogram.

Who ya gonna call? @DHSprogram! #DHSpartners #SunitasFamily #DataDrivesDecisions

@DHSprogram brings together #DHSpartners for knowledge sharing & innovation.

 

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The DHS Program, ICF
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