Statistical tables can look intimidating at first glance. That’s why we created this How to Read DHS Tables video tutorial using model datasets. Model datasets are created strictly for practice and do not represent any actual country’s data. Download the full model datasets report tables, and follow along on your own. At the end of the tutorial, we’ll have a few practice questions to test your knowledge.
In just 4 easy steps, you can read any table found in a number of DHS Final Reports. Once you’ve mastered reading DHS tables, test your knowledge with a quiz and comment below on how you did!
The following videos provide an overview of DHS data answering key questions such as, what is a data file or dataset? What is the difference between De Jure and De Facto? What types of data files are available for download?
Starting with the Introduction to DHS Datasets, this videoprovides a guide to units of analysis, basic terminology, and DHS data files.
As mentioned in the video above, separate data files are created for different units of analysis. DHS Dataset Types in 60 Seconds runs through the most common data files and what they contain.
De Jure and De Facto are terms that you will see often within DHS reports and datasets. The following video breaks down what the terms mean, and how they apply to analyzing DHS data.
And finally, where is the information about interviewed households and individuals located in different data files? The Introduction to DHS Data Structure examines DHS datasets in a hierarchical structure.
We will have more videos released this summer, but for those who are still eager to learn more about DHS data, check out DHS Dataset Names Explained below.
Hans Rosling created a world where “statistics are beautiful” and data are entertaining. The staff at The DHS Program have always believed these things to be true but found it difficult to convince the masses. And then came Gapminder and the juggernaut of Hans Rosling’s charismatic, informative, and perspective-changing data presentations.
The DHS Program was heartbroken to learn of Hans Rosling’s death earlier this week. DHS has enjoyed a long and enthusiastic relationship with Dr. Rosling. In 2009, The DHS Program and USAID had the honor of welcoming Dr. Rosling as our keynote speaker at the DHS 25th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC. What is particularly striking in watching the video again after 8 years, is the laughter. Before Hans Rosling, no one would have believed that a data presentation could be so engaging and witty while being so insightful.
In addition to being entertaining and informative, Dr. Rosling was exceptionally modest and gracious. He came to the DHS 25th anniversary event at his own cost, and credited USAID and DHS data with his own success. He thanked USAID and the US taxpayers saying, “Nothing in my career would have been possible without DHS data.”
But really we, at The DHS Program, owe Hans Rosling a tremendous debt of gratitude. Dr. Rosling was a great advocate not just for DHS data, but for all data. He understood, better than anyone else, that data are worthless unless they are used. And he succeeded in doing what many of us have attempted and failed: he made data come alive. He used the data to expose the many incorrect notions about development that even people working in the field have, and he did it with such unique charm and flair. His presentations inspired people to think in different ways and to take action.
To Hans Rosling’s family, we thank you for sharing Hans with the world, and for so willingly joining his mission to “edutain” us. All of us at The DHS Program mourn the loss of this warm, generous visionary. This week, more than ever, we commit to continue the work that Hans has started, and will be inspired by Hans Rosling’s leadership and ingenuity as we look for new ways to provide the world with actionable, understandable data.
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).
Of particular interest to both the MOPH and USAID, AfDHS results show progress in reducing childhood mortality. Currently, 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 (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.
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.
In contrast, the third and fourth videos use an Example Practice Dataset, so viewers can practice weighting DHS data and replicate what is being shown in the videos while they are watching. The Example Practice Dataset was specifically created for DHS data users to have hands-on practice using DHS data in different statistical packages (Stata, SPSS and SAS) and does not represent the data of any actual country.
The third video, How to Weight DHS Data in Stata, explains which weight to use based on the unit of analysis, describes the steps of weighting DHS data in Stata and demonstrates both ways to weight DHS data in Stata (simple weighting and weighting that accounts for the complex survey design).
The fourth video, Demonstration on How to Weight DHS Data in SPSS and SAS, is the same as the third video, except it uses the statistical software packages SPSS and SAS instead of Stata.
After watching these videos, you will be able to answer the following questions:
Which weights should I use for my analysis?
What are the steps of weighting data in a statistical software package?
How do I weight DHS data in Stata, SPSS or SAS?
How do I account for the complex sample design when weighting in Stata, SPSS or SAS?
Malaria kills more than 500,000 Africans every year. Consistent use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), early diagnosis and treatment, and prophylactic use of antimalarials during pregnancy can save thousands of lives. But according to the 2011-12 Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicator Survey (THMIS), many families are not practicing these life saving measures.
To get the message about malaria prevention practices out to Tanzanian communities, The DHS Program collaborated with USAID, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the National Malaria Control Programme, and Media for Development International to produce a film showcasing real life stories of Tanzanians dealing with malaria. Filmed in Dar es Salaam with local actors, Kufa au Kupona (Fever Road), tells three stories. The first is about a young boy who almost dies of malaria because his parents take him to a witch doctor instead of a health care facility when he gets sick. The second story focuses on Jazira who contracts malaria during pregnancy because she does not take IPTp. Five-year-old Brighton, the subject of the third story, is mistakenly treated for malaria when his symptoms are actually due to a urinary tract infection.
Kufa au Kupona (Fever Road)
Kufa au Kupona has been broadcast on 6 national television stations in Tanzania and widely disseminated in high malaria prevalence areas through a partnership with the Tanzania Video Library Association, at health care facilities with video equipment, and through mobile video vans. Now, through an arrangement with FilmAid, Kufa au Kupona will be publicly screened at refugee camps in Africa reaching tens of thousands of people at risk for malaria.
Does Kufa au Kupona have an impact? A follow-up survey of more than 800 women and men leaving the video showings in Tanzania found that virtually all respondents liked the film, and many wished it had been longer. All but two of the respondents said that the film influenced them to take action: 20% said they would get tested for malaria the next time they got sick; 22% said they would use mosquito nets; and 18% planned to discuss the film with other people.