New Online Course: Essential Statistical Concepts for Understanding DHS Program Data

Written by: The DHS Program

24 Nov, 2021

What is the difference between a percentage and a percent distribution? What about a mean and a median? How do rates and ratios differ? Essential Statistical Concepts for Understanding DHS Program Data is a new open course for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with the most commonly used statistics found in tables in DHS Program household-based surveys.

Available for free with a simple registration on the DHS Program Learning Hub, this self-paced course will give you the skills you need to correctly and confidently cite DHS Program data. 

In Essential Statistical Concepts for Understanding DHS Program Data, participants will:

  • Review definitions of basic statistical terms (percentage, prevalence, percent distribution, mean, median, rate, ratio) 
  • Identify the statistical measures used for indicators in DHS Program tables 
  • Practice calculating basic statistics 
  • Learn about sampling errors, confidence intervals, statistical significance, and standard deviation and how to apply these concepts when interpreting DHS Program data 

Learn on your own schedule and expect to spend 1-2 hours to complete this course. After taking Essential Statistical Concepts for Understanding DHS Program Data, participants will be able to confidently interpret tables and correctly cite DHS data and use DHS data to inform program and policy decision making. To register and access the course, click the button below, create a new Learning Hub account, and get ready to learn! 


  • The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program has collected, analyzed, and disseminated accurate and representative data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition through more than 400 surveys in over 90 countries. The DHS Program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Contributions from other donors, as well as funds from participating countries, also support surveys. The project is implemented by ICF.

6 thoughts on “New Online Course: Essential Statistical Concepts for Understanding DHS Program Data

  1. Great!! I would definitely join this course to keep myself uptodate with essential concepts for understanding DHS program data.

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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.