Tag Archives: capacity strengthening

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

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! 


New Online Course: Essential Reading and Understanding The DHS Program Tables

The DHS Program’s Final Reports include comprehensive survey results. The most important findings are highlighted in the chapter text and figures, though not every finding is discussed or displayed graphically. Therefore, it is important for DHS data users to feel comfortable reading and interpreting the statistical tables included in every Final Report, which can look intimidating at first.

To help DHS data users confidently read and interpret tables, The DHS Program has a new open course available for free with a simple registration on the Learning Hub. Essential Reading and Understanding The DHS Program Tables is a course for anyone interested in understanding demographic and health data found in Final Reports. This interactive course familiarizes users with the basic elements of DHS Program tables.

In the Essential Reading and Understanding The DHS Program Tables course, participants will learn:

  • The 4 basic steps in reading The DHS Program tables
  • To identify the denominator of the table, the indicators and background characteristics presented, and the totals in the table
  • How to compare indicator data by background characteristics and identify patterns in the data
  • Why parentheses and asterisks are used in The DHS Program tables and their implications for data use

Learn on your own schedule and expect to spend 1-2 hours to complete this course. After taking the Essential Reading and Understanding The DHS Program Tables course, participants will be able to read tables and find patterns and stories in the data with confidence. To register and access the course, click the button below, create a new Learning Hub account, and prepare to read DHS Program tables!


The DHS Fellows Program Goes Virtual in 2022

The application for the 2022 DHS Fellows Program is now open

The DHS Fellows Program builds the long-term institutional capacity of universities in DHS Program countries to train students and faculty to analyze DHS data. Since 2011, the DHS Fellows Program has trained more than 150 researchers from over 40 universities in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Typically, Fellows attend two separate in-person workshops, prepare publication-quality research papers in teams using DHS datasets, and implement capacity strengthening activities at their home universities.

The 2022 DHS Fellows Program will be conducted virtually and in English. Because the DHS Fellows Program will be virtual, this year’s call for applications is open to countries that have not been included in the DHS Fellows Program previously. Applications are accepted from university faculty members at universities in Angola, Benin, Burundi, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Guatemala, Haiti, Armenia, and Tajikistan. Teams of three members from the same university who teach and/or conduct research in demography, public health, economics, sociology, or other social sciences are encouraged to apply.

Read about how the 2020 DHS Fellows Program was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and adapted to be delivered virtually.

Visit The DHS Program Fellows page to see all DHS Fellows’ working papers and publications in peer-reviewed journals. The deadline to submit applications is November 21, 2021.


Featured image by © elenabsl, stock.adobe.com


New Online Course: DHS Dataset Users

The DHS Program has added a new open course to the roster of courses on the Learning Hub available for free with a simple registration. DHS Dataset Users is a course for anyone interested in using DHS data in research and analysis related to demography, public health, economics, sociology, or other social sciences. This course will help learners understand and begin to use DHS data for analysis.

In the DHS Dataset Users course, participants will learn:

  • To recognize different types of datasets that are a part of DHS surveys
  • How DHS survey samples are selected and designed to be nationally representative
  • How to open DHS datasets, find variables of interest, and perform descriptive analyses
  • To create Stata do files to make DHS data analysis quicker, easier, and more replicable

To complete all activities in this course and earn a certificate, participants must have any version of the statistical software package Stata. Learn on your own schedule and expect to spend 3-6 hours to complete the DHS Dataset Users course.

Practice new skills using standardized DHS model datasets and earn a certificate upon completion of the course that can be printed or shared on social media. To register and access the DHS Dataset Users course, click the button below, create a new Learning Hub account, and prepare to use DHS data!


Featured image by © elenabsl, stock.adobe.com


New Online Course: Introduction to the Demographic and Health Surveys

  • What are the 3 objectives of The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program?
  • How many months does a standard DHS survey take, from design to data dissemination?
  • How many questionnaires are used in a standard DHS survey?

Have you ever wondered about the questions above? There is always something new to learn about Demographic and Health Surveys! Even the most experienced survey implementers and researchers will discover something they did not know in our new 30-minute introductory course. The newest addition to The DHS Program Learning Hub is a short and engaging orientation of The DHS Program. The course covers the main objectives of the survey, key terms, survey types and topics, and the survey process.  

This introductory course is available for free to anyone. To access the course, you must complete a short registration form. The course can be taken independently and will also be a pre-requisite for other courses offered on The DHS Program Learning Hub.


An animated video from the course showcases the DHS survey process and is also available on our YouTube channel.


Adapting to the New Reality: Data Processing Goes Virtual

In March 2020, The DHS Program released a call for applications for the 2020 DHS Data Processing Procedures – Data Tabulation and Data Finalization (DPPII) workshop, to be held in Accra, Ghana in June. The DPPII workshop includes online pre-work and face-to-face instruction. DHS Program Data Processing staff members assist participants through one-on-one coaching, and participants gain proficiency through hands-on practice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this in-person workshop was canceled.

The DHS Program’s Data Processing team worked with the Capacity Strengthening team to adapt the DPPII workshop to an online course focused on data tabulation. The course was delivered on The DHS Program Learning Hub and included self-paced modules with readings, videos, and activities, as well as updated CSPro manuals. These up-to-date materials will be used in future data processing courses and workshops, plus trainings for new Data Processing staff at The DHS Program.

Blended learning journey of the virtual DPPII course

The restructured DPPII course is semi-synchronous, including eLearning modules and assignments that participants work through independently. The course also includes four virtual instructor-led sessions, in which participants and DHS Program facilitators login to the same virtual learning space to learn new content, watch presentations, ask and address questions, and receive feedback on assignments in real-time. For their capstone assignment, participants recreate a standard DHS table using CSPro by defining their own variables and data.

Staff from implementing agencies in countries with ongoing DHS surveys are targeted for participation in the DPPII workshop, as participants build competencies required to process DHS data and produce country-specific tables found in DHS final reports. For this first-ever virtual DPPII course, participants included five women and fourteen men from eight Anglophone countries which recently implemented a DHS survey: the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

What Participants Say

“I’m glad to have been part of this training. [It gave me a] better understanding of the use of DHS data, generation of DHS recode and tables. I hope to practice my new skills with the country-specific tables.”

“Attending training and combining with other duties from work was not helpful but I will take time and continue reading and finish all as they are clear and useful.”

Converting face-to-face workshops to virtual learning sessions comes with challenges. It can be difficult for participants to balance coursework with work and other responsibilities, which is not an issue with in-person residential workshops. Throughout the virtual DPPII training, it became clear that more one-on-one instruction time was needed. To address this, facilitators began holding optional office hours. These and other lessons learned about virtual facilitation will be applied to future online courses, remote technical assistance, and webinars.

Interested in learning more about capacity strengthening opportunities at The DHS Program? The DHS Program periodically makes Workshop and Training Announcements for upcoming training opportunities.


Featured image: © ST.art, stock.adobe.com


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.

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