A Systematic Review of Demographic & Health Surveys: Data Availability, Utilization, & Relationship with Policy

Madeleine Short Fabic, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Sandra Bird, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

We searched the MEASURE DHS website to collect information on all completed population-based surveys conducted under the DHS project between 1984 and 2010, including information on country, survey type, survey design, fieldwork period, and special features. We also systematically searched the online database, PubMed, to identify peer-reviewed articles published through 2010 that analyzed DHS data. We assessed trends in data availability and use in research through descriptive, graphical, and bivariate linear regression analyses. In total, 236 household surveys under the DHS project were completed across 84 countries. The number of surveys per year has remained constant, but the scope of survey questions has expanded. Meanwhile, 1,117 peer-reviewed publications met the inclusion criteria. The number of analyses published has progressively increased with 4.3 (95% CI 3.2-5.3) more publications each year. The trends in analyses using DHS data are highly correlated with worldwide and U.S. Government funding trends for global health.

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Presented in Poster Session 4