DHS surveys collect primary data using three types of core questionnaires. A Household questionnaire is used to collect information on characteristics of the household's dwelling unit, and data related to the height and weight for women and children in the household. It is also used to identify members of the household who are eligible for an individual interview. Eligible respondents are then interviewed using an individual Women's or Men's questionnaire. For special information on topics that are not contained in the core questionnaires, optional Questionnaire Modules are available.
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Most country surveys collect information on basic demographic and health topics. The Core Questionnaires for MEASURE DHS emphasizes basic indicators and flexibility. In a majority of DHS surveys eligible individuals include women of reproductive age (15-49) and men age (15-59), or in some cases (15-54). In some countries only women are interviewed. Individual questionnaires include information on marriage, fertility, family planning, reproductive health, child health, and HIV/AIDS.
Each survey is different, with questions that diverge from the standard. The questionnaires used in one country, while containing essentially the same information, may be different in many ways from those used in another country. It is also important to understand that model questionnaires change frequently over time. For example, the DHS questionnaires have changed significantly since the first phase (DHS I). As a result, the model questionnaire has changed with each MEASURE DHS phase.
It was also recognized that some countries have a need for special information on topics that are not contained in the core questionnaires. To accommodate this need and to achieve some level of comparability across countries that applied them, optional Questionnaire Modules were developed on a series of topics.
The DHS Model Survey Questionnaires in the latest project phase are substantially longer than previous model DHS Questionnaires, primarily because they incorporate topics formerly addressed in separate modules—topics such as to malaria, HIV prevalence, information on orphans and vulnerable children, and support for chronically ill household members.
The "Household Questionnaire" contains information on the following topics:
The "Women's Questionnaire" contains information on the following topics:
The "Men’s Questionnaire" is similar to but shorter than the Women’s Questionnaire. It collects information on the following topics:
Optional modules are available on a variety of topics. Many original modules have been incorporated into the Core Questionnaire.
Current modules include:
Modules from previous phases include: