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Integrating the Demographic and Health Surveys, IPUMS-I, and TerraPopulus to Explore Mortality and Health Outcomes at the District Level in Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania
Authors: Rachel Sullivan Robinson, Ann Meier, Jenny Trinitapoli, and Joseph Svec
Source: African Population Studies, 28(2 Supplement): 917-926; DOI:
Topic(s): District-level estimates
Spatial analysis
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: JUL 2014
Abstract: In this paper, we first show how the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) can be integrated with other data sources to expand the types of variables available for analysis of population and health outcomes. Second, we demonstrate one particular example of such integration by modelling the social, physical, and built environment determinants of health outcomes at the district level in Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania. To do so, we created district-level measures of a number of variables from the DHS, and then merged them with district-level data from the IPUMS, an environmental data set called TerraPopulus, and other sources. We find that it is feasible to combine the DHS with other data sources, and that many health and environment indicators are heterogeneous within countries, justifying further analysis at low levels of geography and suggesting benefits to using such techniques to design fine-grained programmatic interventions.