The DHS Program provides decisionmakers and program managers with the information necessary to plan, monitor, and evaluate population, health,
and nutrition programs.

Survey Types


The DHS Program supports a range of data collection options that can be tailored to fit specific monitoring and evaluation needs of host countries. Learn more about the types of surveys, secondary data analysis, and specialized studies that The DHS Program performs.



The DHS Program has developed standard procedures, methodologies, and manuals to guide the survey process.  Many steps are required to ensure that the data properly reflect the situations they intend to describe and that data are comparable across countries.

Geographic Information System (GIS)


The DHS Program routinely collects geographic information in all surveyed countries. Using GIS, researchers can link DHS data with routine health data, health facility locations, local infrastructure such as roads and rivers, and environmental conditions.
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Dissemination of the survey results is a key objective of the survey program in order to promote the use of survey data for policy and program purposes. Each DHS Program survey incorporates a mix of dissemination products and activities.
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Analysis of DHS data provides more in-depth understanding of health issues within a country and synthesizes information from across multiple DHS surveys that can be essential to informing policy and programs.
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Capacity Strengthening


The DHS Program strives to enhance the capacities of DHS partners and increase country accountability and ownership of survey data, as well as the processes for data collection, analysis, dissemination, and use.
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Photo credit: Liz Britton, ICF


The high levels of malnutrition and anemia among children reported in the 2005-06 National Family Health Survey in India sparked swift and decisive action from the Prime Minister. Upon release of the data, the Prime Minister sent letters to the Chief Ministers in each of India’s 29 states requiring them to take measures to improve child nutrition.

In Nigeria, two major providers of mosquito nets increased program efforts and budgets to market insecticide-treated nets (ITN) in response to findings from the 2003 Nigeria DHS showing that only 1% of Nigerian households owned an ITN.