Access Instructions

Request Dataset Access

The following applies to DHS, MIS, AIS and SPA survey datasets (Surveys, GPS, and HIV).

To request dataset access, you must first be a registered user of the website. The video below provides step-by-step instructions on how to register for DHS datasets for new users. Learn more about why we require registration.

If for some reason you requested a DHS datasets, but need to modify your request or give additional information to gain dataset approval, you can find the instructions in the video below:

The requested data should only be used for the purpose of the research or study. To request the same or different data for another purpose, a new research project request should be submitted. The DHS Program will normally review all data requests within 24 – 48 hours (Monday - Friday), and provide notification if access has been granted or additional project information is needed, before access can be granted.

The instructions on how to download multiple DHS datasets are also found below.

Dataset Access Approval Process

Access to DHS, MIS, AIS and SPA survey datasets (Surveys, HIV, and GPS) is requested and granted by country. This means that when approved, full access is granted to all unrestricted survey datasets for that country. Access to HIV and GIS datasets requires an online acknowledgment of the conditions of use.

Required Information
Dataset requests must include contact information, a research project title, and a description of the analysis you propose to perform with the data.

Restricted Datasets
A few datasets are restricted and these are noted on the request form. Access to restricted datasets is requested online as with other datasets. Permission to access restricted datasets must be submitted after registration - the instructions are provided during the registration process. When The DHS Program receives authorization to release restricted data, the user will be contacted, and the datasets made available by secure FTP.

GPS/HIV Datasets/Other Biomarkers
Because of the sensitive nature of GPS, HIV and other biomarkers datasets, permission to access these datasets requires that you accept a Terms of Use Statement. After selecting GPS/HIV/Other Biomarkers datasets, the user is presented with a consent form which should be signed electronically by entering the password for the user's account.

Dataset Terms of Use

Once downloaded, the datasets must not be passed on to other researchers without the written consent of The DHS Program. All reports and publications based on the requested data must be sent to The DHS Program Data Archive in a Portable Document Format (pdf).

Download Datasets by Survey

Datasets are made available for download by survey. You will be presented with a list of surveys for which you have been granted dataset access. After selecting a survey, a list of all available datasets for that survey will be displayed, including all survey, GPS, and HIV data files. However, only data types for which you have been granted access will be accessible. 

See below for a video tutorial of how to download datasets:

Compressed ZIP Files

All datasets are distributed as compressed zip files.

The files can be extracted from the zip file using Windows File Explorer on later versions of the operating system, or using file compression software such as WinZip, 7-Zip or PKUNZIP. A free evaluation version of WinZip can be downloaded by going to and clicking on Download Evaluation Version.  After extraction, you will be presented with several files depending on the data type and file format downloaded.

See more information on the distribution files  

Downloading Datasets for Multiple Surveys

If you are downloading a large number of datasets for multiple countries/surveys please use the Download Manager. This eliminates the need to download survey by survey. There are various download managers available for all the major browsers. A step-by-step video tutorial is shown below. See DHS UserForum for more information.

Download Datasets

The DHS Program is authorized to distribute, at no cost, unrestricted survey data files for legitimate academic research. Registration is required for access to data.

Guide to Using Datasets