The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) uses data to drive our decisions and influence progress toward our goals of preventing child and maternal deaths and controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
For over 30 years, USAID has pioneered The Demographic and Health Surveys Program (DHS Program). The DHS Program provides technical assistance for the implementation of more than 320 household and facility-based surveys in 90 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America/Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Data collected through the DHS Program have deepened and transformed our understanding of population, health and nutrition issues in the developing world.
The DHS Program works with governments to collect and share key information about people, their health and their health systems. This includes information on infant and child mortality, fertility, family planning use, maternal health, child immunization, malnutrition levels, HIV prevalence, and malaria. Anyone can access the data from these surveys, and the indicators are comparable over time and across countries. Governments, donors, researchers, and civil society (such as faith-based organizations and other domestic and international organizations) use the information from these surveys to inform health-related programming, policies, funding priorities, and research. The DHS Program, developed and supported by the American People through USAID, is now the largest and longest enduring survey program of its kind.
How USAID Uses DHS Program Data
Data entry for the Demographic Health Survey in East Timor, courtesy of the DHS Team at USAID.
The DHS Program exemplifies the Agency’s commitment to building the evidence base to support effective program and policy making while ensuring data openness and transparency. Data collected by the DHS Program allow USAID to monitor trends across health program areas and set priorities for funding, interventions and policy changes.
- Explore new data in this infographic on women’s health and empowerment from the India 2015-16 National Family Health Survey.
- Visit the DHS Program website to learn more.
- Build your own customizable tables, charts and graphs using DHS data on STATcompiler.
- Read the recent report "Women’s Lives and Challenges: Equality and Empowerment since 2000” [PDF, 12.7MB], which utilizes DHS data to track trends in gender equality and women’s empowerment across the globe.