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
Nationally representative surveys are designed to collect data on monitoring and impact evaluation indicators important for individual countries and for cross-country comparisons. Working with survey indicators requires a basic understanding of the types of information being collected and a basic understanding of statistics. This section provides an introductory overview to understanding The DHS Program data and is meant to be a helpful tool for all data users. It can be an aid for those who are just starting out in using data as well as for those whose skills are more advanced.
The types of data collected varies by survey type and individual survey although standardized indicators and methodologies are used to every extent possible.
The DHS Program has conducted over 300 surveys in over 90 countries. A list of completed and ongoing surveys is available for browsing and includes key characteristics of each survey.
Survey data are processed and presented in the final survey report containing a number of tables that provide information on specific indicators in a country. These tables are designed to be comparable between surveys and across countries.
Data processing references include: