Clara R. Burgert-Brucker, Trinadh Dontamsetti, Aileen M. J. Marshall, and Peter W. Gething. 2016. Guidance for Use of The DHS Program Modeled Map Surfaces. DHS Spatial Analysis Reports No. 14. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International
Improved understanding of geographic variation and inequity in health status, wealth, and access to resources within countries is central to meeting sustainable development goals. The Demographic Health Survey (DHS) Program’s modeled surface contributes to the greater need of the development community for small area estimations of health and demographics. The DHS Program is making publicly available a standard set of spatially modeled surfaces for each population-based survey with a select list of indicators relevant for health, demographic, and development decision-making. The modeled surfaces are created with
geo-coded cluster information for current and future population-based DHS surveys and a selection of earlier surveys. The maps are publicly available for download on The DHS Program Spatial Data Repository (http://spatialdata.dhsprogram.com/). This guidance document will provide users with a deeper understanding of The DHS Program modeled surfaces and their potential use in decision-making. The DHS Program has adopted the Model-Based Geostatistics (MBG) approach to creating the modeled surfaces.
This is a method for creating statistically rigorous interpolated surfaces that generate new data values for unsampled areas from sampled data points. Such an expansive number of modeled surfaces for a diverse
group of health and demographic indicators has never been offered in the past and, as such, the potential uses are still nascent. Many users will find new, innovative ways to use the modeled surfaces that are not
discussed or fully analyzed in this document.