Dontamsetti, Trinadh, Shireen Assaf, Jennifer Yourkavitch, and Benjamin Mayala. 2018. A Primer on The Demographic and Health Surveys Program Spatial Covariate Data and Their Applications. DHS Spatial Analysis Reports No. 16. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF.
The Demographic and Health Surveys Program geospatial team has prepared a set of geospatial covariates datasets that provide researchers and analysts with powerful demographic, environmental, and geophysical variables to include in their analysis of DHS survey data. Often, individuals attempt to manually source and link these variables to DHS data, but are unfamiliar with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data sources or lack the necessary skills to correctly extract and perform this link. The DHS Program has therefore prepared these files with an intuitive method of linking them to DHS survey data, allowing individuals of any statistical or geospatial analytical skill to incorporate geospatial data into their work. The DHS Program will continually update newly released surveys with the current suite of covariates and will seek to develop and release new covariates annually. This report examines methods of preparing the data for fitting a regression model using these covariates. Through two case studies, we examine the model-building process required to study the effects of spatial factors on the prevalence of anemia in children and the receipt of all basic vaccinations for children.