Jeroen Smits

Social researcher with a passion for database building

Database Developing World Sources

Demographic and Health Surveys

Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are nationally-representative household surveys that provide data for a wide range of monitoring and impact evaluation indicators in the areas of population, health, and nutrition. Standard DHS Surveys have large sample sizes (usually between 5,000 and 30,000 households) and typically are conducted every 5 years, to allow comparisons over time. Since 1987 over 200 DHS surveys have been held in all regions of the developing world. In the DDW currently for the following countries DHS datasets are included. Further information is available here

UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys

UNICEF supports countries to collect data on the situation of children and women through the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) programme. The MICS was originally developed in response to the World Summit for Children to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of mid-decade goals. Since the initiation of the programme, three rounds of surveys have been carried out.

The first round of MICS was conducted around 1995 in more than 60 countries. Datasets of this round were not made available. A second round of surveys was conducted in 2000 (around 65 surveys), and resulted in an increasing wealth of data to monitor the situation of children and women. For the first time it was possible to monitor trends in many indicators and set baselines for other indicators. The third round of MICS, which was carried out in over 50 countries in 2005-06, has been an important data source for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals with 21 MDG indicators collected. Currently the fourth round is underway. Further information is available here

Other Sources


The Pan Arab Project for Family Health - PAPFAM - is a data collection programme in Arab Countries that is rather similar to the Demographic and Health Surveys and MICS programmes. PAPFAM surveys are executed by the leage of Arab States. Further information is available here.

The Worldbank Living Standard Measurement Surveys (LSMS) and the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) were established by the Worldbank's Development Research Group (DECRG) to explore ways of improving the type and quality of household data collected by statistical offices in developing countries. The goal of the LSMS programme is to foster increased use of household data as a basis for policy decisionmaking. Further information is available here.

IPUMS-International is a project dedicated to collecting and distributing census data from around the world. It aims at collecting and preserving census data and documentation, harmonizing these data, and disseminating them without costs to the international research community. Further information is available here.

ILO-IPEC has a collection of surveys held as part of its Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC) established in 1998. Through this programme, ILO has supported more than 300 child labour surveys, 66 of which have been national in scope. It is this capability that has enabled the ILO to become the major source of global and regional child labour estimates. Further information is available here.