Methodology

The DHS Survey process has four stages and can take up to 2.5 years.  A local implementing agency leads the survey, with technical assistance from The DHS Program. The diagram below reflects the survey process for a standard DHS. However, this process may differ slightly for other surveys implemented by The DHS Program. You can explore these different surveys on the survey types page.
 
Survey Process Diagram

Survey Stages

Stage 1: Survey Design and Preparation
This stage includes designing the sample and questionnaires and takes about six months. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Sollicitudin aliquam ultrices sagittis orci a. Ut porttitor leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu. Varius vel pharetra vel turpis nunc eget lorem dolor sed. Sagittis nisl rhoncus mattis rhoncus urna. Egestas purus viverra accumsan in nisl nisi scelerisque.
Stage 2: Training and Data Collection
Stage 2 of the survey process focuses on training interviewers and other key staff on their roles and collecting the data Fieldwork is carried out by a number of teams composed of female (and male) interviewers, female field editors and team leaders.This stage lasts four to six months. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
Stage 3: Data Editing, Data Tabulation, and Report Writing
This stage begins with data editing while Stage 2 is still in process and may continue for up to a year. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. At erat pellentesque adipiscing commodo elit at imperdiet. Et ultrices neque ornare aenean euismod elementum nisi quis eleifend. Convallis convallis tellus id interdum velit laoreet id. Semper risus in hendrerit gravida rutrum quisque non. Ultrices vitae auctor eu augue.
 
Stage 4: Dissemination and Research
The final stage focuses on dissemination of the data and reports, data use and analysis, and lasts for six to seven months. Sapien faucibus et molestie ac feugiat sed lectus. Malesuada fames ac turpis egestas maecenas pharetra. Vitae elementum curabitur vitae nunc. Sit amet commodo nulla facilisi nullam. Elementum integer enim neque volutpat ac tincidunt vitae semper. Elementum integer enim neque volutpat ac tincidunt vitae.
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National Implementing Agency

As a general rule, the overall responsibility for executing a DHS resides with a single implementing agency. This agency can be any bona-fide governmental, non-governmental, or private-sector organization such as: a National Statistical Office, a Ministry of Health, a university, a government research group or a private research group.

National Statistical Offices are often selected because they usually are the source of the necessary sampling frame and because they frequently are the organization that has the most experience in the execution of surveys that are national in scope. Ministries of Health are usually the primary users of the information gathered through the survey. Involvement of Ministries of Health is becoming more important because of the increased health content of DHS surveys and the need to have access to specialized staff that can collect biological specimens such as blood samples.
 

Technical Assistance and Capacity Strengthening

The DHS Program staff provide technical assistance at critical stages of survey implementation in order to ensure that survey procedures are consistent with the technical standards set by DHS and to ensure that survey activities are progressing at a reasonable pace. Capacity strengthening is provided during visits to the country and throughout the whole survey process.
 
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