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Data Resources for International Development and Health

A compilation of development and health data and indicators, at both the macro- and micro- levels.

Micro Data Resources

Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)
The DHS is a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development to promote better gathering of survey data on health issues pertaining to family life and reproductive health in developing countries. Aggregated data from DHS surveys are readily accessible via the STATcompiler interface that allows for on-line visualization and for download in tabular form. Microdata files from the surveys are also available upon registration and application for access. The DHS Program also has a code library on GitHub that includes sample code to calculate common DHS indicators in R, SPSS, and Stata. Harmonized extracts of selected DHS modules are available via

Family Planning and Reproductive Health Indicators Database
UNC-Chapel Hill hosts an inventory of indicators commonly used in monitoring and evaluation efforts by NGO’s and international organizations. The database does not provide actual data themselves, but does explain how indicators are measured/constructed and where the data come from in terms of sources and aggregation. The database is thus quite useful as a source of ideas and inspiration for how to craft questions for evaluation surveys and data-collection instruments.

Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx)
The Global Health Data Exchange is an undertaking by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and is a "comprehensive catalog of surveys, censuses, vital statistics, and other health-related data." While it is not a data archive and thus does not necessarily provide access to specific data resources, it is a very useful tool for locating health/demographic data at both the micro- and macro- levels. The IHME has various other data-related projects, including its estimates of Global Burden of Disease.

International Household Survey Network (IHSN)
The IHSN is devoted to improving "the availability, accessibility, and quality of survey data within developing countries, and to encourage the analysis and use of this data by national and international development decision makers, the research community, and other stakeholders." As part of this mission, the IHSN has developed a very useful catalog of household surveys that covers both national and international surveys. The catalog allows users to filter by country, date range, and availability, and to search through variable descriptions and question texts. The IHSN also provides projects and guidelines for designing, collecting, and managing survey data.

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) Global Health
IPUMS Global Health provides access to "harmonized international survey data on maternal, child, and reproductive health." The IPUMS-DHS data are taken from DHS data collected in African and South Asian countries. The IPUMS-PMA data cover family planning, water/sanitation, and menstrual hygeine and are taken from the Performance Monitoring for Action data. IPUMS Global Health is one of many IPUMS collections of census/demographic and health data.

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) International
The IPUMS International project at the University of Minnesota provides access to samples from population censuses in various countries, with the data harmonized and standardized for easier cross-national comparisons. The list of available samples is located at IPUMS International is one of many IPUMS collections of census/demographic and health data.

Living Standards Measurement Study
The Living Standards Measurement Study from the World Bank constitutes a large inventory of studies, microdata from which are available via the Bank's Microdata Library. Note that the site also offers tips and methodological guidance for working with microdata files and for conducting household surveys. Records for individual studies will provide documentation (e.g. user guides, survey instruments) and information about access to the data themselves. The LSMS project has also produced reports and tools that provide methodological guidance for implementing household surveys.

Millennium Challenge Corporation Evidence Platform
The MCC Evidence Platform provides access to data, documentation, and reports from various assessments and projects undertaken by the Millennium Challenge Corporation available for secondary use. You can search/filter the holdings by country, sector of intervention, and output type.

Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)
UNICEF's Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys are a recurring survey of maternal and children's health, covering topics such as fertility, domestic violence, household conditions, education, child protection, and subjective well-being. The surveys are conducted in multiple regions and are available for download upon registration. UNICEF also provides multiple tools for the design, collection, and analysis of MICS surveys.

World Bank Microdata Central Microdata Catalog
The World Bank has its own microdata catalog, with the focus on data collected by the World Bank itself (with some exceptions). As with the IHSN, users can search through variable-level information (e.g. survey questions) for particular terms and phrases and the like. The catalog is within the Bank's Microdata Library.

World Health Organization Multi-Country Studies Data Archive
The World Health Organization has a data catalog for microdata from various WHO survey programmes, such as the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE) and the World Health Survey.