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Published by:
DHS Program
Publication date:
Course length:
1-2 hours
Data Collection and Use

The DHS Program’s Essential Statistical Concepts for Understanding DHS Program Data course familiarizes data users with the most commonly used statistics in tables from The DHS Program household-based surveys, including basic calculations, definitions, and considerations for use. These skills are essential for correct interpretation of tables and correct application/citation of DHS data in reports, journalism, and everyday data use for decision making. By the end of the course, you will be able to: define 7 basic statistical terms (percentage, prevalence, percent distribution, mean, median, rate, and ratio); correctly recognize the basic statistical measures used in key DHS tables; differentiate between a percentage and a percent distribution, a mean and a median, and a rate and a ratio, and be able to identify the appropriate statistic for DHS indicators; calculate basic statistics (percent, mean, median, and percent change); define sampling errors, confidence intervals and statistical significance and apply these concepts to interpretation of DHS Program trend data; and understand standard deviation and its use in DHS nutrition tables.

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