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MEASURE DHS

DHS Program Indicator Data API Opens Door for Innovative Apps

On the heels of the White House’s commitment to open data, Blue Raster collaborated with ICF International under The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program to build the DHS Indicator Data Application Programming Interface (API). Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the API provides users direct access to over 30 years of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for more than 90 countries covering almost 1,500 indicators – more than 3 million records. By using this tool, developers, analysts, and researchers can obtain DHS data programmatically and develop applications that suit their needs.

DHS Program API Homepage

The API was developed by Blue Raster on the ColdFusion Web Application platform. Developers can query the DHS data using both a RESTful interface, which allows selecting parameters including countries, indicators, and surveys, as well as a conventional query-based interface which provides advanced options for obtaining more customized results. For those looking to query large sets of data, the API offers additional parameters that control the format, citation, and version information. Additionally, JSON, XML, CSV and HTML output formats are supported to provide users with flexibility.

DHS Program API Application Showcase

In the spirit of openness, the DHS Program has put together tips and code samples in JavaScript, ColdFusion, .NET, Python, R, Stata, and more to help users get started. You can even register to be a DHS API partner which allows you access to a larger number of entries returned per page and assistance in application development.

Trever Croft, DHS Program’s Capacity Strengthening Technical Coordinator, says:

“The DHS API provides a new level of access to DHS data. Blue Raster has produced a wonderfully simple but powerful tool that will power both the DHS website and STATcompiler as well as users and developers own applications.”

For more details, visit the DHS Indicator Data API website. Let us know if you build an app, and follow the API on Twitter (@DHSprogramAPI).

MEASURE DHS Launches the Spatial Data Repository

Blue Raster is pleased to announce the launch of the Spatial Data Repository (SDR), a  new open data tool that provides geographically-linked health and demographic data from the USAID funded MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) project and the U.S. Census Bureau for mapping in a geographic information system (GIS). This new resource offers:

  • National and subnational boundaries of DHS regions can be visualized over time.
  • More than 1,500 DHS indicators and U.S. Census population estimates in GIS format.
  • Users without GIS software can make interactive maps of DHS indicators at STATcompiler.

Blue Raster leveraged the power of ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online along with custom Python scripts to deliver all MEASURE DHS data in spatial formats (shapefiles and file geodatabase). Users can select indicators of interest (from more than 90 countries) and SDR will create custom data packages for download data .

Visit Spatial Data Repository for access to USAID’s first public and accessible global health dataset.

Spatial Data Repository

Clara Burgert, GIS Coordinator, MEASURE DHS explains,

The Spatial Data Repository has been innovative from the start, being the first time that global health was shared in a GIS format. This new version of the website continues that innovation with new tools and abilities which Blue Raster, a key partner on this activity, was a driving force in implementing. I am particularly pleased with the ability to select and download your own data packages and also visualizing the DHS regions over time. MEASURE DHS has such a wealth of data and resources – we are excited by the opportunities that the new website brings in opening the data to the geographic community.

The Spatial Data Repository is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) effort to provide data for decision making and improve knowledge and understanding of the impact of HIV worldwide. Blue Raster partnered with ICF International to deliver this new open data platform for USAID.

MEASURE DHS Mobile Featured in Adobe PhoneGap Success Story

Blue Raster is excited to announce the Demographic and Health Surveys – MEASURE DHS mobile application is featured in a new case study publication by Adobe. Leveraging Adobe PhoneGap and Adobe PhoneGap Build, Blue Raster developed and deployed the application which enables users worldwide to access key demographic and health survey data provided by MEASURE DHS surveys. Since launching, the application has already achieved more than 1,000 downloads. See how Adobe PhoneGap and Blue Raster made it possible http://adobe.ly/11kdoB2. Get the app for your iOS or Android device today!

MEASURE DHS Mobile Adobe PhoneGap Success Story

On the Go: USAID MEASURE DHS Data Available in New Mobile App

With pressure to base policies and programs on meticulously collected data, there is a need to make USAID funded Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results Demographic and Health Surveys (MEASURE DHS) reports more readily available.  However, many developing countries have no access to a tangible library of DHS reports, nor a reliable internet connection to visit the MEASURE DHS website to access these surveys.

Luckily, the rapid increase in the mobile phone and smartphone usage  has given the MEASURE DHS team hope.  The popularity of these devices can grant anyone access to DHS reports, from policy makers in Washington, D.C. to remote communities in rural Africa.  In fact, according to Pingdom’s STATcounter, 15% of Africa’s internet browsing in May 2012 came from mobile devices, an increase of more than 150% from 2010.

With the help of MEASURE DHS technology partner, Blue Raster, the DHS Mobile application was developed.  MEASURE DHS mobile covers over ninety countries, including data on vaccination, childhood mortality, nutrition, HIV testing and prevalence, literacy rates, twenty other indicators.  It displays trends within a single country through Quickstats, and allows users to compare and contrast the most common indicators through a series of tables, charts and maps.  It also provides basic information about the individual surveys, such as sample size, timing, and topics included, and links to download the final reports, Key Findings, and fact sheets.

Recognizing the need to build an application that is available on multiple mobile platforms, Blue Raster, an Adobe Partner, utilized Adobe PhoneGap to compile both iOS and Android applications.  PhoneGap Build allowed Blue Raster to capitalize on their experience in web-standard technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript to rapidly build and deploy the app.  Spatial data is delivered to the app using the ArcGIS 10.1 platform.  Basemap tiles are accessed from ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online, and the Esri Javascript API was used to link the geometry and data.

The app also stores all the indicator and survey data locally on the device, and periodically checks for updates.  This functionality truly enables users to connect with the data, despite the absence of consistent internet, and allows policymakers and program managers to visit field sites without having to create massive, tangible copies of data or abandon the data completely.

The DHS mobile application is free and available for Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android smartphones and tablets.  Blue Raster will work with the MEASURE DHS team to enhance the application with new features and continue to improve the user experience in the coming months.  For suggestions in improving the DHS Mobile application, please email mobile@measuredhs.com.

 

iTunes App Store Google Play

MEASURE DHS Releases New Website, STATcompiler

The new MEASURE DHS website (www.measuredhs.com) and STATcompiler (www.statcompiler.com) were launched today, introducing the global community to new ways of visualizing Demographic and Health Surveys data. New features of the website include an interactive map of countries and surveys, an enhanced publications library, and more information on survey methodology.  The new, more user-friendly STATcompiler features customized tables, as well as charts, maps, and scatter plots.

STATcompiler has always allowed users to create custom tables, comparing survey results across countries and over time. Now users can visualize these data through interactive column charts, line graphs, maps, and scatter plots.  Users can select indicators and countries of interest, add background characteristics such as age, education, and wealth, and instantly see in a chart what is hard to discern in a table. These images are exportable for use in papers and presentations.  Data tables have also been enhanced, allowing users to sort data and customize their view.

The MEASURE DHS web tools allow for the sharing of Demographic and Health Surveys data from 90 countries and over 260 surveys.  Data are made available through free publications, datasets, and online data visualization tools. The website also provides background information on the survey process and methodology, contextual information on health and demographic topics, and summary data on countries and topics of interest.

Blue Raster collaborated with ICF Macro to build this application using ArcGIS Server, Flex API, ColdFusion, and CommonSpot.  The MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys Project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


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