Back to Materials Index
Additional Resources

Population-Based Household Survey

Save or print this page

Population-Based Household Survey: BACKGROUND

Household surveys are one of the most important data capture platforms for maternal deaths in settings where routine information systems are weak or non-existent. Probability sampling ensures that target populations are representative. A particular advantage is that confidence intervals can be calculated around maternal mortality estimates. In addition, depending on the approach used, household surveys can also gather useful information on causes, timing, place and consequences of death as well as health care seeking behaviour prior to death.

There are currently three main ways in which population-based household surveys are used to measure maternal mortality - further information on each of these is provide at the relevant linked page:

  1. Population-based household survey using direct mortality questions: this involves the ascertainment of deaths in the household in a recent interval of time (also called the Direct Mortality Questions), and is the approach also used in the decennial census
  2. Population-based household survey using indirect sisterhood method questions
  3. Population-based household survey using direct sisterhood method questions

Back to Top

United Nations UN (2005) Household sample surveys in developing and transition countries. New York: United Nations. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/96.

United Nations UN (1984) Handbook of household surveys (Revised Edition). New York: United Nations. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/31

Bulletin of the World Health Organisation Hill K, El Arifeen S, Koenig M, Al-Sabir A, Jamil K, Raggers H (2006) How should we measure maternal mortality in the developing world? A comparison of household deaths and sibling history approaches. Bulletin of the World Health Organization; 84 (3): 173-80.

Data Priorities for Population and Health in Developing Countries: Summary of a Workshop Session II: Alternative data collection strategies for monitoring, evaluation, and planning purposes. In: Data Priorities for Population and Health in Developing Countries: Summary of a Workshop. Eds Malanick, CE; Pebley, AR. Committee on Population, National Research Council. Washington DC: National Academies Press, 1996.

United Nations

United Nations United Nations Statistics Division:

Also see:

United Nations