Anthropometric Data in Population-Based Surveys: Meeting Report

cover of USAID Anthropometric meeting reportPopulation-based surveys, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, and Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) surveys, are used in many countries by host country governments, donors, and national and international partners to determine the anthropometric status of target groups, especially children under five. Important differences in results have occasionally been observed across survey types conducted in similar geographic locations and at close time points, leading to confusion at country and global levels.

In response, USAID’s Nutrition Division, within the Global Health Bureau, hosted a technical meeting in July 2015 to develop a shared understanding of the purposes, strengths, and challenges of these survey methodologies and to provide recommendations for improving comparability of anthropometric data and accuracy of population estimates of nutritional status. The meeting report provides a summary of the discussions and next steps.

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