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Journal article Open Access

Describing small administrative areas with Demographic and Health Survey data for national planning and evaluation

Wilson, Emily; Hazel, Elizabeth; Park, Lois; Carter, Emily; Moulton, Lawrence H.; Heidkamp, Rebecca; Perin, Jamie

All analysis files for Emily Wilson et al.’s paper Describing small administrative areas with Demographic and Health Survey data for national planning and evaluation have been made available for replication or additional analysis.

There are two .R files to re-run the methods, three .R files to reproduce the figures, 13 .do files to recreate the tables, and one .R file to reformat the tables, which are described in the paper.

We cannot directly provide the geographic location of DHS sampling units, the DHS household data, or the administrative boundaries from FAO, as these require access permission. However, we encourage all who are interested in obtaining these data to register for accounts with and, to obtain the raw data files which are needed. 

We used these DHS files:





MWGE4BFL(.shx, .shp.xml, .shp, .sbx, .sbn, .prj, .dbf)


We also used GAUL – second level – reference year 2004 files, which downloads as We then subset the country variable, ADM0_NAME, for Malawi. We saved the second level administrative areas as MWdistrict.

We recommend maintaining the naming convention of the DHS, and second level polygon, files. If you put these files in the “Data” subfolder, and access the .R analyses by first opening the DistrictAssignment.Rproj file, you won’t have to edit analysis files.

In order to run the analysis files, svmatf needs to be installed from ssc, on Stata, and the R packages listed at the top of each .R file need to be installed on R.

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