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INDEPTH is a network of health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSSs) that provide a more complete picture. Since HDSSs collect data from whole communities over extended time periods, they more accurately reflect health and population problems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
By monitoring new health threats, tracking population changes through fertility rates, death rates and migration, and measuring the effect of policy interventions on communities, we provide information that enables policy-makers to make informed decisions and to adapt their programmes to changing conditions.
INDEPTH with its secretariat in Accra, Ghana, is a global network of HDSSs. Its 45 member centres observe through 52 HDSS field sites the life events of over three millions of people in 20 LMICs in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Since its inception in 1998, the network has gathered a treasure trove of robust data, and is uniquely positioned both to answer the most pressing questions on health, population dynamics and development, and to provide policy-makers and donors with evidence on the impact of interventions.
In a world seeking answers to poverty and underdevelopment, INDEPTH produces the data necessary to study and solve our greatest social problems.
A lack of reliable health and population data has made it difficult for policy-makers in low- and middle income countries (LMICs) to meet the real needs of their people. Births, deaths and causes of death are not registered in the poorest countries, and data from health facilities omit those who do not use health centres. Data on other social questions, meanwhile, are often piecemeal and limited to small samples or brief points in time.
INDEPTH is overseen by a board of trustees, a Secretariat, Centre Leaders at each institution, a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) consisting of 15 members, and Working Groups or Special Interest Groups. INDEPTH also partners with a host of organisations which have resources that substantially enhance INDEPTH’s ability to successfully execute current and future projects of the network, including WHO, numerous Universities around the world, COHRED, UNESCO, INCLEN, StatsSA, and ARHR.
What We Do
We conduct longitudinal research based on Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) field sites in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to improve the lives of people in these countries by informing and influencing policy.
INDEPTH provides robust answers to some of the most important questions in development. Through our global network of HDSS field sites in Africa, Asia and Oceania, we are capable of producing reliable longitudinal data not only about the lives of people in LMICs, but about the impact on those lives of development policies and programmes.
How We Work
- We support the INDEPTH Working Groups to realise their ambitious plans for expanding the boundaries of scientific knowledge based on HDSS research.
- We strengthen the capacities of HDSS members and train their staff to conduct high quality health and demographic research.
- We enhance members’ scientific productivity and improve on the quality of data collection, analysis and management.
- We focus on building a pool of highly trained and efficient young researchers/scientists to conduct world-class research and ensure sustainable leaders for the respective HDSSs.
- In partnership with our collaborators, we energetically strive to translate the successful research into improved global policies. To this end, we synthesise the knowledge generated by INDEPTH into comprehensive policy documents to influence policy-making and ensuring an on-going dialogue among policy makers, practitioners and scientists.
- We always seek and use every opportunity to work closely with the Board of Trustees who in turn demonstrates its leadership role.
- We utilise the Scientific Advisory Committee to steer the Network’s scientific agenda into promising directions
Over time member sites have gathered demographic and health information from more than 3 million people from low and middle income countries (LMIC), some of which can be accessed the from INDEPTH website:
INDEPTHStats displays yearly health and demographic indicators generated from the INDEPTH member centres in Africa, Asia and Oceania and is freely. It aims at providing researchers, government officials and policymakers, health and demographic information that can guide their decision-making.
iSHARE – the INDEPTH Shared Access Repository which is an initiative to assist INDEPTH members to efficiently provide standardised, high quality information. – It facilitates sharing of data collected from heterogeneous sources in a common format.
INDEPTH is involved in Cross-national, Cross-regional and Cross-continental projects involving several member centres. Some of the major projects are:
1.CODD: Cause of death determination in low- and middle-income countries. Details here: http://indepth-network.org/indpeth_press_release.html
2.Optimunise: Examining non-specific effects on survival of specific vaccine. Details here: http://www.indepth-network.org/optimunise/
3.iHOPE: Study on Out-of-pocket health spending (OOPS). Details here: http://www.indepth-network.org/ihope/
4.INESS: INDEPTH Effectiveness and Safety Studies of Antimalarials. Details here: http://www.indepth-network.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1346&Itemid=993
5.IDMP: Enhancing research data management capacity for analysis, publication and sharing. Details here:
6.AWI-Gen: Africa, Wits-INDEPTH partnership for the GENomic study of body composition and CMD risk. Details here: http://www.indepth-network.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1538
7.IHTAS: INDEPTH Health Transition into Adulthood Study with Kilifi and Dodowa HDSSs. Details here:
8.EVIDENCE: USAID-funded project to improve family planning services. Details here: http://www.indepth-network.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1654
9.INTREC: Developing sustainable capacity for research for heath and its social determinants. Details here:
10.IUHC: Understand impact of universal health coverage on the poor and vulnerable.Details here http://www.indepth-network.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1413&Itemid=1088
Policy Engagement and Communications Manager,
38&40 East Legon,
P.O. Box 213 Kanda, Accra,