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  • Added 12 May 2015



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.

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.

Research interests

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.

Disease areas

  • Cancer
  • Chagas
  • Cholera
  • Dengue
  • Enteric diseases
  • Helminths
  • HIV
  • Influenza
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria
  • Maternal Health
  • Mental Health
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  • Neuro Infections
  • Newborn Health
  • Other
  • Podoconiosis
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • TB
  • Yellow Fever

Other information

Data Sharing

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:

•Website has data sharing tools iSHARE (http://www.indepth-ishare.org) and INDEPTHStats (http://www.indepth-ishare.org/indepthstats)

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.

Major projects

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

Contact this site

To: David Mbulumi, Policy Engagements & Communications Manager at INDEPTH Network

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