The 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) was designed to provide information on demographic, health, and family planning status and trends in the country. Specifically, the UDHS collected information on fertility levels, marriage, sexual activity, fertility preferences, breastfeeding practices, and awareness and use of family planning methods. In addition, data were collected on the nutritional status of mothers and young children; infant, child, adult, and maternal mortality; maternal and child health; awareness and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections; and levels of anaemia and vitamin A deficiency.
The 2011 UDHS is a follow-up to the 1988-1989, 1995, 2000-2001, and 2006 UDHS surveys, which were implemented by the Statistics Department of Ministry of Finance and Planning, and later by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).
The specific objectives of the 2011 UDHS were as follows:
- To provide data at the national and subnational level that would allow the calculation of demographic rates, particularly fertility and infant mortality rates
- To analyse the direct and indirect factors that determine the level of and trends in fertility and mortality
- To measure the level of contraceptive knowledge and practice of women and men by method, by urban-rural residence, and by region
- To collect data on knowledge and attitudes of women and men about sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, and to evaluate patterns of recent behaviour regarding condom use
- To assess the nutritional status of children under age 5 and women by means of anthropometric measurements (weight and height), and to assess child feeding practices
- To collect data on family health, including antenatal visits, assistance at delivery, breastfeeding, immunizations, and prevalence and treatment of diarrhoea and other diseases among children under age 5
- To measure vitamin A deficiency in women and children, and to measure anaemia in women, men, and children
- To measure key education indicators, including school attendance ratios and primary school grade repetition and dropout rates
- To collect information on the extent of disability
- To collect information on the extent of gender-based violence
This information is essential for informed policy-making and planning, monitoring, and evaluation of health programmes in general and reproductive health programmes in particular, at both the national and regional levels. A long-term objective of the survey was to strengthen the technical capacity of the National Statistics Office to plan, conduct, process, and analyse data from complex national population and health surveys.
The 2011 UDHS provides national and regional estimates on population and health that are comparable to data collected in Uganda’s four previous DHS surveys and similar surveys in other developing countries. Data collected in the 2011 UDHS add to the large and growing international database of demographic and health indicators.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-54
- Children under five
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS)
Government of Uganda
Ministry of Health
Government of Uganda
Makerere University School of Public Health
Government of Uganda
Biochemistry Department of Makerere University
Government of Uganda
Government of Uganda
U.S. Agency for International Development
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
Irish Aid-the Government of Ireland
The sampling frame used for the 2011 UDHS is the 2002 Population Census provided by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). The UBOS has an electronic file consisting of 48,715 Enumeration Areas (EAs) created for the 2002 Population and Housing Census. An EA is a geographic area consisting of a convenient number of dwelling units that serve as counting units for the census.
The sample for the 2011 UDHS was designed to provide population and health indicator estimates for the country as a whole and for urban and rural areas separately. A representative sample of 10,086 households was selected for the 2011 UDHS. The sample was selected in two stages. In the first stage, 404 enumeration areas (EAs) were selected from among a list of clusters sampled for the 2009/10 Uganda National Household Survey (2010 UNHS). This matching of samples was done to allow linking of the 2011 UDHS health indicators to poverty data from the 2010 UNHS. The clusters in the UNHS were selected from the 2002 Population Census sample frame.
In the second stage of sampling, households in each cluster were selected from a complete listing of households, which was updated prior to the survey. Households were purposively selected from those listed. All households in the 2010 UNHS that were in the 404 EAs were included in the UDHS sample.
All women age 15-49 who were either permanent residents of the households or visitors who slept in the households the night before the survey were eligible to be interviewed. In addition, in a subsample of one-third of households selected for the survey, all men age 15-54 were eligible to be interviewed if they were either permanent residents or visitors who slept in the household on the night before the survey. An additional sample was selected for administration of the Maternal Mortality Module.
Note: See Appendix A (in final survey report) for the details of the sample design.
A total of 10,086 households were selected for the sample, of which 9,480 were found to be occupied during data collection. Of these, 9,033 households were successfully interviewed, giving a household response rate of 95 percent.
Of the 9,247 eligible women identified in the selected households, interviews were completed with 8,674 women, yielding a response rate of 94 percent for women.
Of the 2,573 eligible men identified in the selected subsample of households for men, 2,295 were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 89 percent for men.
Response rates were higher in rural than in urban areas, with the rural-urban difference being more pronounced among men (92 and 82 percent, respectively) than among women (95 and 91 percent, respectively).
Note: See summarized response rates by residence (urban/rural) in Table 1.2 of the survey final report.
Due to the non-proportional allocation of the sample to the different regions and to urban and rural areas, sampling weights are required for any analysis using 2011 UDHS data to ensure representativeness of the survey results at the national and regional levels. Because the 2011 UDHS sample is a two-stage stratified cluster sample, sampling weights were calculated separately based on sampling probabilities for each sampling stage and for each cluster.
See Appendix A.4 (in final survey report) for the details of sampling weight calculation.
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
Type of Research Instrument
Four types of questionnaires were used in the 2011 UDHS: the Household Questionnaire, the Woman’s Questionnaire, the Maternal Mortality Questionnaire, and the Man’s Questionnaire. These questionnaires were adapted from model survey instruments developed by ICF for the MEASURE DHS project and by UNICEF for the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) project. The intent was to reflect the population and health issues relevant to Uganda. Questionnaires were discussed at a series of meetings with various stakeholders, ranging from government ministries and agencies to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and development partners. The questionnaires were translated into seven major languages: Ateso, Ngakarimojong, Luganda, Lugbara, Luo, Runyankole-Rukiga, and Runyoro-Rutoro.
The Household Questionnaire was used to list all the usual members and visitors who spent the previous night in the selected households. Basic information was collected on the characteristics of each person listed, including his or her age, sex, education, relationship to the head of the household, and disability status. For children under age 18, survival status of the parents was determined. Data on the age and sex of household members were used to identify women and men eligible for an individual interview. In addition, the Household Questionnaire collected information on characteristics of the household’s dwelling unit, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, materials used for the floor of the house, ownership of various durable goods, and ownership and use of mosquito bednets.
The Woman’s Questionnaire was used to collect information from all eligible women age 15-49.
The eligible women were asked questions on the following topics:
- Background characteristics (age, education, media exposure, etc.)
- Birth history and childhood mortality
- Knowledge and use of family planning methods
- Fertility preferences
- Antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care
- Breastfeeding and infant feeding practices
- Vaccinations and childhood illnesses
- Marriage and sexual activity
- Woman’s work and husband’s background characteristics
- Awareness and behaviour regarding AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Adult mortality, including maternal mortality
- Knowledge of tuberculosis and other health issues
- Gender-based violence
The Maternal Mortality Questionnaire was administered to all eligible women age 15-49 in 35 additional households in 394 out of 404 EAs. It collected data on maternal mortality using the Sibling Survival Module (commonly referred to as the ‘Maternal Mortality Module’).
The Man’s Questionnaire was administered to all eligible men age 15-54 years in every third household in the 2011 UDHS sample. The Man’s Questionnaire collected information similar to that in the Woman’s Questionnaire but was shorter because it did not contain a detailed reproductive history or questions on maternal and child health.
Uganda Bureau of Statistics
Government of Uganda
Questionnaire data were entered in the field by the field editors on each team and the files were periodically sent to the UBOS office by internet. All the paper questionnaires were also returned to UBOS headquarters in Kampala for data processing, which consisted of office editing, coding of open-ended questions, a second data entry, and finally, editing computer-identified errors. The data were processed by a team of eight data entry operators, two office editors, and one data entry supervisor. Data entry and editing were accomplished using CSPro software. The processing of data was initiated in August 2011 and completed in January 2012.
Estimates of Sampling Error
he estimates from a sample survey are affected by two types of errors: non-sampling errors and sampling errors. Non-sampling errors are the results of mistakes made in implementing data collection and data processing, such as failure to locate and interview the correct household, misunderstanding of the questions on the part of either the interviewer or the respondent, and data entry errors. Although numerous efforts were made during the implementation of the 2011 Uganda DHS (UDHS) to minimise this type of error, non-sampling errors are impossible to avoid and difficult to evaluate statistically.
Sampling errors, on the other hand, can be evaluated statistically. The sample of respondents selected in the 2011 UDHS is only one of many samples that could have been selected from the same population, using the same design and expected size. Each of these samples would yield results that differ somewhat from the results of the actual sample selected. Sampling errors are a measure of the variability between all possible samples. Although the degree of variability is not known exactly, it can be estimated from the survey results.
Sampling error is usually measured in terms of the standard error for a particular statistic (mean, percentage, etc.), which is the square root of the variance. The standard error can be used to calculate confidence intervals within which the true value for the population can reasonably be assumed to fall. For example, for any given statistic calculated from a sample survey, the value of that statistic will fall within a range of plus or minus two times the standard error of that statistic in 95 percent of all possible samples of identical size and design.
If the sample of respondents had been selected as a simple random sample, it would have been possible to use straightforward formulas for calculating sampling errors. However, the2011 UDHS sample is the result of a multi-stage stratified design, and, consequently, it was necessary to use more complex formulae. Sampling errors are computed in either ISSA or SAS, using programs developed by ICF International. These programs use the Taylor linearisation method of variance estimation for survey estimates that are means, proportions or ratios. The Jackknife repeated replication method is used for variance estimation of more complex statistics such as fertility and mortality rates.
See Appendix B (in final survey report) for the details of estimates of sampling errors.
Data Quality Tables
- Household age distribution
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed women
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed men
- Completeness of reporting
- Births by calendar years
- Reporting of age at death in days
- Reporting of age at death in months
- Nutritional status of children
- Completeness of information on siblings
- Sibship size and sex ratio of siblings
Note: See Appendix C (in final survey report) for the details of data quality tables.
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