First set of NFHS-5 data expected by December

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on July 24, 2019 Published on July 24, 2019

The much awaited National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data will be out by December or January. Initial glitches notwithstanding, data collection has kick-started across half of the States. The survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round exercise conducted in a representative sample of households across the country.

It releases national, State and district level data on population and household profile, marriage and fertility, family planning services, maternal and child health, delivery care, child immunisation, treatment of childhood diseases, nutrition and feeding practices, anaemia, diabetes , hypertension and cancer examination.

“We are expecting the first phase of results from NFHS-5 to come in by December 2019 and January 2020. The second phase of data should be out by December 2020,” KS James, Director of International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the launch of the National Data Quality Forum at the Indian Council of Medical Research here.

“Data from seven lakh households will be collected on 67 indicators under the NFHS-5,” James said.

Error-free data

While the data of NFHS-4 conducted in 2014-15 was expected in 2015-16, its release was delayed to July 2017. The data of NFHS-5 is expected to be released on time.

IIPS, which is the nodal authority for conducting the survey, has set the deadline for submission of error-free data excel sheets from districts by April 30, 2020 for releasing the second set of data.

James also said that more safeguards have been put in place to ensure that the quality of data is clean. For instance, previously in Andhra Pradesh health workers had not reported sterilisation under family planning measures. “We asked the workers to go back to the villages and include the data under family planning,” stated James.

“We have developed a mechanism wherein problems reported each day on the field will be viewed at a central level. If any discrepancy is flagged, the field surveyors will have to go back to the individual household for verifying the data. Unless the discrepancy is sorted, the field level surveyor will not be able to close the query and move ahead,” said James.

To ensure that timelines are followed, IIPS has mandated training five to ten per cent more manpower to cope with the field requirement. It is ensuring payments to field investigators as per protocols to minimise dropout of trained staff. It is arranging transport and accommodation for each survey team and ensure timely payment of dearness allowance to the field staff.

Adhere to timeline

In order to adhere to the timeline of the survey, IIPS has imposed a penalty equivalent to 0.1 per cent per week of the total cost incurred on the survey by every field staff.

The field staff were given 33 days of training before starting work on NFHS-5.

Published on July 24, 2019
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