This paper reviews the range of tools used in collecting data on health and socioeconomic status. It argues that very few of these methods are capable of providing information about the health of the very poor. The authors outline a strategy for building on existing data sources, such as Demographic and Health Surveys, through designing supplementary studies and using techniques such as poverty mapping.
The contents are as follows: Executive summary; Introduction; Background; Why measure health indicators among the poor?; Measuring health; Existing sources of data (Censuses, Vital registration, Demographic and Health Surveys and World Fertility Surveys, Living Standards Measurement Surveys, Center for Disease Control Surveys, UNICEF Multi-indicator Cluster Surveys, Population 'laboratories', Other sample surveys, Small area studies, Facility surveys, Market research studies, Qualitative approaches, and Summary of main data sources); Combining health and poverty measurement: the challenge; Options for measuring the health of the poor using existing information; A new pro-poor measurement strategy using low cost evaluation techniques; References; and Annex 1: DHS technical details.
Assessing the health of the poor: towards a pro-poor measurement strategy, DFID Health Systems Resource Centre, London, UK, 35 pp.