Who We Are

The Centre for Demographic and Health Analysis (CeDHA) is a development think tank that produces rigorous policy-oriented research in the areas of population and health to solve global health and demographic challenges. CeDHA’s research focuses on the sub-Saharan African context where indicators of population wellbeing and health are among the lowest in the world. The World Bank’s Human Capital Index 2018 ranks SSA last among the world’s region estimating that almost 60% of SSA’s human capital will go to waste because children born today will not enjoy complete education and full health. By 2050, the world’s population will be almost 10 billion with more than half of the world’s population growth taking place in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) indicating that the population and health challenges facing the region will be exacerbated over time without feasible and impactful policy strategies.

More than ever, the need for data for effective planning and evaluation of programmes, is critical. In most developing countries, however, development planning especially in such critical areas as health and other social services sectors such as housing, provision of educational facilities, is often not grounded in data-driven evidence. But, as the economies of most countries have become complex and integration and inter-sectorial collaboration has become critical, the need for data-driven policy implementation is more needed than ever before. However, in Ghana like many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, many policy interventions are still largely implemented without much empirical evidence.

Over the years, much progress has been made in the collection of data, some examples of which include the various censuses, demographic and health surveys (DHS), the World Bank supported living standards survey, the UNICEF supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), etc. In addition, individual ministries have instituted mechanisms for collecting routine institutional level data from the district level that are often aggregated through regional to national levels. For instance, the Ghana Health Service over the last couple of years has been implementing an innovative data collection system known as the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS-I & now DHIMS-II). The challenge however, has been careful and critical analyses of such data, to support policy implementation or evaluate the effectiveness or efficacy of programmes. Apart from the production of reports summarizing in general terms broad key indicators resulting from these data, very little detailed critical analysis and evaluations of these data are often conducted.

CeDHA with that understanding provides a critical core of competencies in the key areas of collection of demographic and health data, policy analysis of data and dissemination of policy research findings to a wide audience. Our core fellows provide essential analytical manpower for conducting detailed analysis of data to support development. In addition to providing these services, CeDHA provides a platform to implement nationally representative longitudinal capabilities in the areas of health and other social policy to support evidence-based decision-making. CeDHA additionally builds institutional research capacity by training policy-makers and programme officials in utilizing data for decision-making.