Central Data Catalog


WHO’s Multi-Country Studies Programmes

The Multi-Country Studies (MCS) unit runs the Longitudinal Studies Programme in the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It works with partners in countries to implement cross-sectional and longitudinal studies across the world in a range of topics that are of public health importance, but neglected in other multi-country survey exercises. The focus of the unit is on adult health and well-being in lower and middle income countries, engaging in methodological development, primary data collection, secondary data analysis and data dissemination. Recent and current nationally representative surveys include the 2000-01 Multi-Country Survey Study, 2002-04 World Health Surveys, and 2007-10 Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), with ongoing contributions to the World Mental Health Surveys.

Special SAGE sub-studies focus on specific high priority topics: such as HIV and older persons, through a collaboration with two countries to examine the direct and indirect impacts of HIV/AIDS on older adults (SAGE-WOPS); maximizing utility of ongoing data collection efforts, including the partnership with INDEPTH health and demographic surveillance system fieldsites to implement SAGE in geographically defined areas (SAGE-INDEPTH); and, testing of new measurement methods, for example testing self-reported and measured physical activity levels, and assessing how well the measurement of happiness performs across countries.

New waves of data collection are ongoing or planned for SAGE (2013 and 2015), SAGE-WOPS (2013) and SAGE-INDEPTH (2013), along with validation studies such as, improving reliability of self-reported chronic conditions, and comparing dried blood spot to whole blood assay results in matched samples.

Specialized Collections

Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE)

WHO SAGE is part of an ongoing program of work to compile comprehensive longitudinal information on the health and well-being of adult populations and the ageing process. The core SAGE collects data on adults aged 18+ years, with an emphasis on populations aged 50+ years, from nationally representative samples in six countries: China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russian Federation and South Africa. Wave 1 total sample size is over 40,000 individuals. Wave 2 interviews were completed in 2014/15 in five countries, with the sixth country planning to complete Wave 2 in the last quarter of 2016. Wave 2 data will be released in the public domain early 2017. Wave 3 training/implementation will start in Feb 2017.

SAGE Well-being of Older People Study (WOPS) - HIV

WHO SAGE-WOPS HIV is a sub-study conducted in partnership with the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Unit Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Uganda, and the Africa Centre Demographic Information System (ACDIS) and population-based HIV survey, South Africa.

SAGE-INDEPTH collaboration (INDEPTH)

WHO SAGE-INDEPTH is conducted in partnership with the International Network for the continuous Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in developing countries (INDEPTH), with support from the US National Institute on Aging. The goals are to generate needed health data on older adults in lower income countries, to use common measurement strategies across health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) to examine ageing and adult health, and to develop methods to link routine surveillance data and longitudinal survey data. The full SAGE instrument was implemented in a random subset of respondents in South Africa (Agincourt), Ghana (Navrongo) and India (Vadu) HDSS fieldsites, resulting in a total sample of almost 1500 individuals.

SAGE Validation Sub-Study (SVSS)

SAGE is a longitudinal study focused on understanding trends and determinants of health and well-being of older adults. In addition to periodic follow up of the sample, it also includes a research component to improve the measurement of several outcomes and determinants of interest in this population group. This is especially true since SAGE is being implemented in settings where several of the methods have not been used before and the respondents are for the most part from low resource settings. The focus of the validation studies is to improve the measurement of subjective wellbeing and correlate this with biomarkers of emotional states, calibrate self-reports of physical activity with measured levels using accelerometry and validate self-reported symptom based chronic diseases against a gold standard. WHO SAGE-DRMVS is a sub-study conducted in partnership with Dr. S.N. Medical College(Jodhpur, India). WHO SAGE-PAVS is a sub-study conducted in partnership with Dr. S.N. Medical Colleg

World Health Survey (WHS)

WHO WHS was implemented in partnership with 70 countries between 2002 and 2004, to generate information on the health of adult populations and health systems. The total sample size, using nationally representative samples, includes over 300,000 individuals aged 18+ years. For six countries, China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa, WHS also serves as SAGE Wave 0.

Multi-Country Survey Study on Health and Responsiveness (MCSS)

WHO MCSS was developed as a mechanism to improve the methods for generating comparable data on health and health system responsiveness. This study was implemented in 2000-2001 in nationally representative populations from 61 countries. The total sample size includes almost 200,000 individuals aged 18-years and older.

© WHO 2016