Measuring maternal mortality through the census: rapier or bludgeon?

Kenneth Hill, Harvard University
Cynthia Stanton, Johns Hopkins University

New impetus to including questions about maternal mortality in population censuses has been provided by the inclusion of this topic in the 2nd Edition Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses and the use of MMR as a target for Millennium Development Goal # 5. Evaluations of the performance of such questions have been limited to single exercises, so that the stability of the methods cannot be evaluated. This paper will examine the results of data on maternal mortality collected in two successive censuses in the four countries that have done so (Benin, Lao PDR, Lesotho and Zimbabwe). Updates evaluation and adjustment methods will be applied, and conclusions about method stability derived from comparisons of results over time.

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Presented in Session 37: Measuring maternal mortality through the 2010 round of population censuses