Some Limits of Demographic Surveillance and Lessons From Following a Highly Mobile Population

Mark Gross , Cabrini University
Rebecca Wang, Brown University
Carren Ginsburg, University of the Witwatersrand
Mark Collinson, University of the Witwatersrand
Michael J. White, Brown University

Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS) collect a host of valuable information and vital statistics on individuals in LMICs. However, while most DSSs count in and out migration, they do not follow the migrants who leave the DSS site. This results in a substantial amount of selectivity and bias that little is known about. South Africa has a high level of internal mobility and people engage in both permanent migration as well as temporary and circular migration. The Migrant Health Follow Up Study, a 5-year cohort study of 3800 individuals, follows migrants out of the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site to better understand migration, urbanization, and health in a transition setting, as well as how migrant selectivity contributes to biases in DSS data. Using preliminary data from Wave 1 we describe the high-level of mobility in our sample and make the case for utilizing survey instruments with finer temporal resolution.

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 Presented in Session 103. Innovative Approaches, Data, and Analytical Strategies in the Study of Migration