Mortality Surveillance Methods & Strategies

Man with a clipboard talking to woman in a village

Reliable and timely information on cause-specific mortality is a critical part of identifying emerging health problems and a fundamental component of evidence-based health policy development, implementation, and evaluation. Efforts to measure population-level impact of global epidemics, including HIV/AIDS, and develop effective responses are complicated by a lack of dependable mortality data in countries with the highest burden of disease. 

This course will provide participants with a basic understanding of the importance and usefulness of mortality data and introduce a range of approaches to collecting such data. The advantages and limitations of the various methods will also be discussed.


After successfully completing this course, learners will be able to:

  • List reasons for using mortality surveillance data
  • Describe prominent models for obtaining mortality surveillance data
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of each collection type and begin to identify which work best under certain circumstances
  • Understand the uses of mortality surveillance data in developing and evaluating programs and/or policies
  • Recount examples of successful collection of mortality surveillance data


Collaborating organizations involved in the development of Mortality Surveillance Methods & Strategies include:

  • David Davies-Deis, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs
  • Renee Lewis, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Loraine West, U.S. Census Bureau


We would also like to acknowledge the following technical reviewers for their valuable input:

  • Stirling Cummings, MEASURE Evaluation/University of North Carolina
  • Robert Mswia, MEASURE Evaluation/Futures Group International


  • 2 hours


  • Thursday, December 1, 2011

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