The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in a bid to improve the data collecting capabilities of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) has handed over eight SUV vehicles, totaling approximately US$400,000.

A release issued said the donation, along with other donor contributions, will complement the Government of Liberia’s commitment through the national budget.

The donation under the USAID sponsored MEASURE Evaluation Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) project, is part of a fleet of 16 vehicles - six vehicles from the Global Fund and two vehicles from UNICEF and will allow LISGIS to accommodate the size, scale, and scope of the DHS, which covers all 15 counties in Liberia with one vehicle serving as a roving vehicle.

According to the release, the vehicles will also help implement other important surveys throughout the year, including the Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

The 2012-2013 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) is designed to provide reliable and detailed information on socio-demographic characteristics, health and levels of HIV in Liberia.

It said since the last DHS was conducted in 2007 many strides have been made to improve the health and well-being of Liberians. This survey will help quantify those successes and shed light on the areas for continued improvement.

The release further said the survey will also enable the Government of Liberia to assess achievement towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), as well as provide other national and international agencies the ability to monitor and evaluate the achievements of policies and programs related to population, health, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS.

Under the MEASURE Evaluation DHS, USAID has supported LISGIS to implement the Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS) and other surveys.  

The MEASURE Phase III DHS project aims to improve the collection, analysis and presentation of data and promote better use in planning, policymaking, managing, monitoring and evaluating population, and health and nutrition programs.

The project also seeks to increase understanding of a wide range of health issues by improving the quality and availability of data on health status and services and enhancing the ability of local organizations to collect, analyze and disseminate such information.