Guidance Note on Integrating The Module on Child Functioning In Demographic and Health Surveys

Guidance Note

The Child Functioning Module (CFM), developed by UNICEF and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG), is intended to identify children with functional difficulties in a cross-nationally comparable way. It provides an estimate of the size of this population and can be used to measure disparities in well-being outcomes between children with functional difficulties and children without such difficulties. The module covers children aged 2 to 17 years and assesses difficulties in various domains of functioning. It conforms to the biopsychosocial model of disability, focusing on the presence and extent of functional difficulties rather than on body structure or conditions.

UNICEF and the WG, in consultation with an international group of experts, have put the CFM through a rigorous development and evaluation process, including drafting, revising and validating the questions. The extensive testing done on the module revealed that minor variations in question wording or in the administration of the questions can lead to significant response variation – that is, responses that do not meet the intent of the questions. To retain the properties of the module and maximize international comparability, the CFM should be used exactly as presented in the different language versions available on the official website and when translating the questionnaire into other languages. The module is intended to be integrated into household surveys based on probabilistic representative samples and is accompanied by a set of standard tools and guidance to support its implementation.

The CFM is well-suited for inclusion in Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). However, a few principles need to be followed to ensure that the module retains its properties and produces accurate data, as explained on the Guidance Note.

Download the Guidance Note 


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