The Dodowa Health and Demographic Surveillance System (DHDSS) operates in the south-eastern part of Ghana. It was established in 2005 after an initial attempt in 2003 by the Dodowa Health Research Centre (DHRC) to have an accurate population base for piloting a community health insurance scheme. As at 2010, the DHDSS had registered 111 976 residents in 22 767 households. The district is fairly rural, with scattered settlements. Information on pregnancies, births, deaths, migration and marriages using household registration books administered by trained fieldworkers is obtained biannually. Education, immunization status and household socioeconomic measures are obtained annually and verbal autopsies (VA) are conducted on all deaths. Community key informants (CKI) complement the work of field staff by notifying the field office of events that occur after a fieldworker has left a community. The centre has very close working relationships with the district health directorate and the local government authority. The DHDSS subscribes to the INDEPTH data-sharing policy and in addition, contractual arrangements are made with various institutions on specific data-sharing issues.