A while back I wrote a post about data sources for international development data, as my job often involves looking for or compiling data on specific indicators from different resources. My biggest life-lessons from doing this are that there are often inconsistencies among indicator definitions; you have to read the footnotes to make sure the number you see is the number you want; and there are a ton of different databases where you can find useful information. You can find the old post on the Resources page of this blog, which is in the process of getting updated with databases and other information.
For others who have used the WHO statistical database in the past, you’ve probably noticed that it had a bit of a makeover, and has been transformed from WHOSIS to the Global Health Observatory. While the new format has some advantages, including being able to format your Excel outputs in a more user-friendly way and having more indicators, there are some things I miss about the old WHOSIS, and some of my colleagues agree with my lamentations.
So, explore for yourself and decide which you find more useful — while the main WHO SIS site now links to the GHO, we found the URL for the old application. Enjoy running your data searches!
And if you’re just looking to browse statistics the WHO has, check out their list of other databases and resources. The customizable tables in WHO SIS and the GHO seem most convenient for me, but the other resources are useful too.