10.1 Usefulness of D-score for monitoring child health

The D-score is a new approach to measure child development. The D-score is a scale for quantifying generic child development by a single number. Milestones are selected to fit the Rasch model. We can interpret the resulting measurements as scores on an interval scale, a requirement for answering questions like:

  • What is the difference in development over time for the same child, group or population?
  • What is the difference in development between different children, groups or populations of the same age?
  • How does child development compare to a norm?

The concept of the D-score is broader than a score calculated from the DDI. Any instrument that fits the model underlying the D-score can be used to measure the child’s D-score.

The precision of the measurement depends on the number of milestones and the match between milestone difficulty and person ability. We may thus tailor the measurement instrument to the question at hand.