According to United Nations Development Programme report, achieving the 4th Millennium Development Goal(MDG) means that Rwanda will have to reduce under-five mortality from 196 to 47 deaths per 1000 live births between 2000 and 2015, UNDP(2003). Even though Rwanda had made very considerable progress in improving child survival during 5 years preceding the 2005 RDHS, all the achievements only brought the country indicators around to those of 1990’s, that is before the ravaging 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. Controlling for the effects of unobserved risk factors that would interfere with child mortality, this study aims to identify and rank order the most important factors that contributed to child survival in Rwanda between 2000 and 2005 based on the 2005 RDHS data. The key determinants would be prioritized in order to avoid an eventual misallocation of scarce resources. The analysis of relevant data showed that frailty effects were significant in childhood with child deaths mostly determined by socioeconomic and demographic factors such as household socioeconomic status being the most important.
Key words: child mortality, Cox regression, unobserved heterogeneity, shared frailty.