Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) – Phase 2

Project leads: Andy TatemAttila Lazar

Team: Sarchil Qader, Maksym BondarenkoHeather Chamberlain, Tom Abbott, Chris NnanatuAssane Gadiaga, Duygu Cihan, Edith Darin, Chris Jochem, Ortis Yankey, Pat Jones, Ollie Pannel, Graeme Hornby, David Kerr, Gianluca Boo,  Doug Leasure, Claire Dooley, Donna Clarke, Tim O’Riordan, Alexandra Frosch

Funding: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)

Start: Jan 2020
Completion: Dec 2022

The GRID3 initiative facilitates the production, collection, use, and dissemination of high-resolution population, infrastructure and other reference data. The overall aims are to support decision-making in low- and middle-income countries, and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The GRID3 partners, CIESIN, UNFPA, Flowminder Foundation and ourselves work closely with governments and local stakeholders in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our core activity within this initiative was in method development and implementation of high-resolution population mapping. This involved bespoke modelling methods for estimation of population numbers in the absence of national census using machine learning and Bayesian statistical approaches. High resolution geo-spatial covariate production was included in this process, as well as microcensus sampling design and questionnaire development, model development, data visualization and user interface development that enabled the easy and timely uptake of outputs by stakeholders.

We also provided assistance to national census authorities to improve their use of geospatial data collection technologies, incorporating remote sensing data, use of GIS, and related activities into census planning and operations.

We developed training materials and a curriculum on GIS, geospatial analysis, hybrid census, population estimation, and ‘R’ programming and delivered these through in-person and remote capacity strengthening workshops and during regional workshops organised by UNFPA. We also developed tools enable easier data utilisation and survey design:



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  • Rwanda
  • Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Uganda
  • Nigeria
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Senegal
  • Niger
  • Burkino Faso
  • Zimbabwe
  • Mali
  • Guinea
  • Cameroon
  • Mozambique
  • South Sudan
  • Benin
  • Sierra Leone

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