WorldPop Projects

Collaboration with Latin America and the Caribbean UNFPA Regional office to strengthen the capacity of National Statistic Offices

Project leads: Sarchil Qader

Funding: University of Southampton Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences Higher Education Impact Fund

Start: Jan 2023
Completion: Jul 2023

This project organised and ran regional workshops and training in Panama to strengthen the capacity of NSOs in Latin America and Caribbean countries. NSO staff were trained on preparing necessary input datasets for our preEA Tool package and provided with step-by-step guides to run the tool independently.

Participants were familiarised with other tools in the preEA Tool package that assisted resource and logistic calculations. This enabled them to incorporate these tools in their workflows for upcoming censuses. The workshop also provided opportunities to receive feedback from census experts in the region and improve future applications of the tool.

About the preEA Tool

Census Enumeration Areas (EAs) are the smallest geographic units for collecting, disseminating and analysing census data and are often used as a sampling frame for national censuses and surveys. EAs have typically been created manually – an extremely expensive and time-consuming process. To help reduce the costs and time involved, we have worked with the UNFPA and NSOs around the world to modernise processes and develop a user-friendly preEA Tool that automatically generates draft EA boundaries.

The preEA Tool process is completely based on publicly accessible datasets including gridded population estimates and digitised natural and man-made features. It adopts a ‘split and merge’ methodology inspired by the field of image processing, specifically image segmentation using mathematical morphology (e.g., watershed and waterfall algorithms).

The preEA Tool has been developed as a QGIS plugin that requires minimal GIS skills. The package also contains a range of sophisticated tools that can facilitate the overall implementation of census cartography.