​​Population and SDG indicators by Degree of Urbanisation​ (DEGURBA)

Project leads: Andy Tatem, Alessandro Sorichetta

Team: Maksym Bondarenko, Dorothea Wood, Research Fellow Modeller (tbc), GIS Technician (tbc), GIS Technician (tbc), Alexandra Frosch, Tim O’Riordan, Jacqueline Cox

Funding: European Commission

Start: Feb 2023
Completion: Feb 2025

Degree of Urbanisation (DEGURBA) is a method to delineate cities, towns, suburbs, and rural areas for international statistical comparison that was adopted by the 51st Statistical Commission of the United Nations in March 2020.

The focus of this project is to evaluate the overall robustness of the harmonised DEGURBA definition/concept. This will be undertaken primarily by producing a suite of DEGURBA grids for multiple countries using different gridded population and settlement datasets, as inputs to the GHS-DUG – Degree of Urbanisation Grid (v6.0) tool. Testing the robustness and sensitivity of DEGURBA is important so that misclassification is avoided and to ensure that policymaking is best fitted to the needs of different types of area.

The results of this appraisal will be integrated into our engagements with National Statistical Offices in low- and middle-income countries. This will form part of our collaborations with the UNFPA and our role in leading geospatial demographic analyses for GRID3, Countdown to 2030, as well as other ongoing projects with a range of partners.

Outputs will include:

  • Evaluation of the DEGURBA definition/concept.
  • Assessment of classification uncertainty in terms of urban/rural population and area.
  • Engagement with and support for countries to apply DEGURBA.
  • Production of demographic indicators and Sustainable Development Goal targets by Degree of Urbanisation.
  • Publication of datasets and metadata through open access publications and online repositories.

Link image credit: City model, Shanghai, China, by Blaine O’Neill, 2010 (cc-by-nc-2.0)