Publications

Total: 140
Exploring the use of mobile phone data for national migration statistics
Palgrave Communications 5, Article number: 34 (2019).
Author(s): Shengjie Lai, Elisabeth zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Carla Pezzulo, Nick W. Ruktanonchai, Alessandro Sorichetta, Jessica Steele, Tracey Li, Claire A. Dooley & Andrew J. Tatem 
Type: method. Year: 2019
DOI: 10.1057/s41599-019-0242-9.

Abstract: Statistics on internal migration are important for keeping estimates of subnational population numbers up-to-date, as well as urban planning, infrastructure development, and impact assessment, among other applications. However, migration flow statistics typically remain constrained by the logistics of infrequent censuses or surveys. The penetration rate of mobile phones is now high across the globe with rapid recent increases in ownership in low-income countries. Analyzing the changing spatiotemporal distribution of mobile phone users through anonymized call detail records (CDRs) offers the possibility to measure migration at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Based on a dataset of 72 billion anonymized CDRs in Namibia from October 2010 to April 2014, we explore how internal migration estimates can be derived and modeled from CDRs at subnational and annual scales, and how precision and accuracy of these estimates compare to census-derived migration statistics. We also demonstrate the use of CDRs to assess how migration patterns change over time, with a finer temporal resolution compared with censuses. Moreover, we show how gravity-type spatial interaction models built using CDRs can accurately capture migration flows. The results highlight that estimates of migration flows made using mobile phone data is a promising avenue for complementing more traditional national migration statistics and obtaining more timely and local data.
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Mapping changes in housing in sub-Saharan Africa from 2000 to 2015
Nature 568, 391–394 (2019).
Author(s): Lucy S. Tusting, Donal Bisanzio, Graham Alabaster, Ewan Cameron, Richard Cibulskis, Michael Davies, Seth Flaxman, Harry S. Gibson, Jakob Knudsen, Charles Mbogo, Fredros O. Okumu, Lorenz von Seidlein, Daniel J. Weiss, Steve W. Lindsay, Peter W. Gething & Samir Bhatt
Type: method. Year: 2019
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1050-5.

Abstract: Access to adequate housing is a fundamental human right, essential to human security, nutrition and health, and a core objective of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals1,2. Globally, the housing need is most acute in Africa, where the population will more than double by 2050. However, existing data on housing quality across Africa are limited primarily to urban areas and are mostly recorded at the national level. Here we quantify changes in housing in sub-Saharan Africa from 2000 to 2015 by combining national survey data within a geostatistical framework. We show a marked transformation of housing in urban and rural sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2015, with the prevalence of improved housing (with improved water and sanitation, sufficient living area and durable construction) doubling from 11% (95% confidence interval, 10–12%) to 23% (21–25%). However, 53 (50–57) million urban Africans (47% (44–50%) of the urban population analysed) were living in unimproved housing in 2015. We provide high-resolution, standardized estimates of housing conditions across sub-Saharan Africa. Our maps provide a baseline for measuring change and a mechanism to guide interventions during the era of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Changing epidemiology and challenges of malaria in China towards elimination
Malaria Journal 2019 18:107.
Author(s): Shengjie Lai, Junling Sun, Nick W. Ruktanonchai, Sheng Zhou, Jianxing Yu, Isobel Routledge, Liping Wang, Yaming Zheng, Andrew J. Tatem and Zhongjie Li
Type: method. Year: 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s12936-019-2736-8.

Abstract: Background Historically, malaria had been a widespread disease in China. A national plan was launched in China in 2010, aiming to eliminate malaria by 2020. In 2017, no indigenous cases of malaria were detected in China for the first time. To provide evidence for precise surveillance and response to achieve elimination goal, a comprehensive study is needed to determine the changing epidemiology of malaria and the challenges towards elimination. Methods Using malaria surveillance data from 2011 to 2016, an integrated series of analyses was conducted to elucidate the changing epidemiological features of autochthonous and imported malaria, and the spatiotemporal patterns of malaria importation from endemic countries. Results From 2011 to 2016, a total of 21,062 malaria cases with 138 deaths were reported, including 91% were imported and 9% were autochthonous. The geographic distribution of local transmission have shrunk dramatically, but there were still more than 10 counties reporting autochthonous cases in 2013–2016, particularly in counties bordering with countries in South-East Asia. The importation from 68 origins countries had an increasing annual trend from Africa but decreasing importation from Southeast Asia. Four distinct communities have been identified in the importation networks with the destinations in China varied by origin and species. Conclusions China is on the verge of malaria elimination, but the residual transmission in border regions and the threats of importation from Africa and Southeast Asia are the key challenges to achieve and maintain malaria elimination. Efforts from China are also needed to help malaria control in origin countries and reduce the risk of introduced transmission.
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Measurement of Social Networks for Innovation within Community Disaster Resilience
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1943.
Author(s): Joanna Wilkin, Eloise Biggs and Andrew J Tatem
Type: method. Year: 2019
DOI: 10.3390/su11071943.

Abstract: Disaster risk reduction (DRR) research has long recognised that social networks are a vital source of support during and after a shock. However, the quantification of this social support, primarily through its recognition as social capital, has proven problematic as there is no singular method for its measurement, invalidating the credibility of studies that try to correlate its effects with community disaster resilience. Within the wider resilience field, research that specifically utilises social networks as the focus of analysis is evolving. This paper provides a critical synthesis of how this developing discourse is filtering into community disaster resilience, reviewing empirical case studies from the Global South within DRR that use social network analysis and connectivity measurement. Our analysis of these studies indicates that a robust methodology utilising social network analysis is emerging, which offers opportunity for research cross-comparability. Our review also finds that without this bottom-up mapping, the implementation of top-down preparedness policy and procedures are likely to fail, resulting in the advocation of social network analysis as a critical methodology in future resilience research and policy planning.
Link to paper