Women’s welfare in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) frequently displays larger differences within than between countries.
However, current national data collection methods provide only a coarse understanding of these differences, limiting the application of interventions to target areas where most of the vulnerable women and girls are located.
The underlying reason for the lack of detailed spatial distribution of women's welfare is that surveys are constructed to be representative either at the national level or the first administrative subdivision of LMIC countries (i.e. the equivalent level as US States). These areas frequently contain millions of people and statistical assessments at such scales obscure substantial differences in living conditions. New cost-efficient, gender disaggregated, high spatial resolution estimation methods of welfare indicators are thus needed, and the increasing usage of global positioning systems (GPS) in national household surveys opens up possibilities for constructing these.
Funded by the United Nations Foundation within the Data 2X project, Flowminder and WorldPop are evaluating the feasibility of producing high-resolution maps of a diverse set of gender-disaggregated indicators of relevance for women’s welfare from culturally diverse low- and middle-income settings. These include factors such as literacy, stunting, poverty and maternal health indicators and are built upon a combination of GPS-located household survey data and satellite-derived datasets, producing, high-resolution (1 km x 1km) gridded datasets of indicators of key relevance to women’s welfare. These output datasets will be made available at the WorldPop website, where Flowminder publishes its data. More information on the statistical methodologies forming the basis of this project can be found at the WorldPop site.
A key component of the work is a rigorous evaluation of the costs of scaling up the numbers of gender-disaggregated indicators and countries mapped, especially as the project is proceeding through the end phase.