Making poverty and sanitation maps interactive and intuitive for users
Using poverty and sanitation maps to influence pro-poor policies
We are starting to better use data to map poverty and lack of access to sanitation, so we can develop static maps. To make these maps more intutive for users it would help if there was a platform that would allow them to be more interactive. Visualizing data can be powerful way to influence decision makers and those implementing programs.
Ideally I would like to use open source software that can take maps developed in programs such as ARCGIS and make them more dynamic. For example, i would like to have slider bars that can highlight different degrees of poverty and at the same time use another slider bar to highlight different degrees of lack of access to sanitation. One scenario would be to have the map only highlight geographic areas (ie. districts) with the highest poverty and those with the lowest access to sanitation. This would allow us to see geographic areas that could be prioritized for pro-poor targeting. This would be visualized in one map instead of have to look at two map side by side.
Publicly available data can be located on the following sites. These sites should provide shape and vector files along with poverty and sanitation data.
Laos – http://www.lsb.gov.la/decide/index.php?lang=en&page=index – this website requires registration, which the hacker can do, and once they have access they can download excel files with the sanitation and poverty data, and possibly vector files.
WSP is working in 13 countries helping governments develop at scale rural sanitation programs. Making these maps more interactive can serve as powerful evidence based advocacy tool to influence policy makers and programmers to use pro-poor targeting techniques to design programs. This tool could help decision makers with more objective evidence on where public funds should be spent.