Population Explorer™ for Determining Beneficiaries (Part 1)

Posted by India Young on August 22, 2018

Population Explorer works closely with international development organizations to help determine the impact of resources on local populations. In this week's blog, we look into an interesting case study where Population Explorer is used to identify African beneficiaries of infrastructure projects like wells.

Read more about Determining Beneficiaries With Population Explorer.

Calculating Populations & Well Access Within Walking Distance

Organizations deciding where to place wells need to know how many people would benefit in potential locations. Current practices may include sending survey teams into the field to estimate how many people live within a 45 minute walking distance (4 kilometers). These methods can be timely, costly, and inaccurate. With Population Explorer, planners can mark desired well locations, place buffers around them, and immediately access the population and demographic statistics for those areas. Below, we highlight three case studies from Liberia, Ghana, and Togo where several wells have already been drilled and organizations are currently working with local governments to install others. Well management teams can use Population Explorer to layer population and demographic information with environmental data such as hydrology maps to better inform their decision making.

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The image above shows the Population Explorer interface and the three regions of Africa we will be exploring in the blog today.

Use Case - Liberia

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The above image illustrates the Country of Liberia, Africa where well locations are marked by uploading coordinate data into Population Explorer. 4km buffers are placed around potential well sites throughout the county of Nimba (highlighted). By clicking on any one of the buffers, the user is quickly shown the population and demographics that pertain to the beneficiaries in each location.

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Utilizing Population Explorer's population density overlay tool quickly allows the user to identify the geographic spread of populated areas. In the image above, we placed a buffer over a densely populated area in the northern region of Nimba County. We can immediately see that almost 21k people would be within walking distance if a well were placed in this location.

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The map above illustrates a challenge of well placement, lots of small communities, distributed over a vast geographic space. This creates a conflict between the demand for wells and the resources available to install them. By placing a well strategically between population centers (viewed easily with the density feature), the number of beneficiaries are increased, and resources conserved. 

Use Case - Ghana

In the images below, we analyze possible well sites by strategically placing 4km buffers to maximize beneficiaries in rural areas of Ghana, Africa. These maps were created in moments by utilizing Population Explorer's boundary library where we located and added the national outline for Ghana. Buffers were then placed by selecting the "Create Buffer" tool within Population Explorer, selecting a point on the map, and defining the radius. We decided where to place the buffers based on the population density overlay tool. 

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The above image shows the Country of Ghana and prospect well sites. 

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Well Site 3 would benefit over 26k people. 

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Well Site 1 would benefit over 42k people. 

Use Case - Togo

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University of Mississippi and Engineers Without Borders have been working on drilling a well near Akoumape, Togo. Here we see a 4km buffer placed around the approximate well location. At this site, a well is within a 45-minute walking distance for 24k people.



Population Explorer's user-friendly platform is a flexible resource that meets the needs of multi-level users. When you need accurate population data, you can turn to Population Explorer to provide authoritative, global data, instantly and effectively. Take advantage of our free trial offer and try the Population Explorer tool for your next project. For subscriptions, we offer a variety of license types depending on your organization.



Tags: Disaster Response, Population Mapping, Aid Distribution, Science, education, research, Policy-Makers, Nutritionists, Public Health, Wells, Africa

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