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SAPIENs: A tool to conduct Small Area Population Evaluations. A method to evaluate and tackle concerns with official population data within NTD programmes
Implementing partners: The Ascend West and Central Innovation Fund (provided by UK Aid).
Timescale: 6 July 2020 – 30 October 2020
Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) programmes use population data to plan, implement and evaluate mass drug administrations (MDA). Population data at the disposal of NTD programmes is often inaccurate or outdated due to the irregular completion of national censuses. A lack of access to accurate population data affects efficiency in all stages of an MDA campaign; for example, it can result in too many or too little drugs delivered to areas of need. Similarly, inaccurate calculations of MDA coverage can affect a Ministries of Health’s (MoH) progress towards control and elimination of NTDs.
Although inaccuracies in population data may be known by a programme, presently, there are no standardised tools or guidance available for NTD Programme Managers to evaluate population data used by an NTD programme.
Unlimit Health has been working on SAPIENs to evaluate small area populations, and tackle the challenges encountered with population data.
The focus of the SAPIENs project was to investigate population modelling and evaluate their use and implementation in NTD Programmes; the aim being to create a tool which would allow NTD Programme Managers to analyse and address concerns with official population data.
Recent advances in high-quality satellite imagery (alike to that used for Google Maps) and modelling has led to the development of innovative solutions to get accurate population estimates, such as the WorldPop top-down and bottom-up models.
SAPIENs has, for the first time, provided an opportunity to understand WorldPop’s novel modelled population data in the context of NTDs. Using this newfound knowledge to create a comprehensive methodology for NTD Programme Managers to assess and possibly solve issues using innovative WorldPop modelled population data.
Bottom-up population estimates of DRC’s capital city, Kinshasa, and the surrounding area. Colours represent the population per 100m by 100m squares (all age-sex groups) with the lightest yellow showing areas of 1-25 people, and the darkest red 600-816 people. As the colour darkens from yellow, to orange, to red, the population per square increases. Screenshot taken from: https://apps.worldpop.org/woprVision/. All data and intellectual property belong to WorldPop, University of Southampton. Source data: WorldPop Open Population Repository (WOPR), Source code: wopr R package v0.4.6.
Now a methodology has been developed, and the capacity and data required for models reviewed, the next step is to implement and discuss the SAPIENs resources and findings with NTD Programme Managers to continuously work to improve the SAPIENs tool and guidance.
SAPIENS Guidance Document and population review workbook – English version.
Document de Référence SAPIENS et manuel d’etude demographique – version française