Gridded Data Can Improve SDG Indicator Availability, Help Leave No One Behind
Photo Credit: SDSN TReNDS
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The Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s TReNDS project launched a report on using gridded population data to ensure no one is left behind.

Gridded population data sets combine census results with geospatial and other satellite data, and distribute the data using grid cells.

Gridded population data have emerged as an important resources for delivering actionable data for responding to disasters and monitoring health and infectious diseases.

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) data project launched a report on using gridded population data to ensure no one is left behind. The TReNDS authors note that such data are already available, and if properly understood and used, they can help fulfill the SDGs by improving the availability, consistency, and spatial disaggregation of SDG indicators, by helping national and international initiatives to better target their efforts to achieve the SDGs, and by identifying and locating those who might otherwise be left behind.

The report titled, Leaving No One Off The Map: A Guide For Gridded Population Data For Sustainable Development, was launched on 13 May 2020.

Gridded population data sets combine census results with geospatial and other satellite data, and distribute the data using grid cells. TReNDS notes that gridded population data have emerged as an important resource for delivering actionable data for responding to disasters and monitoring health and infectious diseases. The report aims to improve the accessibility and understanding of gridded population datasets for policymakers and others by showing how gridded population data can supplement current population data sources and help users make informed decisions.

For example, the World Food Programme (WFP) uses gridded population data to estimate near real-time impacts of earthquakes and tropical storms on people and infrastructure. The authors explain, “we need to know where people are located, what conditions they are facing, what infrastructure is available, and what basic services they can access.” Another application of gridded population data is to obtain information despite the delays to census operations in countries around the world due to COVID-19.

The report also aims to help users identify which gridded population dataset will be most suitable for their particular use. The authors compare seven such data sets from the POPGRID Data Collaborative.

The report and its executive summary are available in English, French, and Spanish. A video provides an overview of the report’s messages. 

On 19 May, SDSN TReNDS will hold a virtual debate on the use of gridded population data in crisis response efforts including COVID-19. An expert panel moderated by SciDev.net will “demystify” gridded population data and their role in tackling global crises. [Publication: Leaving No One Off The Map: A Guide For Gridded Population Data For Sustainable Development] [Executive Summary] [Registration link for virtual debate

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