Geography and Public Health: Using technology

Report
Geography and Public Health:
Using Technology to
Strengthen Programs
ANDREW INGLIS: USAID | DELIVER PROJECT
OCTOBER 8, 2010
Public
Health
Technology
Geography
Role of Geography in Public Health
• John Snow’s map of
Broad Street pump:
– map did NOT identify
the pump as the cause
– map was used to
demonstrate and
explain the relationship
between the pump and
cholera outbreak
Role of Geography in Strategic Thinking
• Use to inform
decision makers:
– visually
– point of discussion
– explaining plans
• Military
• Transport
• Urban
Photo: A.Inglis 2005
Pre- and Post-GIS
• Pre-GIS
– Mapping was generally limited issues directly related
space;
• Land tenure, navigation, military, transport, etc…
– Expensive, time consuming and activity specific maps
• Post-GIS
– Mapping applications was expanded and made
accessible
• Health, shopping, population, recreation….
– Linking data to a geographic location
GIS Software
• Proprietary software
• Open source GIS
GRASS GIS
Google Earth
• Great idea with real applications
Interactive Session
How to Use the Functionality
• Web mapping
– Sharing
– Interactive (also Desktop)
– Geo RSS feeds
• Central Data linked to Decentralized Data
– Central Health Facility Database
– Crowd sourcing information
• Geo Mobile technology
How do I use this spatial information to make a
decision?
What Can We Learn from Past Use of
Mapping in Public Health?
• Explain/demonstrate patterns
• Identify gaps
• Generate points of discussion
What Has Changed
• Speed (potentially near real-time mapping)
• Ability to make maps
– Non-GIS users can make maps
• Accessibility
– On and offline mapping
• Sharing maps
– Across the internet
• Interactive maps
– No longer just paper maps!
What Has Not Changed
• Reliance on good/organized data
• Needs when making decisions
– Right Information
– Right Time
– Right Place
– Right Scale
How Has Technology Shaped the
way make maps and use maps?
• Change paradigm
– From one-off to continuous mapping
• Moving from a single purpose surveys
• Multiple purpose mapping
– Potential of integration data
• Linking using geography between different
datasets
– Transport, Education, Health, etc…
Example: Rwanda
• Supply Chain
• Census
• MEASURE DHS
Interactive Session

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