High-Resolution Poverty Maps in Sub-Saharan Africa

09/01/2020
by   Kamwoo Lee, et al.
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Up-to-date poverty maps are an important tool for policy makers, but until now, have been prohibitively expensive to produce. We propose a generalizable prediction methodology to produce poverty maps at the village level using geospatial data and machine learning algorithms. We tested the proposed method for 25 Sub-Saharan African countries and validated them against survey data. The proposed method can increase the validity of both single country and cross-country estimations leading to higher precision in poverty maps of 44 Sub-Saharan African countries than previously available. More importantly, our cross-country estimation enables the creation of poverty maps when it is not practical or cost-effective to field new national household surveys, as is the case with many low- and middle-income countries.

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