The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program has collected and disseminated open data on population and health through more than 300 surveys from various countries. One of our research interests is to investigate the linkage between urban poverty and health in African countries. Using the DHS raw data we have computed indicators focusing on exploring how the indicators differ between different groups in the urban areas. These groups are based on wealth tertiles and consist of the urban poor, urban middle and the urban rich.
Following the analysis we have developed the Urban Population and Health Data Visualization Platform which is an interactive web application using Shiny. Online deployment of the platform through the APHRC website is underway and we believe it will assist policymakers and researchers to perform data explorations and gather actionable insights. By sharing the code through github we hope that it will contribute towards promoting the adoption of R particularly by universities and researchers in Africa as an alternative to costly proprietary statistical software.
The platform showcases the power of R and is developed using R and various R packages including shiny, ggplot, googleVis, RCharts, DT for graphics and dplyr for data manipulation.