Leaving No One Off The Map: A Guide For Gridded Population Data For Sustainable Development

Now more than ever, it is essential that we understand where people are located, what conditions they are facing, what infrastructure is available, and what basic services they can access. Fortunately, gridded population data have emerged as an important resource for delivering actionable data in challenging circumstances, including in disaster response and health and infectious disease monitoring. Yet, many decision-makers are still unfamiliar with the nuances of each gridded population data product and may lack the knowledge, time, or technical expertise to assess their strengths and weaknesses for potential application. In this report, we aim to narrow this knowledge gap by presenting an overview, analysis, and recommendations for the use of gridded population datasets in a wide range of application areas. The report also compares seven gridded population datasets from the POPGRID Data Collaborative, presents an intercomparison assessment of the use of different datasets and their varying outputs, addresses misconceptions, and offers nine guiding criteria to aid users in their selection process.

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