GW Brief: Geography professors plan to visit Ghana with grant

GW geography professors David Rain and Ryan Engstrom have been chosen as recipients of a $3 million grant given by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The grant, which is to be paid over five years, funds a project entitled “Health, Poverty and Place: Modeling Inequalities in Accra, Ghana Using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems.” The research is a collaborative effort between GW’s Department of Geography, the San Diego State University Department of Geography and the Harvard University Department of Population and International Health.

Rain and Engstrom’s part of the project will take place in Accra, Ghana for three to four weeks each summer throughout the duration of the grant. They will be accompanied by two fully-funded graduate students from the geography department.

“The primary goal of the project is to establish a methodology for determining variability within city variations in health conditions using data derived from remote sensing, geographic information system, and spatial statistics at the neighborhood level,” Engstrom said.

The information collected will be used to study whether or not this methodology is accurate. In addition, the team will try to understand what the limits and advantages of using the data are. Ultimately, the team’s findings will be used in order to assist in the planning of health clinics and humanitarian relief efforts in developing countries.

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