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Creating a Small Scale Area Classification for Understanding the Economic, Social and Housing Characteristics of Small Geographical Areas in the Philippines [Posted 04-03-2013]
The Philippines is one of the most populous countries in the world. In terms of population, it ranks twelfth globally and seventh in Asia behind China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan. The estimated population of the country in 2010 was 94 million people. Using data from the Philippines 2000 Census, this paper presents a discussion of the creation of a 3-tier hierarchical geodemographic system for the country at Barangay scale. Barangays are the smallest spatial entities in the structure of the administrative geography of the country. Most popular geodemographic systems are typically developed from continuous datasets. In this paper, we discuss how a geodemographic classification system can be created by combining categorical and continuous datasets. The first level of the Philippines geodemographic hierarchy ensures the population can be profiled broadly at Barangay level into seven super-groups. The super-groups are further subdivided into 24 groups and finally into 66 subgroups. [article]
Ojo, A., Vickers, D. and Ballas, D. (2013): Creating a Small Scale Area Classification for Understanding the Economic, Social and Housing Characteristics of Small Geographical Areas in the Philippines. Regional Science Policy and Practice, 5(1) 1-24.
How to Vote or How Not to Vote: Revisiting Voting Patterns and Voters Behaviour During Nigeria's 2011 Presidential Election [Posted 26-10-2012]Download a high resolution PDF version of this commentary and visuals from here.
Although there were irregularities during the Nigerian presidential election of 2011, it was widely described as comparatively fairer than other elections conducted since the current democratic dispensation began in 1999. In 2011, over 5 in 10 electorates voted for Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); just over 3 in 10 electorates voted for Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); and approximately 1 in 10 people voted for Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The PDP has been in power since 1999. However, in 2011 roughly 4 in 10 electorates did not vote for the party. Approximately 10% of those who did not vote for the PDP also failed to vote for the other two main contenders - the CPC and the ACN. Those who did not vote for any of the three main political parties had their reasons. A good number of them were yet to establish their own personal political philosophy so they lacked strong affiliation with any political party. Many of them were unsure about how to vote in the elections making them open to input from any campaign. Some of them crossed party lines in the course of the campaigns. These characteristics are indicative of electorates that are often described as swing voters. Their behaviours are not always very easy to predict, but a very helpful starting point is to continuously track their spatial concentration. Swing voters can be crucial in presidential elections especially if it is a two-horse race!
The maps that accompany this commentary compare the degree of spatial concentration of those who voted for each of the three main presidential aspirants in 2011 with the concentration of those described here as swing voters. Concentration indices were derived by transforming the corresponding shares of electorates and mapped using a quantile classification which helps maximise between-class differences and minimise within-class differences. From these maps, it is easy to detect clustering and correlation between voters and the geopolitical structure of Nigeria. Core PDP voters were highly concentrated in the South-South and South-East; CPC voters were concentrated in the North-West and North-East; and ACN voters were largely concentrated in the South-West, the North-West corridor and pockets of the North-Central zone. Swing voters were distinctly concentrated in many states in the Northern half of the country and with some significant representation in the South-West. Amazingly, these geographical jurisdictions were supposed to be power houses of the two main opposition parties. What is also noteworthy is that there is often a positive correlation between swing voters and those electorates who eventually abstain from elections. This means that there is an increased probability that the majority of eligible voters who stayed away from the 2011 election are located in the power houses of the main opposition parties! If this was the case, how did the opposition really expect to defeat the incumbent? It would be interesting to undertake a spatial analysis of those who registered but failed to vote if only INEC would make these datasets available or if the opposition parties understood the power and usefulness of undertaking such analysis.
Could the story of that election have been different if the opposition parties knew: (1) That they needed to put aside their differences and form an alliance? (2) That after forming an alliance, they would require just over 20% more committed electorates to topple the PDP? (3) That while campaigning, they also needed a strategy to increase voter turn-out by around 20%-25% rather than depend on INEC to encourage people to come out and exercise their civil rights? (4) That those electorates who were highly unlikely to vote were actually located in their (opposition parties) backyards? (5) The best messages to take to these electorates to convince them to take part in the elections. Subtle intelligence of this nature can be derived from techniques and thinking within the field of quantitative electoral geography and backed up with action on the ground. Raising voter turnout during Nigerian presidential elections to around 70% is not something that cannot be achieved. In the 2003 presidential election, turnout stood at approximately 69%. Recent coordinated activities such as those witnessed during protests against the removal of petroleum subsidy coupled with the rapid upsurge in the use of digital social media especially amongst Nigerian youths are clear indications that voter apathy can be contained and reduced.
If Goodluck Jonathan is retained as the PDP presidential flag bearer in 2015, and the political parties in opposition are unable to form an alliance, then we can expect to see a repeat of these spatial patterns of concentration. However, the share of votes that will accrue to the PDP in South-West states is highly likely to diminish. The ACN may not directly benefit from this as it appears to be losing its grip on the South-West. This reduction in PDP votes will still be insufficient for any opposition party to claim victory if an alliance is not formed. Should a different flag bearer be chosen by the PDP, then we can expect some significant distortions in these spatial patterns. The prediction and visual representation of these distortions are outside the scope of this short commentary but part of further work. Nonetheless, the emphasis here is that political parties need to become more sophisticated in their handling of spatial and quantitative electoral datasets and understand how these can be combined to their advantage with ancillary information.
While this list is not exhaustive, here are some issues that the opposition must consider in order to mount a formidable challenge against the incumbent in 2015: (1) Refresh their manifestos and rebrand themselves to show the public that they have clear understanding of the monumental human development challenges like poverty and unemployment confronting grass-root voters (2) Device, outline and continually communicate new feasible and viable strategies for mitigating these challenges(3) Start from now to radically work with their state governors, parliamentary representatives and LGA chairmen to raise their game. A working state can be used as a case study during campaigns but many of the states held by opposition parties are not working! (4) Purge themselves of hypocrites and sycophants and take the lead in the practice of internal democracy (5) Strengthen their capability to build local/community level intelligence and understanding of voting patterns and voters behaviour (6) Larger opposition parties need to form an alliance that works with other smaller parties. Without this, the voting public will remain largely polarised along multiple fault lines. This will remain favourable for the PDP (7) Adopt differential bespoke social marketing strategies to target and raise voter turn-out by up to 20%. A one-size fits all will not work! (8) Push for diaspora-based Nigerian citizens to vote in elections.
Above all, Nigerians must move beyond voting along ethno-religious fault lines if they expect elections to translate to credible and accountable governance.
Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on the Niger Delta Showers Encomium on Dr Adegbola Ojo [Posted 25-09-2012]
The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on the Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the Honourable Kingsley K. Kuku has acknowledged the efforts of Dr Adegbola Ojo and praised him for his research contributions towards nation building.
In his book entitled REMAKING THE NIGER DELTA - Challenges and Opportunities, the Honourable Kingsley Kuku wrote of Dr Ojo as follows:
"Thanks to Dr Adegbola A. Ojo who agreed to have his brainchild, The Nigerian LGA Geo-demographic Classification System and Profiler (NIGECS) with focus on the South-South geopolitical zone on interactive CD-ROM complement this book and provide a most helpful illustration of the development challenges in the Niger Delta and Nigeria."
In this book, the Honourable Kingsley Kuku tells the story of 50 years of neglect, exploitation, oil industry and state repression and pays tribute to the martyrs of freedom movements such as Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa. The book celebrates the now three year old Amnesty Programme initiated in 2009 in a courageous effort to save Nigeria from economic meltdown.
A Development Manual, the book underlines the critical importance of the Niger Delta to the development of Nigeria and especially to the capacity of the Federation to provide meaningful employment for its youth by ending its over dependence on oil and gas and diversifying the economy while the oil lasts.
A former member of the Ijaw Youth Movement himself, the Honourable Kingsley Kuku calls upon all of Nigeria to address the just demands of the Niger Delta oil producing communities and ensure that the conditions that gave rise to the armed conflict within those communities are addressed systematically while there is a window of opportunity. This historic opportunity was created by the cessation of armed conflict as a result of the 2009 Amnesty Declaration.
The book warns key stakeholders and especially the oil and gas companies, the Federal Government, State Governments in the Niger Delta and parastatal organisations not to take that peace for granted but to work assiduously to ensure that the 26,000 ex-militants who laid down their arms and embraced the Amnesty are meaningfully reintegrated into the oil producing communities, trained and developed to levels that enable them to gain meaningful employment within the oil and gas industry and in the economy in the Niger Delta and Nigeria more generally.
Article Featured in Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Newsletter for Asia & the Pacific for its Impact [Posted 22-07-2012]
The SDI Newsletter has featured an article authored by Dr Adegbola Ojo and Dr Patrick Oseloka Ezepue. The title of the article and full journal reference is Modeling and Visualising the Geodemography of Poverty and Wealth Across Nigerian Local Government Areas. The Social Sciences 7(1), 145-158. The Spatial Data Infrastructure Newsletter for Asia & the Pacific is a regional, monthly, and free, electronic newsletter from the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI). It focuses on aspects related with Spatial Data Infrastructure, and on GIS, remote sensing, and data management issues, related with SDI in Asia and the Pacific region. It aims to raise awareness, provide useful information to strengthen national SDI initiatives, and support synchronization of regional efforts.
Exploratory Analysis of Local Geographies of Need and the Proximity of Microfinance Service Providers in Nigeria [Posted 06-05-2012]
The significance of microfinance in driving important aspects of the Nigerian Vision 20-2020 and other national policy programs like the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be over-emphasized. The Vision 20-2020 seeks to position Nigeria in the league of world's top 20 economies by the year 2020. The alleviation of poverty remains pivotal if this dream is to be achieved. Microfinance is therefore considered a veritable tool for mitigating the problems of poverty particularly amongst the rural poor, for stimulating economic growth, supporting human development and empowering women. NIGECS is used to illustrate the extent to which spatial analysis and geodemographic modeling may be of benefit for expounding real issues affecting the citizenry at localized spatial scales. Such benefit can complement the efforts of local and international stakeholders within the Nigerian microfinance footprint, in their endeavours to address a variety of issues associated with financial equity, access, demand and supply. The analysis yields the following results: The current footprint of microfinance banks is below target levels. Reaching targets would require roughly doubling the geographic footprint of these banks by 2015; Microfinance banks are currently disproportionately represented in urban areas, especially affluent urban areas; Similarly, the location of the poorest and poor households is negatively associated with the supply of microfinance services; Microfinance banks are most likely to reach poor populations by concentrating in the North-East of the country or on rural areas; There is a strong positive relationship between formal employment in the private sector and microfinance supply. Overall, we can see that there is ground to cover to meet goals for financial inclusion and that using geodemographic data can help to monitor and target expansion to meet development goals. [article] [Executive summary]
Ojo, A. and Gaul, S. (2012): Exploratory Analysis of Local Geographies of Need and the Proximity of Microfinance Service Providers in Nigeria.MicroBanking Bulletin
Modeling and Visualising the Geodemography of Poverty and Wealth across Nigerian Local Government Areas [Posted 05-02-2012]
Numerous researchers, commentators and policy makers have described poverty and inequality as the greatest challenges facing the Nigerian populace. Successive governments have pursued different policy initiatives with a view to mitigating the problem. In spite of large scale investment committed to poverty alleviation programmes, >50% of Nigerians still live in relative poverty with over a third of the population languishing in extreme poverty. To date, there is no published work examining the scale of inequality in poverty and prosperity amongst Nigerians at local spatial scales. In this study, we demonstrate the first attempt to exemplify the potential of geodemographics and spatial analysis in exposing poverty and wealth differences within and between Nigerian Local Government Areas (LGAs). We use a recently developed Nigerian LGA geodemograpic system to analyse data for five poverty quintiles. We discover that different local community types would be better suited to different initiatives as the magnitudes and direction of their predisposition for poverty and wealth vary. The findings reinforce the view that there is value in using geodemographic modeling techniques to better target local populations and to support poverty alleviation programmes in developing countries. [article]
Ojo, A. and Ezepue, P. O. (2012): Modeling and Visualising the Geodemography of Poverty and Wealth across Nigerian Local Government Areas.The Social Sciences, 7(1) 145-158.
NIGECS-related Article Named Publication of the Month [Posted 05-02-2012]
The Spatial Data Infrastructure-Latin America and the Caribbean (SDI-LAC) is a regional, monthly, and free, electronic newsletter from the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI). It focuses on aspects related with Spatial Data Infrastructure, and on GIS, remote sensing, and data management issues, related with SDI in Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to raise awareness, provide useful information to strengthen national SDI initiatives, and support synchronization of regional efforts. In December 2011, the newsletter named an article titled "How Developing Countries Can Derive Value from the Principles and Practice of Geodemographics, and Provide Fresh Solutions to Millennium Development Challenges" as the publication of the month. The newsletter can be downloaded from here.
How Developing Countries Can Derive Value from the Principles and Practice of Geodemographics, and Provide Fresh Solutions to Millennium Development Challenges [Posted 03-09-2011]
Geodemographic segmentation systems are area classifications that use multi-criteria and geo-statistical analytics to group places and people into clusters of similarity. The benefits of these geocomputation techniques have been largely embraced by countries in the developed world where the origins of geodemographics lie. In spite of identified value of segmentation techniques for driving efficacy in policy making in developed societies, numerous developing countries still lack these systems. At the very basic level, some of the reasons for this paucity may appear obvious; however some more pertinent issues like the misunderstanding of the significance of data infrastructure has often been overlooked. In this paper, we provide some background on the antecedents of geodemographics and focus on the challenges and benefits of spatial segmentation as an option for driving evidence-based policy making within developing countries. [article]
Ojo, A. and Ezepue, P. O. (2011): How Developing Countries Can Derive Value from the Principles and Practice of Geodemographics, and Provide Fresh Solutions to Millennium Development Challenges. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning, 4(9) 505-512.
The Segmentation of Local Government Areas: Creating a New Geography of Nigeria [Posted 20-01-2011]
Social area classifications group areas on the basis of social or socio-economic similarity into cluster units which define their demographic and social characteristics. The methods used to create these systems combine geographic thought and theory with statistical manipulations of multivariate data. The development and use of geodemographic systems appear to be restricted within developing countries. Some commentators suggest that area classifications may not offer benefits to these countries. This paper argues that the developing world has a lot to benefit from this type of geography. It presents the case of Nigeria where a classification system has been developed for the 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the country. Insight is provided into the variables and methodological approach that has been used to create the Nigerian system. [article]
Ojo, A., Vickers, D. and Ballas, D. (2012): The Segmentation of Local Government Area: Creating a New Geography of Nigeria. Applied Analysis and Policy, 5(1) 25-49.
NIGECS Media Launch [Posted on 23 Dec 2010]
On October 1 2010, a media launch of the Nigerian LGA Classification System and Profiler (NIGECS) was done. The launch attracted significant local and international media attention. A selection of news outlets on NIGECS is listed below:
1. October 2010. My Science.
2. October 2010. Futurity.
3. October 2010. University of Sheffield Media Centre.
4. October 2010. PRLoG.
5. October 2010. Find a PhD.
6. October 2010. Geospatial World.
7. October 2010. Geospatial Today.
8. October 2010. News Verse.
9. November 2010. SDI Africa Newsletter, November 2010 Edition.
10. December 2010. Nigeria Health Watch.