Curtis, Sian L., and Mian Hossain. 1998. West Africa Spatial Analysis Prototype Exploratory Analysis: The Effect of Aridity on Child Nutritional Status. DHS Spatial Analysis Reports No. 2. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Macro International
In recent years there has been a large increase in the demand for data to monitor and evaluate government and international donor programs. A huge amount of data has been collected in West Africa, but these data are typically not analyzed across sectors despite the fact that many sectors overlap and interact with each other. One reason for the lack of multi-sectoral analysis is that it is difficult to combine data from different sources in a meaningful way. In recognition of the need to better utilize existing data, USAID commissioned the development of the West Africa Spatial Analysis Prototype (WASAP). One of the objectives of the WASAP was to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) for West Africa that could be used to link data from different sources and that would permit analysis at the regional, national, and subnational levels.
One area that would benefit from a multisectoral perspective is the analysis of child nutritional status. Data on the nutritional status of children are typically collected in household surveys such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) implemented by Macro International. Analyses of the factors associated with childhood nutritional status have tended to focus on feeding patterns and socio-economic determinants. However, environmental factors such as climate and agricultural production are also likely to play a role in nutritional status. Environmental data are widely available for West Africa and can be linked to the household data WASAP.