Measuring local economic development in Zambia

Project Active from to State Effectiveness

This project aims to analyse local economic development in Zambia through a data-driven approach to look at economic disparities across different regions. Understanding local economic development can help to identify key drivers of growth and foster evidence-based decision making. The data set developed for this project will be of great value for policymakers and researchers going forward.

The primary motivation for this project is measuring and analysing local economic development in Zambia using a data-driven approach. Combining geo-identified microdata from 2000-2022 will enable insights into economic disparities across regions in Zambia and how they have developed over recent history. The project will provide a comprehensive, up-to-date assessment of economic conditions at various spatial resolutions.

An in-depth understanding of local economic development can aid in identifying key drivers of growth, facilitating evidence-based decision making and fostering inclusive development strategies to uplift underprivileged regions.

We are responding to policymaker demands from the Presidential Delivery Unit on measuring and documenting local economic development across Zambia. Our findings will speak directly to policymaker demand for analysis.

The dataset constructed for this project will be valuable for policymakers and researchers going forward since it will enable quantitative analysis of the impact of any spatial policy implemented since 2000, showcasing evidence-based policy making within the government.

The project proceeds in four steps:

• Acquiring 100% census microdata from 2000, 2010 and 2022 from Zamstats.

• Cleaning the microdata to create comparable measures of economic development across years. Focusing on measuring common proxy measures for economic development such as education levels, health etc.

• Harmonise spatial identifiers across census years. Involving (i) linking identifiers of spatial units in the census microdata to corresponding identifiers in shapefiles and (ii) linking spatial units in shapefiles across census years.

• Descriptively analyse and document patterns of local economic development across space and time. Creating maps and diagrams to visualise patterns and trends.