Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Fueling Progress: Clean Cooking Access in Nigeria and Its Economic Growth

Fueling Progress: Clean Cooking Access in Nigeria and Its Economic Growth

Nigeria, a vibrant and populous nation in West Africa, grapples with the critical issue of access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking. As an integral component of daily life, cooking methods profoundly impact the health, environment, and overall well-being of the Nigerian population. The dynamics of clean cooking solutions in Nigeria are closely intertwined with the threads of economic growth, underscoring the necessity for innovative approaches that not only tackle environmental challenges but also foster the nation’s economic robustness and promote inclusive development.

Based on the previously displayed map, it’s evident that the majority of African countries face limited or no access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking. To investigate this trend further, Nigeria has been selected as a focal point to assess whether there have been improvements in this indicator over the years.

It is noteworthy that access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking in Nigeria has shown a positive trajectory, with discernible advancements noted since 2001. This gradual increase can be attributed to a combination of government initiatives, infrastructure development, international support, economic growth, awareness campaigns, technological advancements, and community engagement. Policies and subsidies, investments in energy infrastructure, collaborations with international organizations, and economic development have collectively contributed to making clean cooking fuels more affordable and accessible. Moreover, efforts to raise awareness about the health and environmental benefits of clean cooking, along with advancements in technology, have played crucial roles in promoting the adoption of clean cooking practices across the country.

The rise in Nigeria’s GDP alongside increased access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking is a symbiotic relationship with multiple interconnections. Economic growth, as reflected in the increasing GDP, contributes to improved affordability of clean cooking technologies, fostering a positive impact on household incomes. This economic development empowers the government to allocate resources to initiatives and subsidies that enhance accessibility to cleaner fuels. Moreover, higher GDP facilitates investments in energy infrastructure and research, fostering technological advancements that make clean cooking options more efficient. The overall improvement in public health, heightened environmental awareness, and strengthened international collaborations are additional outcomes of this dual progress. However, recognizing and addressing potential disparities in the inclusive distribution of these benefits remains crucial for a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic relationship between Nigeria’s economic growth and the adoption of clean cooking practices.


The efforts to increase access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking, along with economic growth, align with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

SDG 1 – No Poverty: Economic growth, when inclusive, can contribute to poverty reduction, and improved access to clean cooking technologies supports this goal by enhancing the living standards of vulnerable populations.

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being: Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking directly impacts health outcomes by reducing indoor air pollution and related health issues.

SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy: The goal of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all directly relates to efforts to improve access to clean cooking technologies.

SDG 10 – Reduced Inequality: Efforts to ensure inclusive economic growth and equitable access to clean cooking technologies contribute to reducing inequalities within society.

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities: Urban planning and infrastructure development related to clean cooking technologies contribute to building sustainable cities and communities.

SDG 13 – Climate Action: The adoption of clean cooking technologies aligns with climate action goals by reducing reliance on traditional biomass fuels, contributing to mitigating climate change.

Healthcare of Children in Nigeria

Healthcare of Children in Nigeria

From the year 2000 to 2020, the health narrative of Nigeria’s children is evident through several vital indicators.

Our first indicator is life expectancy at birth. The numbers ranging between 47 to 52 years is significantly below the global average at 72.27 years. This not only reflects the health of newborns but also unveils the challenges within Nigeria’s healthcare system.

While infant mortality rates have declined from 109.6 to 72.3 per 1000 births, each data point signifies a story, a potential turning point for their healthcare policies.

A nation’s commitment is mirrored in its investment. The graph on health expenditure as a percentage of GDP is at an average of 3 to 5% across the years. However, for a cause as important as children’s well-being, this sliver of the budget is too small.

Immunization is a shield against preventable diseases. Positive trends in DPT and measles vaccination among infants aged 12 to 23 months emerge, yet the figures, standing at 56% for measles and 59% for DPT, flag an issue. Increasing immunization is a pivotal solution for decreasing infant mortality in Nigeria.

These graphs, urge us to strive for positive transformations. Each child deserves the chance to lead a healthy life. It starts with shifts in governmental expenditures and efforts from NGOs, ensuring free immunization for all children. Our journey towards a healthier country is rooted in understanding these trends and collectively working toward a future that every child deserves. Let’s turn these graphs into blueprints for a healthier tomorrow.


Addressing Intentional Homicides in Jamaica: A Strategy Rooted in Health and Education

Addressing Intentional Homicides in Jamaica: A Strategy Rooted in Health and Education


by Charbel Hanna Daou (MSBA 24)


In the heart of the Caribbean, Jamaica faces a startling reality: its soaring intentional homicide rate is not just a statistic, but a looming shadow over the nation’s future. This crisis goes beyond mere numbers, threatening the very fabric of Jamaican society and shaking the pillars of stability and safety that its citizens rely on. It’s a call to action, demanding not just attention, but a deep dive into the root causes and a strategic battle plan to turn the tide against this wave of violence. The urgency to address and mitigate this issue couldn’t be more pressing, as the fate of Jamaica’s well-being hangs in the balance.



Delving into the Crisis


The alarming rise in Jamaica’s homicide rates over the past two decades is a cause for serious concern. The data shows an increase to 52.1 homicides per 100,000 people by 2021, a figure that not only stands out in the Caribbean region but also ranks highest on a global scale. This disturbing trend is indicative of deeper societal and systemic issues that need to be addressed with urgency and precision.



Strategic Approaches Aligned with SDGs


In response to this escalating crisis, two potential strategic solutions, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), present themselves as viable pathways to combat the high homicide rates:

  1. Increasing Government Health Expenditure (Aligned with SDG 3): This strategy focuses on the crucial role of health in society. By boosting government spending on health care, particularly in areas like mental health services and addiction treatment, Jamaica could tackle some of the underlying factors contributing to the high rate of homicides. The premise here is that better access to health services, including mental health care, can play a significant role in preventing violence and crime.
  2. Extending the Duration of Compulsory Education (Aligned with SDG 4): Education is a powerful tool for social change. By increasing the years of compulsory education, Jamaica could address several root causes of crime, including poverty and inequality. Education not only equips individuals with knowledge and skills but also opens up opportunities, promoting social mobility and reducing the likelihood of individuals engaging in criminal activities.



Learning from Global Experiences


The experiences of the Russian Federation and Colombia provide valuable lessons. Both countries have demonstrated a correlation between enhanced health expenditures, extended compulsory education, and a decrease in intentional homicides. In contrast, Jamaica’s relatively stagnant approach in these areas might be contributing to its high homicide rates. This comparison suggests that adopting similar strategies could yield positive results in Jamaica.



Government of Jamaica, Here’s What You Should Do


Given the evidence and the success of similar strategies in other countries, the following recommendations are proposed for Jamaica:

  1. Increase Health Expenditure: A substantial increase in health expenditure per capita, specifically by a minimum of $100, could significantly improve the quality and accessibility of health services. This step would not only address immediate health concerns but also contribute to the long-term goal of reducing violence and crime.
  2. Reform Education Policies: Strengthening and reforming education policies to extend the duration of compulsory education to at least 12 years is crucial. This change would have far-reaching effects, not only in educating the populace but also in providing them with better opportunities and reducing the likelihood of them resorting to crime.



In the face of its daunting homicide rates, Jamaica stands at a crucial crossroads. The journey ahead is challenging, but it’s also filled with opportunity. By adopting innovative strategies like increasing health expenditure and extending compulsory education, Jamaica isn’t just fighting crime; it’s reinventing its future. This bold move towards enhancing healthcare and education could be the key to unlocking a new era of peace and stability. Imagine a Jamaica where every citizen is empowered by knowledge and supported by a robust healthcare system. That’s the vision—a safer, stronger Jamaica, thriving in harmony and moving confidently towards a brighter tomorrow.

Seeking Better Health for Arab Countries

Seeking Better Health for Arab Countries


NCDs are the non-communicable diseases which are cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular ,chronic respiratory diseases. Actually,

If you’ve not been exposed to a close person dying or suffering from NCDs, which I doubt to be the case, then you are extremely lucky. But, most probably, you will pass through a stage in your life where you would feel the danger of these diseases and realize how big is this number of people dying each year.

High percentage of Mortality Caused by NCDS from total mortality

Based on the figure above we see that the mortality caused by NCDs from total mortality rate for the displayed Arab countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Somalia, and others are really high. Comparing these values to countries like France, Germany, and UK for example, the percentage for the Arab Countries is about  double and sometimes triple that of France, Germany and UK. The problem is not only in the high percentage but in the fact that it is almost the same throughout 2016 till 2019(no data after 2019). So, what if we don’t deal with this situation? Then, for example, in Somalia, another 30% will die from NCDs this year and then the same happens in the next year and so on.
But, what could be the reason for such high percentages?

Correlation between government expenditure on health and mortality caused by NCDs

Take a look at the above figure. it is clear how the orange color(low government expenditure on health) corresponds to the blue color(high mortality caused by the diseases). and it is clear how the intensities are almost not changing through the years for each country. In other words, governments are not changing their expenditure on health which is leading to keeping the mortality as is.

So, the solution seems to be clear. Increasing government expenditures on health will do the job as displayed and this is validated in the below figure where Germany and UK for example show that the higher percentage of government expenditure on health has led to lower percentage of mortality caused by NCDs from total mortality.

But, what are the steps that these Arab countries should follow in order to decrease mortality caused by NCDs?

  • Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure: Allocate funds to improve healthcare facilities.
  • Preventive Healthcare Programs: Develop awareness campaigns and screenings to promote healthy living such as avoiding tobacco and drinking filtered water.
  • Increased Research Funding: Invest in local research and make partnerships with more modernized countries to learn from their strategies in this field for more effective interventions.
  • Health Insurance Expansion: Widen coverage for accessible healthcare services

Countries like Germany, and the UK showcase successful validations of investment, preventive care emphasis, and research funding, correlating with better healthcare outcomes since they have low mortality caused by NCDs from the total mortality as displayed in the previous map.

Moreover, governments can influence private health expenditures, which denote the total spending on healthcare by private entities within a country, excluding public funds. They do so through tax incentives, regulations, subsidies, and partnerships to encourage higher private health spending. In addition the government can raise awareness Campaigns to encourage increasing private health expenditures since more stabilized countries like UK, Germany, France have very high domestic private health expenditures per capita(current US$) as displayed in the figure below compared to the Arab countries mentioned where for example the lowest value is recorded by Sudan in 2018 to be 25$ and the highest which is recorded by Iraq in 2019 is 120$. These are really low values compared to lowest value by UK which is 771$ in 2017 and the highest recorded by Germany in 2018 which is 1252$. So, it is obvious the huge difference in the domestic private health expenditures.


In conclusion, These Arab countries that are experiencing higher mortality rates from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) due to lower government health spending can learn from successful healthcare models in Germany, France, and the UK. This correlation highlights the urgency for action. Governments in these Arab nations must prioritize investing in healthcare infrastructure, forming partnerships with advanced healthcare systems, and encouraging private health spending. Collaborative efforts between public and private sectors offer a path to narrow healthcare gaps, significantly improving overall healthcare quality and accessibility.

Understanding the Dynamics: Birth Rates and Youth Fertility Over Time

Understanding the Dynamics: Birth Rates and Youth Fertility Over Time

In our global journey towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), closely examining reproductive trends offers a window into the successes and ongoing challenges of public health initiatives. This post presents an updated analysis of birth rates over the decades and current adolescent fertility rates in key nations.

Our line graph traces the paths of birth rates in countries like Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritania, and Yemen from the 1960s onward. While there is a shared downward trajectory, each country’s journey reflects unique socio-economic and healthcare factors influencing these rates.

Complementing the long-term view, the bar graph presents a snapshot of the current state of adolescent fertility rates. This data is critical as it highlights the fertility patterns among young women, which is a key indicator of access to education and reproductive health services. Madagascar and Cameroon exhibit the highest rates, signaling areas where interventions may be most needed.

Together, these visuals offer a comprehensive perspective on reproductive health. The historical data of birth rates inform us of overarching progress, while the adolescent fertility rates give us a focused understanding of where additional efforts are necessary, particularly in empowering young women.

These reproductive trends are intimately linked to SDGs 3, 4, and 5, which emphasize health, education, and gender equality. High adolescent fertility rates can hinder progress in these areas by affecting education completion rates for young women and impacting their health and economic prospects.

To address these complex issues, data-driven strategies are essential. Promoting comprehensive sexual education, enhancing healthcare access, and empowering young women with choices can lead to healthier societies and further progress in reducing birth rates in line with our sustainable development aspirations.

As we analyze these visuals, we’re reminded of the power of data to shape our understanding and our actions. Let’s use these insights to foster a world where every young person is equipped with the knowledge and resources to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.