An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Geographical Inequalities of Birth Intervals among Young Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): A Cross-sectional Study

BMCPCBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14:271, Published Online 13 August 2014

By Tobias F Chirwa, Jocelyn N Mantempa, Felly K Lukumu, Joseph D Kandala, and Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala

The length of time between two successive live births (birth interval), is associated with child survival in the developing world. Short birth intervals (<24 months) contribute to infant and child mortality risks. Contraceptive use contributes to a reduction in short birth intervals, but evidence is lacking in the DRC. We aimed to investigate the proportion of short birth intervals at the provincial level among young women in the DRC.

Data from the Demographic and Health Survey undertaken in the DRC in 2007 were analyzed. Logistic regression and Bayesian geo-additive models were used to explain provincial inequalities in short birth intervals among women of reproductive age and young women. Posterior odds ratio (OR) and 95% credible region (CR) were estimated via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques. Posterior spatial effects and the associated posterior probability maps were produced at the provincial-level to highlight provinces with a significant higher risk of short birth interval.

The overall proportion of short birth intervals among all women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and young women (15-24 years) were 30.2% and 38.7% respectively. In multivariate Bayesian geo-additive regression analyses, among the whole sample of women, living in rural areas [OR = 1.07, 95% CR: (0.97, 1.17)], exclusive breastfeeding [1.08 (1.00, 1.17)] and women with primary education [1.06 (1.00, 1.16)], were consistently associated with a higher risk of short birth intervals. For the young women, none of the factors considered were associated with the risk of short birth interval except a marginal effect from the lack of education. There was a spatial variation in the proportion of women reporting short birth intervals and among all women of reproductive age across provinces, with Nord-Kivu [1.12 (1.02, 1.24)], Sud Kivu [1.17 (1.05, 1.29)] and Kasai Occidental [1.18 (1.06, 1.32)] reporting a higher risk of short birth intervals. For young women, the higher risk provinces were Nord-Kivu [1.22 (1.00, 1.54)] and Sud Kivu [1.34 (1.14, 1.63)].

Results show a clear East-south gradient; specifically, Kasai Occidental, Sud-Kivu and Nord Kivu wer e significantly associated with a higher likelihood of short birth intervals, while Kinshasa, Bas Congo and Bandundu provinces were associated with a lower risk of short birth int ervals.

Results show a clear East-south gradient; specifically, Kasai Occidental, Sud-Kivu and Nord Kivu were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of short birth intervals, while
Kinshasa, Bas Congo and Bandundu provinces were associated with a lower risk of short birth intervals.

This study suggests distinct geographic patterns in the proportion of short birth intervals among Congolese women, as well as the potential role of demographic and geographic location factors driving the ongoing higher youth fertility, higher childhood and maternal mortality in the DRC. ”

OGC Announces Big Data Domain Working Group

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DAt the recent OGC meetings in Geneva, members of the OGC formed an OGC Big Data Domain Working Group. This OGC domain group provides an open forum for discussions and standards recommendations for Big Data interoperability, access, and analytics related to geospatial information. To this end, the open forum will encourage collaborative development among participants representing many organizations and communities, and will ensure appropriate liaisons to other relevant working groups inside and outside OGC.

The group will consolidate findings on a public wiki to inform both the OGC membership and the greater public and allow for feedback during the editing phase and after. A report will be submitted to the OGC membership for publication as an OGC Best Practice paper.

Because location-based and geospatial data applications are major contributors to the Big Data deluge, the OGC is positioned to provide guidance on the use of OGC standards in managing such data. Further, with the advent of increased machine-machine communication, interoperability is gaining even more importance. OGC, therefore, is establishing a position addressing Big Data issues, including – but not limited to – science, implementation, market value, and societal effects.

The initial membership of the BigData WG will consist of the following members and individuals with extensive education and experience in Big Data issues:

  •  Peter Baumann, Jacobs University (co-chair)
  •  John Herring, Oracle (co-chair)
  •  Juergen Seib, Deutscher Wetterdienst
  •  Stan Tillman, Intergraph
  •  Marie-Francoise Voidrot, Meteo France
  •  Jeff de la Beaujardiere, NOAA
  •  Bruce Gritton, US Navy MetOc
  •  Chuck Heazel, WISC (co-chair)
  •  Mike McCann, MBARI
  •  Pedro Goncalves, Terradue
  •  Don Sullivan, NASA
  •  Ed Parsons, Google
  •  Robert Gibb, Landcare Research New Zealand
  •  Jean Brodeur, Geoconnections, NRCAN
  •  Jinsongdi Yu, Fuzhou University
  •  Arnaud Cauchy, Airbus Defence & Space

These members encourage others inside and outside the OGC to participate in discussions and in preparation of a final report.

[Source: OGC press release]

URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award Recipients Announced

URISAURISA Is pleased to announce the recipients of 2014 Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Awards. Since 1980, URISA’s ESIG Awards have recognized extraordinary achievements in the use of geospatial information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. The award competition is open to all public agencies at the federal, state/provincial, regional and local levels. Applications were submitted within Enterprise and Single Process System categories.

ENTERPRISE SYSTEM CATEGORY – Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of using information systems technology in a multi-department environment as part of an integrated process. These systems exemplify effective use of technology yielding widespread improvements in the process(es) and/or service(s) involved and/or cost savings to the organization.

The 2014 Enterprise System Category Winner is “New Hampshire Mosaic Parcel Map” submitted by Stephan Hamilton, Director, Municipal & Property Division, of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration and David Salzer, Director of Projects and Patrick Santoso, Director of Operations at the Technology Transfer Center, University of New Hampshire.

Summary: The New Hampshire Mosaic Parcel Map system is a state of the art integration of parcel boundaries, attributes from the Assessor’s Computer Aided Mass Appraisal (CAMA) systems, feeds from Register of Deeds, Real Estate Transfer tax and forms and 2014 Municipal budget and appropriations data.  The system is based on a successful feasibility study integrating parcel boundaries and attributes form Assessor CAMA systems from 18 municipalities. The system is integral to the operations of taxing jurisdictions, the Department of Revenue, many state agencies, municipalities and regional planning commissions.  User testimonials mention that time savings and efficiencies have been significant and deadlines are being met with up to a 25% reduction in staff.  Considering the scope of this system, the needs it addresses and its very successful implementation, the New Hampshire Mosaic Atlas is the 2014 Enterprise ESIG Award winner.

Distinguished Systems recognized in the Enterprise System Category include:

  • RECOVER: Rehabilitation Capability Convergence of Ecosystem Recovery Project
    Submitted by:  Keith T. Weber, GISP, GIS Director, Idaho State University
  • Building an Enterprise GIS for the Newest City in Georgia
    Submitted by: Mike Edelson, Senior GIS Analyst, City of Brookhaven, Georgia

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY – Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

The 2014 Single System Category Winner is “NCHHSTP Atlas”, submitted by Kim Elmore,  Co-Lead of the NCHHSTP Atlas, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

Summary: In support of the initiative and motivated by the need to bring together data on a variety of diseases traced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Atlas was developed.  The primary key to the success of the NCHHSTP Atlas is the ability of a user to interactively access data sets that in the past could only be accessed one at a time through individual web sites, in one location, creating maps, charts and tables.  The system provides a very robust set of queries and views of data made available on the internet for public use with an eye to providing cost effective disease surveillance and intervention.  Considering the size of this project and how many users it has benefited, the NCHHSTP Altas is the 2014 Single Process ESIG Award winner.

Distinguished Systems recognized in the Single Process System Category include:

  • MapGeo
    Submitted by: Sara Siskavich, GISP, GIS Manager, Nashua Regional Planning Commission
  • Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair Tracking Application
    Submitted by: Ian Dunn, Software Specialist, City of Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Data Extraction Tool
    Submitted by: Wilfred Batke, Mapping Technologist, City of Richmond, British Columbia
  • ZoneSJ Map Viewer
    Submitted by: Yves Leger, M.Sc., GISP, GIS Manager, City of Saint John, New Brunswick
  • CropScape
    Submitted by: Zhengwei Yang, Ph.D., IT Specialist, United States Department of Agriculture and Weiguo Han, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University

The accomplishments will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s 52nd Annual Conference in New Orleans, September 8-11. The winning systems in each category will be discussed in a featured hour-long session during the conference and most of the other systems will be presented during the luncheon presentation session, allowing attendees ample time to learn more. In addition, each system will be highlighted in an upcoming URISA webinar series. . To review the winning submissions for this year’s ESIG Awards, visit For details about GIS-Pro 2014, visit

[Source: URISA press release]