Bob Woods Postgraduate Dissertation Prize Winner

My name is Elliot, and I recently completed my Master’s in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Leeds. My idea surrounding GIS from Ghana essentially had to do with points and lines. However, I quickly discovered that it was more about data analysis and location’s effect on varying issues. I enjoyed every aspect of my course; by its end, I knew I wanted to continue honing my skills towards geodemographics and understanding population dynamics. I also wanted to apply this skill to my home country, Ghana. Therefore, I used methods from my geodemographic course to investigate deprivation at the district level in Ghana and its impact on healthcare provision.


I set out to develop an index measuring multiple deprivation using the Index of Multiple Deprivation by analysing four socioeconomic indicators: education, unemployment, access to services, and housing.

Data from the 2021 Census of Ghana, expressed at district level spanning the entire country informed this analysis. Through my research, I investigated the relationship between the relevant deprivation indicators, and analysed its geographic variations.

Additionally, I examined the correlation between poverty and distance to health facilities and the connection between deprivation factors and health outcomes.

The findings of my study revealed that 25% of Ghana’s districts are significantly deprived, with Nabdam, Central Gonja, East Mamprusi, Northeast Gonja and Binduri districts all in the northern part of Ghana experiencing the most severe deprivation. In these areas, individuals are likely to lack internet access, live in overcrowded housing, are unemployed and may have yet to be educated past the SHS level.

Currently I am working as a Data Scientist at the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics where I continue to develop my GIS and Data Science skills.

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