Data Africa is an open data platform designed to provide information on key themes for research and development such as: agriculture, climate, poverty and child health across Africa South of the Sahara at the sub-national level. The main goal of the online tool is to present the themes to a wide, even non-technical audience through easily accessible visual narratives.

In its first stage, the platform is focused on national and sub-national level data for 13 countries:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

Over time, we anticipate expanding the coverage of the platform with additional countries and increasing the amount of data available through the platform. For any questions, comments, or more information on the site please contact .

Data Sources

The data contained in the online tool draws from a variety of sources, including:


Poverty Headcount Ratio

The poverty headcount ratio measures the share of the population for which total consumption expenditure falls below a defined poverty line, expressed here in $3.10 or $1.90/per-capita/day in 2011 international purchasing power parity (see below), identifying general and extreme poverty, respectively.

Poverty Gap Ratio

The poverty gap index measures the depth of poverty (how far consumption expenditures of the poor are from the poverty line), providing an index of shortfall from the poverty line. The poverty headcount ratio ignores the depth of poverty since poor population eventually becoming even poorer would leave the headcount ratio unchanged, contrary to the poverty gap index that would increase.

Poverty Severity Ratio

The poverty severity index aims at giving more weights to the extreme poor, taking into account the inequality among the poor by squaring the poverty gap ratio.

Purchasing Power Parity

The PPP factor is measured by adjusted exchange rate for each country that equalizes the nominal exchange rate in terms of the local cost of a common basket of goods and services. For this platform, monetary values in all countries in different years have been converted to international dollars at the 2011 PPP conversion rate.

Rainfall Variability

A measure of how much rainfall varies from the long-term average, expressed here as the percentage of crop land area experienced the coefficient of variation of annual rainfall greater than 20% between 1990 and 2015.

Stunting Rate

The proportion of stunting is expressed as the percentage of children with a low height for age z-score (below minus two standard deviations from median height for age of the given standard population), reflecting a sustained past episode or episodes of chronic undernutrition, which is impacted by maternal and child food, heath and care before and during pregnancy and during the first two years of life.

Underweight Rate

The proportion of underweight is expressed as the percentage of children with low weight for age z-score (below minus two standard deviations from median weight for age of the given standard population), reflecting a current condition resulting from inadequate food intake, past episodes of undernutrition and/or poor health conditions, combination of both chronic and acute undernutrition.

Wasting Rate

The proportion of wasting is expressed as the percentage of children with a low weight for height z-score (below minus two standard deviations from median weight for height of the given standard population), generally reflecting acute weight loss associated with a recent period of hunger and/or disease.

About Us


Data Africa is a HarvestChoice project website. HarvestChoice, jointly implemented by IFPRI and University of Minnesota, generates data and knowledge products to support strategic investments on agricultural research and development in Africa South of the Sahara (SSA). To learn more about HarvestChoice’s related work, visit our Catalog, Repository, MapSPAM, AgAtlas, and InSTePP.


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), established in 1975, provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition. The Institute conducts research, communicates results, optimizes partnerships, and builds capacity to ensure sustainable food production, promote healthy food systems, improve markets and trade, transform agriculture, build resilience, and strengthen institutions and governance. Gender is considered in all of the Institute’s work. IFPRI collaborates with partners around the world, including development implementers, public institutions, the private sector, and farmers’ organizations.


Datawheel is a small but mighty crew of programmers and designers with a passion for crafting data into predictive, decision-making, and storytelling tools. Every visualization platform built by Datawheel is a tailored solution that marries the needs of users and the data supporting it.


This work was undertaken as part of the HarvestChoice project and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in collaboration with Datawheel and Barefoot Education for Afrika Trust (BEAT). Funding support for this platform was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID Bureau for Food Security. Contents in this website have not gone through IFPRI’s standard peer-review procedure. The opinions expressed here belong to the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of PIM, IFPRI, or CGIAR.


For the citation of Data Africa, please use:

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Datawheel, 2017. Accessed [today’s date].

Terms of Use

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