· 3 min read

Contraceptive usage in developing countries

A MakeoverMonday Viz5 challenge to visualize the lack of modern contraception methods among women in low- and lower-middle income countries (LMICs). The data is from the Guttmacher Institute’s report: Adding It Up: Investing in Contraception and Maternal and Newborn Health, 2017. This is my first attempt for Viz5 (Visualize Gender Equality) - an effort to help realize UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The dataset exposes the challenges faced by women and girls in 148 low- and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) in accessing contraception and reproductive health services, and provides the % distribution (by country) of women who want or do not want to plan their pregnancies and the contraception measures available to them.

Tableau profile

Since the dataset represents low and lower-middle income countries, I wanted to retain the geographical context for the challenges women face and get a sense of the sub-regions/countries represented. This is my first time making a geospatial map viz and I have tried to overlay bar charts on the map using floating containers in the dashboard. The bar charts highlight the 10 countries in each of the 4 continents or sub-regions that have the highest unmet contraceptive need, while the geographical heatmap represents the unmet need of all the 148 countries in the dataset. I am experimenting with colors in this early stage and have used bar opacity as a qualitative measure of the extent of the problem in each geographical sub-region (darker colors represent greater unmet needs across the continent).

The viz does not represent some of the other aspects of the survey such as women who do not want to avoid pregnancy (and would therefore probably benefit from awareness and education drives). Instead I have focussed on showcasing the highest unmet contraceptive needs for women who DO want to plan their pregnancies in these countries. Perhaps this can be an immediate target to improve upon, by ensuring access to modern contraception to these vulnerable groups. In general, poorest countries suffer the worst consequences; the report states that only 59% of women in low-income countries deliver their babies in a health facility, compared with 97% in upper-middle–income countries.

A great training exercise and as a bonus, this challenge was completely in sync with my continued learning on basic Tableau skills from the Udemy tutorial by Kirill Eremenko where I just covered making geospatial maps and using highlighters and filters in the dashboard!

A final note - as I described in my earlier post, the MakeOver Monday viz review is a goldmine of quick tips and learning. Here’s where I have assigned proper data source and design credits to my viz thanks to the discussion. Am also continuing with my logo in the dashboard, courtesy tutorials by KATE STRACHNYI.

Do post your suggestions and comments on this thread!