Skip to main content
Research project

Supporting socio-economic surveys in the DRC

Project overview

With financial support from the World Bank, WorldPop researcher, Dr Sarchil Qader adopted a ‘preEA Tool’ to create a national sampling frame to serve multiple upcoming socio-economic surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Enumeration Areas (EAs) are small areas of a country that are used to administer surveys and censuses. Individual EAs are typically areas that can be canvassed by a single data collector. Getting EAs right is vital for a country to efficiently survey their population, but in the DRC (where the last census was conducted over 35 years ago) EAs are incomplete, outdated or missing. Creating and updating EAs is a very labour and cost-intensive activity. They are usually developed manually by either digitising small areas using satellite imagery, or by walking each area and noting its physical characteristics.
Dr Qader has developed a user-friendly ‘preEA Tool’ that can be employed to generate draft EA boundaries automatically to support census cartography. The approach involves using high-resolution gridded population and settlement datasets, GPS household locations, building footprints and uses publicly available natural, man-made and administrative boundaries. This method has the potential to save a considerable amount of time, labour and cost – enabling data collectors to work more efficiently in the field.


Lead researcher

Doctor Sarchil Qader PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Dr Sarchil is a Senior Research Fellow within the WorldPop research group ( in close collaboration with multiple organizations across the world, whose activities combine research and enterprise. He designs innovative research ideas using big datasets such as remote sensing to improve traditional methods in the application of national population sampling frames for low- and middle-income countries and in agriculture. 

Connect with Sarchil

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Back to top