2018 Independent Projects

Over the summer, the 2018 PODS fellows completed their own independent data analysis project based on a policy question of their choice. Their projects yielded impressive results. 

Aliya Allen-Valley

Studies have shown that rates of deaths caused by Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Trinidad and Tobago are relatively high when compared to some other Caribbean states. This paper explores both rates of deaths caused by NCDs and air pollution (as measured by PM2.5 pollution), to trace whether or not a relationship between the two can be statistically proven.

Read Aliya's independent project here.  

Marine Colon de Franciosi

This project focuses on the topic of financial access in developing economies and explores the relationship between financial inclusion and informality (not being legally registered as a business) using World Bank Enterprise Survey Data. More specifically, the study attempts to determine whether formality can explain variation in access to finance while controlling for a variety of factors traditionally correlated with financial inclusion such as size, managerial ability, experience etc. This project also examines the major obstacles that prevent informal firms from formally registering and whether some obstacles are more burdensome for particular types of firms (smaller firms, firms managed by women and “reluctant entrepreneurs”).

Read Marine's independent project here.

Juliette Deshormes

This project looks at the forthcoming global issue of climate refugees and estimates responsibility scores for the highest carbon dioxide emitting countries. In doing so, it aims to propose a basic climate refugee resettlement model, inspired by the work of UCL professor Bayes Ahmed. 

Read Juliette's independent project here.

Dexter Docherty

This project looks at racial discrimination in the conditions imposed upon individuals who exit Canadian prisons on parole. The discrepancies identified in the data likely play a role in the higher recidivism rates of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals caught up in the Canadian Justice system. Solutions are proposed that may help the Parole Board of Canada to better fulfill its duty to protect the Canadian public and assist in the successful reintegration of former prisoners.

Read Dexter's independent project here.

Emma Ebowe

The effectiveness of means-tested benefits compared with universal benefits for poverty reduction is hotly contested in conversations about welfare reform across Europe. Means-tested benefits, for example, have earned a bad reputation for increasing the size of the government bureaucracy involved in benefit distribution and rendering the overall system “inefficient.” This paper therefore uses publicly available online data from Eurostat’s Social Protection Statistics in an attempt to answer the question: Is there really a relationship between the proportion of benefits that are means-tested in a country and that country’s child poverty rate?

Read Emma's independent project here. 

Olivier Li

This project focuses on the topic of financial access in developing economies and explores the relationship between financial inclusion and informality (not being legally registered as a business) using World Bank Enterprise Survey Data. More specifically, the study attempts to determine whether formality can explain variation in access to finance while controlling for a variety of factors traditionally correlated with financial inclusion such as size, managerial ability, experience etc. This project also examines the major obstacles that prevent informal firms from formally registering and whether some obstacles are more burdensome for particular types of firms (smaller firms, firms managed by women and “reluctant entrepreneurs”).

Read Olivier's independent project here.

Emily Xing

For my PODS policy project, I conducted an exploratory data analysis on the Toronto homeless shelter system using open data from the City of Toronto. Through visualizing occupancy and capacity trends from 56 shelters in Toronto, I have found that the data suggests that refugees and asylum seekers are driving an increase in homeless population. It is also likely that this increase is tied to the current increase in migrants and asylum claimants crossing the Canada-US border due to Donald Trump’s changes in US immigration policy.

Read Emily's independent project here.

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