Accelerate USAID Data Viz and UX Portfolio Piece


The Accelerate Project is a five-year USAID project to help USAID country offices think about their child and maternal health programs using behavior change as the basis of their decision making. As one of the in-country team members for three mission trips to Ghana and Kenya, I worked on data visualization and building a better user experience for the online tools of the project. Below are some of the digital products I created. Note that all digital products below were created using public data through DHS or with fake, dummy data.

Data Visualization

A large component of my work was thinking of new and useful ways to visualize existing data such that it could help a USAID health team member think about behavior change.


In the example above, I used fake data to demonstrate how one of the 18 identified priority behaviors might have changed over time by plotting out the numbers on a geographic map. With this view, staff could then look at why certain counties/provinces in Kenya did well over time and why some lagged behind.

Similarly, another way to view change over time is by USAID’s economic quintiles compared to provinces. In this view, a USAID health team member could quickly see if certain provinces were lagging behind or if the slow progress was due to economic factors. Nairobi, for instance, may have seen a positive increase not because of new health programs, but because the population generally become more wealthy and therefore had better access to existing methods of modern contraception.

To visualize the time series in another way, I created the above charts using USAID’s DHS data, combining the regional view in Ghana with the corresponding yearly quintiles. In this example, we can see that though the Northern Region of Ghana is not the most affluent, its population has one of the highest rates of good malaria prevention practices. In fact, economically poorer populations seem to have higher rates than more affluent populations. This could indicate the programs in the region or targeting those quintiles are working well.

Viewed in yet another way, click on the picture above to see the charts as an animated gif.

UX and web design work

Another core function I played in the Accelerate project was to conduct various forms of user testing and to help determine the best user flow of the online tools.


The picture above is a synthesis of seven detailed user testing sessions in Ghana to determine what functionality to keep in a tool I helped design to allow USAID staff to prioritize among the 18 Accelerate behaviors. The synthesis broke down the functionality by the MosCoW methodology – must, should, could, won’t, as well as on an X-Y axis quadrant view. This analysis served as the basis for the redesign of the tool. Specific feedback has been blurred to comply with NDA restrictions.

Finally, to combine my data visualization and user experience work on Accelerate, I helped determine the new user flow for USAID health team members to navigate the tools created. The above picture shows the new user flow through a tool to prioritize Accelerator behaviors. Specific information has been blurred to comply with NDA restrictions.