Mathematica Celebrates World Health Day

Mathematica Celebrates World Health Day

Mathematica is proud to celebrate World Health Day by identifying new ways to lead with evidence and data to address the myriad health challenges associated with climate change. Mathematica enlists its deep expertise in data analytics, health program evaluation and improvement, and international research to explore and mitigate the climate-health connection and uses evidence to inform responses to the growing climate crisis.

Historically marginalized communities, which often bear the least responsibility for causing climate change, are disproportionately exposed to climate-related natural disasters. Just as exposure to these extreme weather events is unequal, so too is susceptibility to their health effects. Using advanced analytics and dynamic visualizations, we highlight the complex relationships between exposure, sensitivity, and capacity, and identify who is most vulnerable to climate-related health issues. In so doing, we help clients understand the conditions that should trigger emergency warnings to protect vulnerable residents and help communities and health systems bolster their climate resilience.

Our interactive digital solution ClimaWATCH makes it easier to explore the effects of heat waves by providing dynamic, data-driven maps and metrics, and informs how communities can boost climate adaption and resilience. Focusing on Medicaid beneficiaries, ClimaWATCH 1) combines data on temperature and dew point, social vulnerability and racial composition, and health service use and spending to map where heat waves concentrate, which communities are most susceptible, how various health effects accumulate, and 2) measures the financial toll of these illnesses.

Another area of intersection on the theme of “Our planet, our health” is the importance of food systems—which include what people choose to eat, what is produced, and how it is produced, aggregated, processed, distributed, and disposed of. In the production sector, agricultural technologies can contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. USAID’s decision support tool for sustainable agriculture helps quantify the impact of greenhouse gases and monetizes it to generate both the economic and financial returns from agricultural technologies. The tool informs the scale-up of innovative technologies that deliver “win–win” agricultural and environmental outcomes. Currently, the tool is applied in Senegal to assess financial and economic returns from dual-purpose cowpeas and millets that generate higher food and fodder yields. It models the greenhouse gas emissions from these crops using climate forecasts and details on agronomic practices from scientific trials data from past USAID projects.

To respond to the growing climate crisis, we’re drawing on our expertise in health, human services, data science and analytics, and international research, including the energy, agriculture, and water and sanitation sectors, to support the design of solutions that help our clients address the multi-faceted challenges posed by climate change.

About the Authors

Anu Rangarajan

Anu Rangarajan

Senior Vice President; Climate Change, Mathematica
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Tulika Narayan

Tulika Narayan

Senior Director, Food Security and Agriculture
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