Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resource Access Influences on Agricultural Practices and Livelihood Wellbeing
Clark, Dylan; Premkumar, Deepak
Iowa State University (Undergraduate), UNITED STATES

This past June, world leaders met for the UNCSD (Rio+20) and declared the need for an increased collaborative efforts to provide rural agriculturalists with access to health care, social services, education and training, and water in order to create greater global food security. This research study examines the geospatial trends of food security, water access, health care access, and agriculture practices in rural Tanzania for the purpose of creating a comprehensive development framework for the Hedaru Valley in east Tanzania. This research was conducted in three phases, 1) a GIS based regional analysis of the geography and land use using SPOT and GDEM data. 2) the collection of local knowledge and mapping of regional infrastructures such as schools, clinics, roads, and water access points, and 3) the administration of 80 quantitative surveys to randomly selected households along with 14 qualitative follow up focus groups for the household participants. By recording a physical location to all surveyed households and associated remotely sensed data, we were able to examine livelihood spatial distinctions based off proximities to water, clinics, and schools. This research documents the correlation among health care access, water availability, and education access to achieving food security. This information will be provided to local development practitioners, to enable them to develop comprehensive strategies and target the most inhibiting barriers. Moreover, the research provides a template for the implementation of participatory GIS in rural agrarian regions as a tool for development.