Using GIS and Spatial Statistics to Target Poverty and Improve Poverty Alleviation Programs: A Case Study in Northeast Thailand

Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, Online 11 April 2011

Romanee Thongdara, Lal Samarakoon, Rajendra P. Shrestha and S. L. Ranamukhaarachchi

“Various poverty alleviation programs have helped reduce poverty in Thailand, yet the poverty gap still remains, specifically in rural areas in the north and northeast of the country. The major barrier to poverty alleviation policies and strategies is the weakness of identifying where the poor are, thereby targeting poverty interventions. This paper investigates the potential of descriptive statistics, the geographic information system (GIS), and spatial autocorrelation in recognizing poverty association of a site selected in the northeast Thailand, including identifying factors that influence rural poverty, and investigating underlying factors and spatial associations of poverty at the rural household level. Results showed that 70% of the households sampled in the study area were poor, and nearly half of their income generated was from farming. Factors influencing farm income were examined by regression statistics and it was found that farm income is related to area cultivated, rice yield, livestock and learning experience of farmers. It was demonstrated that GIS is a useful tool to identify environmental factors that influence poverty and spatial autocorrelation is an effective method in revealing similarities and dissimilarities of poverty in household units. Use of these two technologies to identify factors underlying rural poverty was analyzed and possible use of the findings in poverty alleviation programs was presented. Drawbacks and limitations in Thailand’s poverty alleviation plans and programs were discussed and suggestions were made to improve these programs using GIS and spatial autocorrelation.”

New Book – Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS: A Workbook

Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS: A Workbook

Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS: A Workbook emphasizes systematic GIS workflow.

Designed for a college curriculum, Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS: A Workbook helps students use organized workflows, spatial analysis, and visualization to make decisions about real-world issues including crime, hazards, hurricanes, demographics, and urban planning. This second edition from Esri Press provides scenario-based lessons to promote the development of GIS skills and critical thinking capabilities.

“One major difference between this workbook and others is the focus on the GIS workflow—documenting and being systematic about the problem-solving process,” says coauthor Robert Kolvoord. “Following a consistent GIS workflow is an important part of becoming a GIS professional.”

The companion DVD contains the GIS data, worksheets, and other documents needed to complete projects in the book. Information about online resources and instructions to download a trial version of ArcGIS Desktop 10 are also provided. The first edition, authored by Kathryn Keranen and Kolvoord, was part of the Esri Press Our World GIS Education book series, which won the 2008 Geographic Excellence in Media Award from the National Council for Geographic Education.

Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS: A Workbook, second edition (ISBN: 978-1-58948-280-7, 172 pages, US$69.95), is available at online retailers worldwide, at, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options, or visit to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

Towards a Sustainable System: Application of Temporal Analysis on Flood Risk Management

Ecology and the EnvironmentEcology and the Environment, Volume 150, 2011

Z. Alsaqqaf and H. Zhang

“The escalating frequencies and changing patterns of climate change impacts, such as precipitation rates and sea levels, question the reliability of the existing engineering infrastructure, in terms of design and planning criteria for which designers and decision makers need to or account for.

“The objective of this paper is to assess the performance of an existing engineering infrastructure by measuring three variables: Vulnerability (β), Reliability (α), Resiliency (γ). These variables will be implemented temporally to a floodplain catchment, where performance and engineering sustainability can be depicted.

“The depiction will define the system’s behaviour upon a natural event such as precipitation or sea-level rise.

“Nevertheless, Flood Risk Index (FRI), which depends on (β, α and γ), will be applied as an overall index to demonstrate the trend context as well as give implications of the sensitivity significance of β, α and γ.

“The main outcome of this paper is to depict the relative sustainability or as known as the performance assessment indicators temporally; and to examine the correlation between the indicators on a real-flow data.

“These procedures shall ultimately provide implications on the implementation of the indicators to achieve a relatively sustainable system.”