Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An assessment of the utility of GIS-based analysis to support the coordination of humanitarian assistance
by Verjee, Firoz, D.Sc., The George Washington University, 2007, 272; 3297449
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigated if Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based analysis can have a decisive influence upon the coordination of international humanitarian assistance. Utility was assessed through a series of case studies demonstrating the application of GIS-based analysis to facilitate coordination of recent or potential humanitarian interventions. Six major categories of analysis were investigated: (1) queries and measurement, (2) transformation, (3) optimization, (4) geostatistics, (5) geovisualization, and (6) hypothesis testing and simulation. The researcher adopted the sequential exploratory method (i.e. mixed method) approach, which involved qualitative and quantitative research phases designed to elicit the opinion of humanitarian professionals from around the world. This statistically-representative sample population was then used to test a set of research hypotheses. Based upon the quantitative results, it was possible to conclude that GIS-based analysis can have a decisive impact upon the coordination of humanitarian assistance. GIS appears to offer substantial utility beyond its cartographic applications, particularly for applications such as Site Selection, Geovisualization, Vulnerability Estimation, Cluster Analysis and Range Analysis. This utility assessment, while very encouraging, does not necessarily demonstrate the feasibility of GIS-based analysis. Therefore continued research and experimentation is recommended to ensure the provision of pragmatic and decisive GIS-based analysis during UN-led humanitarian interventions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harrald, John R.
Commitee: Amer, Saud A., Benini, Aldo A., Fiedrich, Frank, McCreight, Robert E., Shaw, Gregory L.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Engineering Mgt and Systems Engineering
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Information systems, Systems design
Keywords: Complex emergencies, Disaster, Emergency management, GIS, Geographic Information Systems, Geospatial, Humanitarian assistance, United Nations
Publication Number: 3297449
ISBN: 9780549460695
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