Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Geography

Major Professor

Liem T. Tran

Committee Members

Robert Stewart, Ronald Kalafsky

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to understand the vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic hazards of the population of Afghanistan and the social factors which enhance or moderate such vulnerability. While vulnerability studies are commonly conducted in the United States, as well as many other global north countries, most studies of this type utilize data collected by central government entities in the form of a census which is periodically executed and uses standardized collection methods. In the case of Afghanistan, and many other countries in the global south, such data is hard to acquire, lacks a high level of confidence, or does not exist. For these reasons, this study will focus on efficiently utilizing data which has been collected by the Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan, as well as data compiled and made available by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Geographic Information Systems and Technology (GIS&T) Group to identify the most significant indicators of vulnerability within the population of Afghanistan. The result of this study is a by district analysis of the country of Afghanistan, in which vulnerability to hazards is inferred for the population of each district and ranked based on the relative vulnerability of the population. This information can assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as well as other aid organizations, to prepare to respond to humanitarian crises more effectively.

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