Natural Hazards

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 2001–2019 | Cite as

Spatial modelling of social and economic vulnerability to floods at the district level in Búzi, Mozambique

  • Stefan Kienberger
Original Paper


In Mozambique, the district level is empowered through recent policies to carry out disaster risk reduction activities. To address risk and associated activities appropriately, both information on the occurrence and distribution of hazards and information on the spatial distribution of vulnerability have to be available. Within this paper, a method is presented to model the social and economic dimension of vulnerability in a spatial and integrative manner applying the geon approach. Homogenous vulnerability regions are identified through the application of integrated modelling approaches, which build on expert and upscaled local knowledge and weightings. A set of indicators is proposed, which allow the modelling of vulnerability in a data-scarce environment. Finally, the different perceptions between national experts and local community members are visualised through maps, and opportunities are discussed. Overall, the method and results presented aim to facilitate the identification of critical vulnerability areas through different views, serving the needs at decision makers’ and experts’ level.


Vulnerability assessment GIScience Remote Sensing Integrated methods Spatial modelling 



This research was mainly funded through the Munich Re Foundation, where I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Thomas Loster. Special thanks go to the team members of CIG-UCM, INGC in Mozambique (especially Wolfgang Stiebens) and the community members and experts providing their time to participate in this research. The author would also like to thank the reviewers for providing helpful feedback and comments to the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for GeoinformaticsUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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