2022 SAG Award Winners

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat

Project Goal

Our project aims to reduce risk with an integrated and proactive approach to disaster preparedness and response, helping communities to monitor and manage multiple natural hazards, prepare, and respond in case disaster strikes, and build back better. We use Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (HVRA) developed around Esri GIS technology to help communities understand risk; design and implement appropriate risk management measures; and plan for safer development of their villages and towns. The HVRA maps risks and determines safe development and economic zones, safe evacuation sites and high-risk areas based on a calculation of exposure and vulnerability to multiple types of hazards. We then work with communities to use this data to develop disaster management and habitat plans. To date we have assessed nearly 2,500 settlements in South and Central Asia, helping nearly 1,800 communities develop village disaster management plans.
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Business Problem Solved

Communities in our program areas face high levels of natural hazard risk compounded by climate risk. To enable them to not only survive recurrent disasters but thrive, it is important to be able to help communities understand and anticipate risk to be able to prepare and plan accordingly. Our program areas are typically hard-to-reach and prone to multiple complex hazards. Assessing and monitoring hazards as well as surveying damage and collecting data during emergencies in these areas poses many challenges. Additionally, for solutions to be effective and sustainable they must be understandable for and adapted to local communities. Therefore, AKAH’s HVRA methodology combines local knowledge and field surveys with GIS and remote sensing data to map and monitor risks and safe zones. We disseminate the results to stakeholder including communities and work with them to develop locally adapted, risk-informed, participatory disaster management, spatial and development planning.

Technology Implemented

The HVRA model is developed using ArcGIS solutions that helps to collect, process, manage, analyze, visualize, store, and share data. ArcGIS Map and ArcGIS Pro are used to process, analyze, visualize, and produce maps, making use of field data collected using Survey123 and ArcGIS Field Maps apps. Different types of maps are developed to inform AKAH’s DRR and Habitat Planning programmes. The data collected is stored and managed using ArcGIS Geodatabase. The database and maps serve as an excellent tool to communicate risk scenarios to communities and monitor changes in risk over time. Thus, HVRA is completely deployed on a Esri GIS framework.

Development Team Biography

More than 70 members spread across five countries manage the GIS-related program, including the HVRA. The team has different backgrounds like GIS, Geology, Geomorphology, Hydrology, and Sociology. Following team members lead the GIS programs.

• Rahim Dobariya, Programme Manager Geospatial Information, AKAH Head Office
• Deo Raj Gurung, Programme Coordinator for Preparedness & Safety, AKAH Head Office
• Khwaja Momin Walizada - Programme Officer HVRA, AKAH Afghanistan
• Shahrukh Vasaya - Programme Officer GIS, AKAH India
• Dilshad Bano - Programme Coordinator GIS & Habitat Planning, AKAH Pakistan
• Ali Zaino - Data Management Officer, AKAH Syria
• Khushqadam Khushdilov - Supervisor, Spatial Data Infrastructure Unit, AKAH Tajikistan