Monitoring socio-environmental change for sustainable development: Developing a Multidimensional Livelihoods Index (MLI)

C. Donohue, Eloise Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.To enable more effective monitoring of sustainable development for meeting targets of the post-2015 agenda, assessment is required at the sub-national level to better understand the spatial variation in factors which contribute to sustaining livelihoods. In this research we take Nepal as a case study; a nation consistently ranked as one of the poorest in the world. To understand how sustainable development can effectively promote livelihood diversification, we advocate that a multidimensional spatial approach is essential for monitoring social and environmental change to aid decision-making processes. To achieve this, a multidimensional index was created to spatially explore the landscape of livelihoods across rural Nepal. A methodology was developed to quantify the livelihoods asset pentagon (human-physical-social-financial-natural) of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. 23 socio-environmental indicators were selected to map the multidimensionality of livelihoods at the eco-development area unit level and produce the Multidimensional Livelihoods Index (MLI). Results indicate considerable spatial variability in the factors affecting people's livelihoods across Nepal. In general, the MLI decreases as you move north and east, reflecting changes in the topographic landscape and distance from the Kathmandu Valley Outcomes suggest an effective method for monitoring change at a sub-national level; highlighting potential locations and/or livelihood strategies for improving the targeting of resources (e.g. investment of foreign aid) to facilitate more sustainable development for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-403
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Geography
Volume62
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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