Human Security Mapping

In our discussions on human security, we looked at the use of mapping techniques to identify areas or regions where risks are greatest – whether it be from the threat of HIV/AIDS, the prevalence of malaria, or the lack of water. Here is a good example of the kind of detailed mapping work that is being done in the field by humanitarian workers to better address problems. In this case, the map shows food security levels across Nepal and was drawn up by the World Food Programme. Mapping high-risk zones in this way can help policymakers understand the threat better and find more effective solutions. In addition, as one of the comments points out, comparing maps allows analysts to draw correlations between, say, conflict and the scarcity of food and water.

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4 Responses to “Human Security Mapping”


  1. 1 Ryan Jacobs 27/11/2009 at 11:59 am

    While these food insecure mapping projects are useful, to help understand where food aid should be directed. One of the more interesting uses of these risk analysis projects could be mapping them on top of, instability maps which would show where violence, or sectarian conflict was occurring. Then as the article on human security mapping explained, you could draw a correlative effect regarding food insecurity, and increased instability. It seems that the food insecure regions, are also the poorest and most remote regions of Nepal (Kamali & Seti).

  2. 2 Tang Yin Hang Phoebe 04/12/2009 at 4:33 pm

    I think these maps are very useful because by comparing this kind of maps with, for example a map of altitude, some regularities can be found out about the trend of security. I found a map of Nepal here http://www.karnadhar.org/nepal_map1.jpg and I think the food scarcity has something to do with the altitude. In high snowy mountains the problem of food scarcity is serious, and also usually in the dark areas facing east. The plains are usually prosperous. I guess that might be due to the sufficient supply of water so that plants can grow easily and animals can be grazed. I think this might help policy-makers on their decision of which area to develop. It is important that policy makers do not make mistakes of developing the wrong area or else it will be difficult to sustain the cities built. With these maps, it will also be easier for governments to make the countries prosperous because the distribution of resources is clearer so that they can be put to good use.

  3. 3 Winkie Fung Wai Yin 06/12/2009 at 10:44 pm

    It’s amazing.

    Take a quick look on this one: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fullMaps_Sa.nsf/luFullMap/0DB9EF329E1A19F085257671005EB4CE/$File/map.pdf?OpenElement
    Instead of mapping the natural disasters within an area, it’s scope covers the Asian-Pacific Region including a number of countries.

    Rather than addressing the problems in a large context, I do think the human security mapping also allows policymakers in differnt countries to cooperate and deal with the global problems more effectively.

  4. 4 Marcus Ho Man KO 09/12/2009 at 10:34 pm

    This map is really somewhat helpful in distributing aid and sending aid workers to places plagued by water and/or water shortage or natural disasters. During the flood in Taiwan several months ago, volunteers set up an interactive map based on Google Map, showing places that needed more aid or had people missing.

    It would be nice if those humanitarian organizations can be organized and put the information on interactive maps and share it with other organizations and the public, so their work won’t overlap with each other and can be more efficient and precise about how and what to deliver. Aid workers can directly report the situation to the public through the map (of course, they have to be coordinated somehow).


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