Odero (2005). Livelihood Characterisation of South Sudan
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The longstanding conflict in South Sudan has led to a heavy reliance on a fragmented knowledge base. Current reconstruction and recovery activities impose the urgent need of a unified and a systematic knowledge base to identify livelihood opportunities and constraints and development priorities. The increased availability of spatially-continuous datasets provides an opportunity to create a spatial database to meet this need. A considerable effort has been dedicated on developing livelihood zones since the 1950s but there are still gaps. In this paper we use ArcGIS to generate a dataset comprising 10 physiographic zones based on five raster datasets: agroclimatology (length of growing period), digital elevation model, USGS land cover, NDVI and FAO Soils of the World. These new zones attempt to bridge the knowledge gap and improve our understanding of the spatial distribution of physiographic characteristics, which are key determinants of livelihoods. In addition, it provides a primary spatial database that can readily be combined with formal surveys to refine livelihoods, conduct vulnerability analysis and identify constraints and opportunities for development programmes. The paper concludes with a discussion of how the map could be used for both contingency and development planning and priority setting.