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Community Based Rangeland Management and Climate Change Resilience – Dylan Groves (Geo4Dev 2018)

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Dylan Groves is a third year Ph.D. student in comparative politics and international relations at Columbia University, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is a Principal Investigator and Research Manager at Innovations for Poverty Action, and is currently working on field experiments in Namibia and Tanzania. He has field experience in Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, and Uganda.

Dylan Grove’s talk is titled: Community Based Rangeland Management and Climate Change Resilience – Experimental Evidence from Namibia. This paper reports findings of a randomized controlled trial evaluating a multi-faceted intervention to improve climate change resilience and livestock productivity in Namibia‚Äôs semi-arid Northern Communal Areas. Between 2011 and 2014, the intervention drilled or improved water points and provided financial incentives and technical support for grazing area committees in 58 grazing areas clustered in 21 randomly selected Rangeland Intervention Areas (RIAs). To test ecological outcomes, the evaluation team collected thousands of ground-based measures of rangeland health and productivity in 2016 and 2017, including biomass production, herbaceous and litter cover, and soil stability. The evaluation used these data to ground truth satellite-based NDVI measures, which were allowed the team to establish a 2010 baseline, measure spillovers, and assess seasonal variation in treatment effects between 2010 through 2017. The evaluation will also use the model to track ecological outcomes through 2025. Preliminary findings suggest that the intervention had moderately negative effects on rangeland condition, which comports with survey findings that water point development attracted farmers from outside the grazing area and increased grazing intensity.

The 2nd Annual Symposium on Geospatial Analysis for International Development (Geo4Dev) focused on geospatial research that addresses climate- and conflict-driven migration and humanitarian response. This includes observation and modeling of migration and human settlement patterns (in response to climate or conflict stressors), as well as the design and evaluation of interventions for humanitarian crises, mass migration, and community resilience.

Geo4Dev is a yearly event focused on the use of novel geospatial data and analytic techniques to address issues of poverty, sustainable development, urbanization, climate change, and economic growth in developing countries and beyond. This includes a particular emphasis on the use of emerging geo-tagged big data, including satellite, social media, and CDR datasets.

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