Researcher | Consulting

PhD Thesis

Spatial Vulnerability Assessment: Methodology for the community and district level applied to floods in Búzi, Mozambique

My PhD research, which concluded in 2010, has been partly funded through the Munich Re Foundation, University of Salzburg and successfully implemented in Mozambique through the support and collaboration with INGC and PRO-GRC. The key objectives of my PhD have been:

  • To conceptualise vulnerability within a spatio-temporal and multi-dimensional framework which allows the characterisation and definition of a vulnerability assessment for different scale levels
  • To develop a methodology which supports disaster risk reduction measures at the community level through the identification of vulnerability factors and spatially enhanced risk mapping in a participatory manner
  • To develop a methodology for assessing (and with the possibility of monitoring) vulnerability to floods in a multi-dimensional framework for decision making at the district level

The PhD thesis was submitted to the University of Salzburg, Austria and supervised at the Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS) by Prof. Thomas Blaschke. Special thanks go to Peter Zeil for valuable input, Prof. Mark Pelling for the positive review and last but not least the colleagues at CIG-UCM in Beira.


This summary of my PhD provides a short and visual overview of the key topics and findings of my PhD research.

A key outcome of my PhD research has been a ‘Toolbox & Manual: Mapping the vulnerability of communities’ which is available in English, Portuguese and French.



The method I developed was transferred to a variety of community-based engaged NGOs in Assam/India, Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar through a wide range of training activities.

Further information is also available at this website, which is however not anymore maintained:


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