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Corresponding Author

Suzanne C. Walther

Abstract

Geographic information systems, through analysis and visualizations, can aid in pursuing and improving sustainable development. Thousands of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in developing countries provide a wide range of services and local organizations with fewer resources must often be more efficient to offer their services effectively. The accessibility of spatial data for assessment and, in turn, improved planning could enable these organizations to increase efficiency, thereby maximizing aid and sustainable development, as well as the number of people helped in a variety of ways. Focusing on mapping outreach and quantifying land use for a locally run NGO in Nepal, this study mapped and established a geodatabase of ongoing and completed outreach projects, as well as quantified land use using an unmanned aerial vehicle to gather high-resolution imagery at the site. The NGO, a grassroots foundation south of Kathmandu, provides workshops and funding for sustainable and empowerment projects and opportunities for learning through workshops. They were also able to provide significant disaster relief to surrounding communities following the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. We found that most programs are spatially centered near the foundation, with some programs reaching across districts. Land use at the foundation is predominantly biodynamic gardening followed by education (classrooms). We created a Story Map to share the results with the NGO and local community. The study provides baseline data for the organization that previously had none, with the goal of maximizing efficiency and ultimately increasing capacity.

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