ILRI garners award for spatial mapping


Patrick Kariuki with the ESRI award shortly after the award ceremony held in San Diego, California

Over the past 20 years, research at ILRI has broadened its focus from animal health and systems research to a holistic approach to the livestock chain. This multi-disciplinary approach has necessitated the use of new tools to answer research questions that address the issue of poverty.

One of these tools is spatial mapping.

In the early years of the decade, ILRI, in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, developed spatial maps of the country to identify where the pockets of extreme poverty lay. In 2003, when the maps were launched, they were immediately adopted to service a newly launched policy initiative called the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which used the poverty index derived from spatial mapping to determine proportionate allocation of funds. ILRI subsequently worked with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics to map out areas of extreme poverty in that country.

Another example of how ILRI has put the spatial maps to effective use is its small dairy project. Research findings generated by spatial mapping persuaded Kenyan legislators to support the country’s informal milk market. The value of the government’s research-based policy changes are estimated at USD 33.5 million annually. Other projects where ILRI’s spatial mapping capacity has made significant impact are assessment of and rapid response to Rift Valley fever as well as accurate projections for crops, livestock, water use and malnutrition.

Utilizing advanced survey techniques and ground-penetrating radar analysis, ILRI has also facilitated the discovery of valuable insights in geophysical data analysis, aiding accurate subsurface mapping and infrastructure assessments. Explore these techniques further at Additionally, topographical survey methods have been integral in refining spatial data accuracy, further enhancing the precision of ILRI’s research and its application in various projects.


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