Characterizing the spatio-temporal dynamics of social vulnerability in Burkina Faso

A comparison of Principal Component Analysis with Equal Weighting

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Global climate change has results in a higher frequency of extreme disaster events and is therefore a serious challenge in disaster impact management. Disaster risk is composed of several components, such as vulnerability, susceptibility, exposure and the probability of occurence and intensity of a hazard. Vulnerability has become a topical issue due to the major role it plays in disaster risk reduction strategies. Hence, this research focuses on the development of a method to understand the dynamics of social vulnerability. The study area comprises Burkina Faso. Therefore the following research question was developed: 'how to calculate a social vulnerability index for Burkina Faso that characterizes the spatial and temporal dynamics of social vulnerability"?"

The results showed that despite drawbacks, principal component analysis provides good insight in de internal and externaly dynamics of social vulnerability. However, large differences are found in the ranking of the social vulnerability score of communes when other methods are used. Hence, it is deemed important to develop more research in the semantic meaning of social vulnerability an thus understand better which mathicmatical approach is the most suitable.

This research has found the highest social vulnerability in communes prone to conflict which are hosting many IDPs in the North, Centre-Nord, Sahel and East of the country. A statistically significant increase of social vulnerability was found from 2015 - 2017 in Boucle du Mouhoun, the Nord and the Centre-Nord.