Geospatial Evaluation of Sustainable Development: Analysing a Sample of a Successful Social Safety Net

  •  Giribabu Dandabathula    
  •  Sudhakar Ch. Reddy    
  •  Chandrika Mohapatra    
  •  Peddineni V.V Prasada Rao    


Sustainable Development (SD) not only ensures addressing the root cause of poverty but also helps in achieving the wellness of society. Protecting the natural resources for current and future generations is the main goal of the SD process. In recent times, developing countries have initiated social safety nets (SSNs) for poverty elimination and to achieve the SD goals through public works. The Government of India has initiated numerous development projects aimed to achieve SD and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is one of them. The research objective of this article is to harness the power of geospatial technology for evaluating the public works under MGNREGA at a district level. The proposed research method utilizes the power of remote sensing data with a very high spatial and temporal resolution to monitor the development activities at the grass root level. Satellite based land-use maps, indices, and publicly available web based geospatial information systems have been used in this investigation to assess the changes that have occurred due to the community-level planned activities. The findings from this research confirm that MGNREGA has the potential to accrue multiple dividends at all the three pillars of SD, i.e., economic development, social development, and environmental protection. It was proved from this research that public works under MGNREGA besides providing the wage based employment to the beneficiaries resulted in improved water conservation and harvesting facilities in the study area and in return, these facilities acted as a catalyst for improved agricultural productivity.

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