Spatial Analysis of Livelihood Assets of Rural Households (Case Study: Buin Zahra Township)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate in Geography and Rural Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Geography and Rural Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Geography & Rural Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Poverty is one of the most important challenges with which humankind was always faced.  Villagers are one of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in societies, especially in the third world. Accordingly, providing a livelihood in human societies is one of the biggest challenges of planning, particularly in rural communities, which are the focus of the poor people in developing countries. Livelihood involves activities, assets, and accesses that are jointly determined by individual or rural households living condition. According to the livelihood approach empowerment and the interference power of villagers in their individual and social activities are linked to sustainable livelihoods framework. These criteria affect the livelihood strategies of rural households and has significant role in subsistence and livelihood sustainability. By increasing the level of access to different types of assets dependent on the livelihood and control of them, the poor will be able to provide their basic needs and they can create alternative livelihood choices. These assets comprise a livelihood concept. According to these issues, the present study is to examine the capital and assets of poor villagers seeking to analyze spatial state of livelihood assets in the villages of Buin Zahra Township. This is to answer these questions: how is the spatial distribution of livelihood assets in the studied villages? What level are livelihood assets in the villages of Buin Zahra Township? Is there any difference between villages of study area in livelihood assets? Which of the livelihood assets in the villages of the study is more desirable?
This study is an applied research with descriptive- analytical methodology. Data were collected by documentary study (Books, Articles and Reports) and field surveys (Questionnaire, Observation, and Interview). The required data were collected using a questionnaire form and interviewing with 532 people (the Cochran formula was used for sampling) from 40 villages in Buin Zahra Township. To analyze the data, we have applied descriptive statistics (Mean, Frequency) and comparative statistics (Correlation Coefficient, One Sample T-test, and ANOVA). In order to evaluate and analyze the assets, we have used the Moran and Gi spatial statistics method and kriging. Validity of the questionnaire was examined by a pre-test and was approved after correction. The reliability of the questionnaire was also evaluated by the Cronbach’s alpha test in the SPSS software. The value was 0.88 for the reliability.  
In general, in order to measure the level of livelihood assets and their spatial distribution, in the sample society, dimensions of livelihood assets were identified in six variables in social, institutional, human, natural, physical, financial aspects.
Results and discussion
Investigating the individual characteristics of respondents shows that the average age of individuals is 45.97 years old, among them 2 percent male and the rest are women. According to the education level, 33.1% of the respondents are illiterate, 16.5% are elementary, 27.3% are secondary, and 23.1% are under-graduate. In terms of household size, the average size of household’s members is 2.61 and the maximum number of members is from 7 to 5. The descriptive results of the study showed that the livelihood assets of the villagers were on the moderate and lower levels. According to the one sample t-test of villager’s perspective, only social asset was evaluated at the desired level. One-way ANOVA was used to determine the variability of villages in terms of assets that the test results indicate that there is a significant difference between the studied villages in terms of assets evaluation. The test results show that Zein-Abad rural district had the lowest livelihood assets. One-way variance analysis test was used to find the different assets in the study villages. The results showed that the social asset has better conditions in the studied villages and human asset is undesirable. Non-parametric analysis of the correlation between social, physical, human, financial, natural and institutional assets in the studied villages indicates a direct relationship between livelihood assets.
The mapping data generated in relation to livelihood assets indicate that in terms of livelihood assets, the central district of Buin Zahra township has a desirable condition and the south and southeast and the west areas has undesirable conditions. The hot spots map also confirms that the hot spots located in the central district are in the south-east and south-west areas in the whole south of Buin Zahra Township.
This study has analyzed the spatial distribution of livelihoods in villages of Buin Zahra Township. According to the research results, the social assets of the villages are in a good condition. The same assessments can be used to improve other assets; because rural development programs can be better fulfilled and implemented with cooperation and participation of villagers. According to the kriging-based maps for south-eastern villages (some villages of Zahraye-Paein rural district) and villages of Zein-Abad rural district, social asset promotion programs should be carried out through participation of people in decision-making and implementation of employment plans and village executive activities through rural municipality and village councils. According to the maps of the studied villages and the results of the one - way variance analysis, human assets among other assets are in a undesirable condition. This is a major weakness in the region; especially in the eastern and southern regions of Buin Zahra Township.  The program should be funded by relevant institutions including the education and vocational education of the province in cooperation with the local management. Therefore, people in agriculture and livestock will have sufficient education and skill.  By holding entrepreneurial education, they may teach people to be creative and innovative in the fields of farming jobs as dominant method of livelihood of villagers. Moreover, rural households are able to earn more money and have a sustainable livelihood and less vulnerable risks. 


Main Subjects

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