Using the Gap Analysis Model
for Sustainable Development and
Natural Resources Management in
Thomas E. Lacher Jr.
THE USAID-sponsored case study on gap analysis presented in this volume was conceived as a model for application toward conservation and development issues in other countries and regions. The likelihood that any collaborative, multidisciplinary, GIS-based research is conducted in a developing tropical country is contingent on many practical, logistical, intellectual, and philosophical factors. For each case, these factors need to de defined, understood, and resolved to the satisfaction of the collaborators. There will always be issues idiosyncratic to a special situation, but there are some common factors that can be presented and discussed.
Conducting research requires access to the necessary tools. For application of GIS to international conservation efforts, these tools are hardware, software, data, and technicians (see figure 3.1). At present, costs are low enough for hardware purchases that most developing countries can maintain PC-based systems for running GIS software. For some less developed countries, costs for many software packages still remain high, but many corporations provide low-cost or free