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GIS and GPS capacity-building for development organisations working with the urban poor

Geospatial technology can benefit development organisations by giving them the ability to map their own projects; while also providing a graphic communication platform between professions, other organisations, donors, government ministries, and the populations that they serve – improving overall efficiency and effectiveness. While the use of maps to share information has the potential to become the lingua franca across the development sector; small organisations that simply do not have the resources to dedicate staff time to capacity-building – using commonly available guidelines – become isolated from this growing geospatial community. This study investigated the challenges and successes of a GIS & GPS capacity-building programme carried out in July 2010, designed for technical and managerial staff working on water and sanitation projects in the informal settlements of Kibera (Nairobi). Assessment of the training programme revealed that basic mapping skills could be successfully transferred to the project staff; giving them the capacity to use geospatial technology to better plan, design, implement and evaluate their projects. Key to successful skill-transfer was attributed to the fact that the training materials were specifically developed around a project they were all working on, and was therefore of direct relevance and benefit to their work. While the in-country phase of this research did not last long enough to assess the long term impact of this capacity building, there was however evidence that the capacity building was likely to have a lasting and positive impact. Skill sharing between trainees during the course suggested that further in-house training was possible, while the use of different versions of GIS software suggested that the training material could be adapted to other versions or brands of software. Some trainees also produced maps beyond the scope of the syllabus, suggesting successful knowledge transfer and the potential application of geospatial technology to other projects in the future. [authors abstract]

TitleGIS and GPS capacity-building for development organisations working with the urban poor
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsWaterkeyn, M.C.
Pagination52 p.; 8 fig.; 2 tab.; refs.
PublisherS.n.
Place PublishedS.l.
Keywordscapacity, capacity building, geographical factors, information management, poverty, storage capacity, urban areas, urban communities
Abstract

Geospatial technology can benefit development organisations by giving them the ability to map their own projects; while also providing a graphic communication platform between professions, other organisations, donors, government ministries, and the populations that they serve – improving overall efficiency and effectiveness. While the use of maps to share information has the potential to become the lingua franca across the development sector; small organisations that simply do not have the resources to dedicate staff time to capacity-building – using commonly available guidelines – become isolated from this growing geospatial community. This study investigated the challenges and successes of a GIS & GPS capacity-building programme carried out in July 2010, designed for technical and managerial staff working on water and sanitation projects in the informal settlements of Kibera (Nairobi). Assessment of the training programme revealed that basic mapping skills could be successfully transferred to the project staff; giving them the capacity to use geospatial technology to better plan, design, implement and evaluate their projects. Key to successful skill-transfer was attributed to the fact that the training materials were specifically developed around a project they were all working on, and was therefore of direct relevance and benefit to their work. While the in-country phase of this research did not last long enough to assess the long term impact of this capacity building, there was however evidence that the capacity building was likely to have a lasting and positive impact. Skill sharing between trainees during the course suggested that further in-house training was possible, while the use of different versions of GIS software suggested that the training material could be adapted to other versions or brands of software. Some trainees also produced maps beyond the scope of the syllabus, suggesting successful knowledge transfer and the potential application of geospatial technology to other projects in the future. [authors abstract]

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