Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (Volume 25)

Volume 25 of the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC) ventures into new ground for the journal, with a special issue devoted to Participatory Geographical Information Systems and Participatory Mapping. This volume has been edited by Peter Mbile, Senior Editor of the journal, and has been several months in the editing.

The eight articles in this special issue have been selected from papers initially presented at the International Conference on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication: “Mapping for Change”, held in the Kenya College of Communication and Technology in Nairobi, from 7-10 September, 2005. These eight articles comprise one overview, one critical appraisal and six case studies. Two of the case studies are set within an urban environment and four within a rural environment.

The conference focused on Participatory Mapping (PM) and on how Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) is used to add value to PM. PGIS is thus the result of a spontaneous merger of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) methods with Geographic Information Technologies & Systems (GITS), and builds on using combinations of geo-spatial information management tools ranging from sketch maps, Participatory 3D Models (P3DM), aerial photographs, satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to compose peoples’ spatial knowledge in the forms of virtual or physical, 2 or 3 dimensional maps used as interactive vehicles for spatial learning, discussion, information exchange, analysis, advocacy and decision making.

The focus of the event was sharing experiences and defining good practices for making GITS available to less-favoured groups in rural and urban settings in order to enhance their capacity in generating, managing and communicating spatial information in the contexts of: habitations; natural resources management; rights and entitlements; equity; social justice, hazard mitigation, conflict management and communicating within local community groups, and with higher-level authorities or economic forces.

The main outcomes of the conference included developing and sharing a knowledge base on PGIS practice, as well as laying down the foundation for the development of regional networks and resource centres. Tangible lessons learned include: Enabling conditions for PGIS practice to function effectively in developing countries; suitable strategies for establishing such conditions in places where none exists; guidelines for sound PGIS practice under different socio-political contexts in developing countries; the need for better communication channels and facilities (e.g. regional networks) for supporting dissemination and wider adoption of sound PGIS practice.

The conference was attended by one hundred and sixty participants from over 50 countries drawn from six continents including the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ocean islands.

The conference was made possible courtesy of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) ACP-EU; The International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC); The Christensen Fund; The Ford Foundation; the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); GIS for Developing Countries (GISDECO) Network; The International Land Coalition; UN-HABITAT - United Nations Human Settlements Programme; The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF); Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD). Contributions also came from the Environmental Research, Mapping, and Information Systems in Africa (ERMIAS Africa) and West Virginia University, Office of International Programs and Department of Geology and Geography.

The Editors of the EJISDC wish to acknowledge the contributions of Giacomo Rambaldi, Prof. Mike McCall, Prof. Peter Kyem Kwaku, Prof. Daniel Weiner, Peter Minnang, Dr Alex Awiti, Prof. Francis Koti, Julius Muchemi and Dr Ravi Prabhu for their invaluable contributions towards reviewing the articles in this volume.

Table of Contents

Research Papers

Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication in Developing Countries Abstract PDF
Giacomo Rambaldi, Peter A. Kwaku Kyem, Mike McCall, Daniel Weiner  
Participatory Mapping and Geographic Information Systems: Whose Map? Who is Empowered and Who Disempowered? Who Gains and Who Loses? Abstract PDF
Robert Chambers  
Monitoring and Evaluating Land Use/ Land Cover Change Using Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) Tools: A Case Study of Begasheka Watershed, Tigray, Ethiopia Abstract PDF
Ermias Aynekulu, Welday Wubneh, Emiru Birhane, Nigussu Begashaw1  
Community Resource Mapping in Sustainable Natural Resource Management: A Case Study of SW Uganda Abstract PDF
Beatrice B. Nabwire, Meshack Nyabenge  
Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Participatory Mapping of Community Forest in NEPAL Abstract PDF
Him Lal Shrestha  
Participatory Mapping for Local Management of Natural Resources in Villages of the Rufiji District (Tanzania) Abstract PDF
Stephanie Duvail, Olivier Hamerlynck, Revocatus X. L. Nandi, Pili Mwambeso, Richard Elibariki  
6a. Figure 1 Abstract PDF
6b. Figure 2 Abstract PDF
6c. Figure 3 Abstract PDF
6d. Figure 4 Abstract PDF
Using PGIS to Conduct Community Safety Audits Abstract PDF
Gerbrand G. Mans  
(Re) Defining Peri-Urban Residential Space Using Participatory GIS in Kenya Abstract PDF
Francis Koti, Daniel Weiner