The studies were undertaken through funds from the Korean Trust Fund on ICT4D, administered by infoDev. Esri Canada partnered with Geo-Information Communication to conduct the feasibility study in Uganda, and with Interdisciplinary Research Consultants (IdRC) for the Jordan project. The two reports are part of a wider program of work for the World Bank’s Spatial Data Infrastructure for Development (SDI4MDGs) project, which also includes country case studies on Korea and Brazil, and an SDI manual for developing countries.
“Every country has its own unique challenges and capabilities in implementing an SDI,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “A good place to start is to identify best practices already in place and build on those successes. Several factors including policy, human resources, technology infrastructure and funding environment play a role in effectively implementing a national geospatial platform. Building an SDI means sharing; it requires the will to break down barriers and foster cooperation among various stakeholders to make their data widely available so that more people can benefit from it.”
The studies looked at the situation of each of the countries’ existing SDI systems, institutional settings, policy and legal environment, technology and geographic datasets, physical infrastructure, human resources and funding environment. Some common challenges identified were the lack of national regulations and standards in managing geographic data, difficulties in exchanging data, lack of human resources and funding. The reports provide recommendations for addressing each challenge and include lessons learned from both local and international case studies.
“A national spatial data infrastructure is a key development resource, and we’re happy to be able to offer technical assistance in response to requests from countries like Jordan and Uganda,” says Dr. Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist at infoDev and the Task Team Leader for the project. “While the World Bank takes steps to promote an open data, crowdsourcing approach to map-making, this needs to be complemented by a recognition of the role of government as custodians of the basic databases that create development-related content for maps. The World Bank Group will be discussing implementation of national SDIs based on these feasibility studies.”
To access the full reports, visit www.infodev.org/sdi.