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Panama City, PANAMA: GIS for International Development Experience
May 11 - 30, 2014
Instructor: Julie Hernandez
International Development scholars and practitioners nowadays would be hard-pressed to find a Request for Proposal that does not include a GIS component, be it for targeting programmatic activities, collecting geo-referenced data, monitoring impact, evaluating accessibility of structures and services or selecting new operational sites. Mastering the skills necessary for spatial data collection, analysis and display skills is thus a significant competitive advantage in developing and implementing IDEV, Public Health, Urban Planning or Environmental projects.
However, while in Geographic Information Systems developed in Europe and the U.S are often very expensive and technically esoteric affairs, their transfer into resources-limited contexts requires significant flexibility, creativity and a what’s-the-end-game approach to tailor data collection, input, analysis and display processes that will produce adequate and relevant data for each specific issue.
This course proposes to introduce the students to the basic principles and skills necessary to operate GIS into producing consistent, relevant and quality information in a developing environment.
We will especially focus on how open-source GIS (QGIS, SIGEpi Google Earth, Ushahidi) can be mobilized in association with other cost-effective and user-friendly software (Office suite, OpenDataKit, KoBo Surveys) to design routine and strategic information systems, adapted to the needs and constrains of developing contexts.
The course will be organized to support individual Panama-based GIS projects designed and implemented by each students, with an emphasis on critically approaching the tools, skills and processes mobilized to complete these projects, in order to offer original GIS solutions that will go beyond the punctual “technofix” and could be scaled-up and replicated elsewhere in the developing world.
- See more at: http://payson.tulane.edu/summerinst/geographic-information-systems-gis-international-development-experience