Mapping for Change




Organisers and sponsors

Mapping for Change
International Conference on
Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication

 PGIS '05 - KCCT, Nairobi, Kenya, 7-10 Sept 2005

The conference brought together people with extensive practical experience in Participatory GIS (PGIS) and community mapping in Developing Countries and Canadian First Nations.

The focus of the event has been on sharing experiences and defining good practices for making geographic information technologies and systems available to less-favoured groups in society in order to enhance their capacity in generating, managing and communicating spatial information in the contexts of:

  • asserting ancestral land and resource rights and entitlements;

  • supporting collaborative planning and management of lands and natural resources;

  • promoting equity in terms of ethnicity, culture, gender, environmental justice, hazard mitigation, etc;

  • managing and ameliorating conflicts amongst and between local community groups, and between communities and higher-level authorities or economic forces; and

  • supporting cultural heritage preservation and identity building among indigenous peoples and rural communities.

The conference's objectives included developing and sharing a knowledge base on PGIS practice. The event laid the foundations for the development of regional networks and resource centres.

The following were the outcomes from the conference:

  • Enabling conditions for PGIS practice to function effectively discussed and listed

  • Suitable strategies for establishing such conditions in places where none exists discussed and outlined,

  • Guidelines for sound PGIS practice under different socio-political contexts in developing countries outlined and further discussed on  .

  • Communication channels and facilities (e.g. regional networks) for supporting dissemination and wider adoption of sound PGIS practice identified and terms of reference developed.

The intention of the organisers has been to build on experiences gained in developing countries and Canadian First Nations to develop guidelines on sound PGIS/community mapping practices and to set the foundation for the establishment of regional networks and resource centres.


Organisers and sponsors
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) ACP-EU International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) Ford Foundation

West Virginia University, Office of International Programs and Department of Geology and Geography
UN-HABITAT - United Nations Human Settlements Programme
The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC)
Agricultural and Rural Development
Agricultural & Rural Development
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Mapping for Change

 "Tell me and I'll forget;
show me and I may remember;
involve me and I'll understand."

Mapping is a fundamental way for displaying spatial human cognition

For centuries and increasingly with the advent of modern geo-spatial information technologies, graphic representations of part or the whole of Earth in cartographic, electronic, two or three dimensional formats have been playing significant roles as tools used to storing, displaying and conveying information and as basis of analysis for decision making.


About First Nations

First Nations are the indigenous peoples of Canada. Until the late 1960s, the political system strived to assimilate First Nations them into Canadian culture. Since that time they have gained greater autonomy, yet inadequate access to funding for education, and full recognition of their rights - in particular related to their traditional lands, have been overlooked in many instances.