PEOPLES INVOLVEMENT IN MAPPING

People’s involved in development is not something new in Tanzania, the first president of the nation once “If real development is to take place, the people have to be involved.” Working with community members today really reminded me of this wonderful quote. As walked with a group of community members to map one of the six sub wards and the biggest, I was first struck by how community members in our training went on explaining the what the exercise was all about and one community member responded, “Baada ya kumaliza kuchora ramani mturejeshee  sisi ili tuweze kuona ni jinsi gani jamii yetu inavyo kaa (When you finishing drawing the maps, bring them back to us so that we can see how our community look likes)”.

In an open society like that of Tanzania people have culture of being represented by elected people at the grass root and government has a good network of communicating with people. Therefore involving people and government agencies become gateway to success of starting community initiative. By the end of day, the government is the biggest investor in putting up infrastructure needed required for ICT development in most countries.

The use of ICT gadgets like Global Positioning System, modern video and user friendly digital cameras make it easier for people to want to use them in making and sharing information. By presenting what Ushahidi platform and its wonders, people in Tandale were eager to go out to map their community and tell their own stories.  A university Amuri has today designed his blog (nyarpress.blogspot.com) page to tell stories about his community back in DCR.

Having advanced ICT drives people from sharing and accessing information. Looking back at and the most publicize Kenya Open Data website which is more relevant to researchers than ordinary citizens. Open information data need to be open and not hidden in technicalities and boring presentation. A presentation like  this video demonstrates the inherent appeal of the idea shows us an appealing way of sharing information using technology can attract feelings and need for action.

Lesson Learnt: The key to people generating, sharing information in the community is dependent on how user friendly the technology be used and how it is presented.

Simon

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