Tech4Dev – Participatory GIS and rural mobility

Research grant in collaboration between CEAT and the NGOs World Bicycle Relief and Nepal Flying Labs

This project “A Participatory GIS Toolkit for Transportation Needs Assessments in Rural Areas” proposes an open-source, participatory mapping toolkit aimed at rural communities. It is intended to guide development planners and policy-makers in identifying transportation needs and barriers in marginalized areas. Because the toolkit adapts existing mapping tools to make them more user-friendly, this project tackles a significant barrier (tech-literacy) to the implementation of participatory geographic information systems (PGIS).

The toolkit aims to facilitate both collecting and sharing geodata required to evaluate the accessibility, utilization and sustainability of mobility options. The project includes the current development of a WebGIS platform to store, display and analyse geographic data.

This is the first time that the proposed tools are combined and applied in the context of a transportation needs assessment in rural areas. The user feedback obtained in this research is essential to the improvement of these tools, and to make them more accessible for a wider range of users. The PGIS toolkit was iteratively implemented in Kenya and Nepal. In selected locations, rural communities face critical development issues such as the availability, accessibility and quality of water, food and health care coverage.

Regarding the scalability of the PGIS toolkit, the next steps after this proof-of-concept will be to employ the toolkit in different contexts, continuing to enhance its functionalities to make it suitable for other potential users in development organizations.

Scientific outputs

Journal articles

Multi-Level Participatory GIS Framework to Assess Mobility Needs and Transport Barriers in Rural Areas: A Case Study of Rural Mumias East, a Sub-County of Kakamega, Kenya

PGIS platform

Usafiri: store, map and analyse spatial datasets with communities

General information

Team: Pablo de Roulet, Jean-Claude Baraka MunyakaUttam Pudasaini, Alisha Myers, Vitor Pessoa Colombo, Jérôme Chenal

Contact: Pablo de Roulet
Funding: EPFL and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)