Feasibility Reports for a National Spatial Data Infrastructure in Uganda & the Kingdom of Jordan Now Available

Reports Cite Effective Policy, Data Sharing & Cooperation as Key Requirements for Building a Successful SDI   

TORONTO – January 31, 2012 – Esri Canada today announced the successful completion of feasibility studies for building a national Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) in Uganda and the Kingdom of Jordan. The results and recommendations from each study have been published by infoDev, as part of a World Bank project on using SDIs to monitor development outcomes.

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.


About infoDev
infoDev is a global partnership program in the Financial and Private Sector Development Network of the World Bank Group. Its mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable, inclusive growth and employment in developing countries. For more information, visit infodev.org.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from Esri, Telvent, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the top 250 Canadian IT companies and top 25 IT professional services providers in Canada by the Branham Group.  Information about Esri Canada can be found at esri.ca.

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