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Plan for the most vulnerable

Step 6

Assess, learn and enrich the data for territorial knowledge, and communicate on possible contributions


A continuous evaluation, apprenticeship and communication process should be set up to follow the elaboration of urban database.

Le domaine de la cartographie bénéficie d’une forte dynamique d’essaimage, avec des supports libres (OpenStreetMap), des communautés d’apprentissage, et des outils de collecte de données (Ushahidi par exemple) pour lesquels les bailleurs de fonds internationaux et agences de coopération peuvent soutenir l’investissement et l’appropriation.

Mapping enjoys strong spin-off dynamics, with free software (OpenStreetMap), learning communities and data collection tools (Ushahidi for example), the investment in and appropriation of which can be supported by international donors and cooperation agencies.

While drawing up a GIS GIS Geographic information system: system designed to gather, store, process, analyse, manage and display all types of spatial and geographic data may seem complex at first sight, there are support structures that allow gradual skills enhancement of the different departments within the local authority: IT service in charge of the databases, people in charge of the land registry map and civil defence, etc.

Using digital technology to make planning decisions favourable to the most vulnerable neighbourhoods is a first stage in adopting a broader approach of collaborative production of spatial knowledge. Ensure collection and mapping system monitoring by digital tools, means engaging in the digitalizing of spatial knowledge.

This process of familiarisation and learning also takes place among civil society stakeholders. The participatory mapping exercises reinforce the knowledge of the population, as well as their capacity to interact with the local authority, on the basis of objective information that structures social demand. The presence of NGOs enables the transformation of the data produced by the inhabitants into tools that can be used by the local authorities and, reciprocally, serve as relays towards the population.

Suggestion box

Examples of performance indicators for digital planning

  • Number of neighbourhoods mapped participatively and quantity of information listed.
  • Increase in the number of contributors on OpenStreetMap.
  • Enriching of the database of at-risk infrastructure.
  • Number of subscribers to a feed, page, or alarm network.
  • New partnerships with urban operators for the geolocalisation of public facilities.

Putting precarious neighbourhoods “on the map”, taking an inventory of vulnerable facilities and infrastructure is a first step towards acknowledging certain lacks in public action. For these tools to be really useful to the authorities, they must also be convinced that this “informal city” contributes to the overall running of the city.

To make such a system sustainable requires the implementation of a communication strategy for data production to inform public decision-making; for citizens to be informed about monitoring mechanisms, trusting of public data management and able to update the data.

Practical exercise

Evaluate and communicate on digital change in the domain of local planning and risk management tools

Choose one indicator that is significant, measurable and adjustable

How can data-based planning improve public action?

  • By reducing human and material losses in the event of a natural disaster?
  • By accelerating emergency response procedures, or the regularisation of precarious neighbourhoods?
  • By enhancing territorial databases?
  • By increasing data availability for third party stakeholders?

Communicate and reassure about the uses that will be made of data and maps

  • What fears may the vulnerable population have about a census?
  • What fears may the institutional stakeholders have about sharing their data?
  • What is the guarantee framework the local authority must make public?
  • What are the types and degrees of access to be granted to various planning data?

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