ULP GIS Mapping Project: Executive Summary

In efforts to effectively carry out the work being done in Agbobloshie-Accra within the scope of the Urban Lifeline Project (ULP), SISS needed to gain a better understanding of the prevailing conditions on the ‘ground’. A decision making support tool was needed to access past and present activities, and aid in efficient planning and execution of interventions.
A Geographic Information System (GIS) was chosen as the most appropriate tool for this task. GIS provides visual aids to represent data and features (spatial). A GIS also harnesses the power of a background database and offers dynamic information viewing and sharing.

Spatial Thinking

Prior to the ULP Mapping exercise Government and other agencies had no precise data on Agbobloshie and only vague estimates were used. Orientation within the slum was also poor because no maps existed for the densely populated area. Making decisions based on demographic conditions was also non-existent. Presently, SISS has been able to complete the mapping exercise and processed the base data; which includes the location of all public and private enterprises, roads, health centers, sanitation facilities, educational institutes and religious bodies in the area. Latest by October 2009, data (that SISS has collected and now processing) will be available on personal demographics, population distribution/density, individual housing and sleeping patterns.

Benefits Include:

  • Resulting system/information can be used at organizational and individual levels to allocate service providers.
  • Targeting of intervention by field teams from organizations
  • Tracking trainees and micro-finance beneficiaries (system helps avoid biasing)
  • Using spatial queries to select target groups for intervention schemes

Global Benefits:

  • Help decision/policy makers plan and strategize future intervention schemes for the area.
  • As a forerunner study in this field within the West African sub-region, other slum service providers can learn from the methodology used and results to aid in their respective programs.