Refresher courses 2009
Sustainable Economic Development and Conditions for Land Administration
Partner: Polytechnic of Namibia
8-19 June 2009
Sustainable economic development policies can benefit from an appropriate land administration system in the country. Many countries are engaged in reengineering land administration to deal with security of land tenure, access to property rights in informal settlement areas, stimulating land market, land redistribution, and land management for development and environmental protection. Land administration implies institutional (including legislation and finance) and technological means to comply with the requirements of good of governance.
Many countries in the Southern African Region are undertaking major reforms in land administration through means such as changing policies, land law-reform and restructuring organisations to cope with the use of appropriate Geo-ICT aligned with organisational objectives.This course created a forum for exchange of experiences of the participants by means of presentations, case studies and discussions among senior professionals and researchers. From these experiences we interactively identified and elaborate aspects and requirements of land administration for sustainable economic development from an academic and practical perspective.
This helps participants to develop a strategic insight in appropriate concepts and methods to adopt land administration (in term of land tenure security for poor, registration processes, sustainability, etc.) in countries from the Southern African region. The course contributed to formal and informal networking and strengthen links between academia and practice.
Impacts of infrastructure and transport - Modelling and mapping for sustainable infrastructure development in an urbanising landscape in West Africa
Partner: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
10-21 August 2009
On 10 August, 27 alumni from ITC and UNESCO-IHE Delft gathered in Kumasi, Ghana, to attend the NUFFIC-sponsored two-week refresher course Impacts of Infrastructure and Transport: Modelling and Mapping Sustainable Infrastructure Development in an Urbanising Landscape in West Africa. This refresher course was organised jointly by the College of Engineering (CoE) of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, and the ITC Departments of Natural Resources (NRS) and Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-information Management (PGM).
The course aimed to bring together professionals from geo-information science, urban and regional planning, natural resources, and transport engineering to discuss the impacts of road infrastructure and transport, especially in relation to the fields of tension and possible trade-offs between natural resources and urban and regional development in infrastructure and transport provision. Geo-information technology is believed to play an important role in the planning and management of infrastructure in rapidly urbanising regions such as West Africa. Lecturers and participants discussed:
• issues of ecological and social sustainability, as well as economic sustainability and its integration in the planning and management of infrastructure and transport systems
• the use of geographical information systems (GIS) and transport models in analysing and mapping the positive (e.g. improved access and community development) and negative (e.g. ecosystem fragmentation) impacts of infrastructure and transport
• the use of geospatial tools for land use planning and site selection for new developments
• the use of spatial analysis tools in selecting and prioritising infrastructure development options in urbanising regions.
At the end of each course day, Ghanaian guest lecturers gave lectures with a local flavour, reflecting on the relevance of the day’s topic for Ghana. A Saturday excursion to Bandai Hills Forest Reserve revealed not only the possible negative impact of urban and infrastructure development on pristine forest areas but also the new chances for local communities when previously inaccessible areas are opened up The last stop of the tour was a good example of this: tourist development at beautiful Lake Bosotwi, where the group enjoyed a nice drink.
Course participants came from as many different backgrounds (e.g. transportation engineering, natural resources, wildlife management, forestry, land economics, geo-informatics and civil engineering) as countries (i.e. Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal and Nigeria). Consequently, discussions among participants and lecturers on the planning of large-scale infrastructure became very lively!
Among the lecturing staff from ITC were Louise van Leeuwen (NRS), Frans van den Bosch (PGM) and Mark Zuidgeest (PGM), while various staff from KNUST also gave lectures and guest lectures. The course, logistics and social activities were very well organised by KNUST staff, especially Professor K. Ampadu (COE), Mr Charles Adams (COE), Professor S. Oppong (FRNR), and their assistants. Our thanks to you all!
Targeting Urban Poverty Alleviation
Partner: All Ethiopians Trained in the Netherlands Higher Education (AETNHEI), Global Urban Observatory (GUO), ICT, Science and Technology Division of the UN Economic Commission for Africa
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
14-26 September 2009
A 12-day refresher course sponsored by NUFFIC and entitled “Targeting Urban Poverty Alleviation” was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 14 to 25 September 2009. The UNCC served as the venue and in total 20 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia completed the course.
The course stemmed from an initiative of Mr Sisay Zenebe from the Dutch Alumni Association (AETNHEI) and was conducted by ITC staff in cooperation with Addis Ababa University (Department of Urban and Regional Planning). The coordination and execution was undertaken by Dr Javier Martínez and Dr Richard Sliuzas (ITC), with support from Dr Fisseha Wegayeh (URP-Addis Ababa University), Mr Alemu Nebebe Mekonnen and Mr Sissay Zenebe (URP-Addis Ababa University). The course was facilitated by André Nonguierma and Girum Asrat of the ICT, Science, and Technology Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The course had the benefit of a valuable contribution from Dr Alphonce Kyessi of Ardhi University, who gave a presentation on poverty alleviation strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Ethiopian case and perspective was presented by Dr Fisseha Wegayeh from Addis Ababa University.
The main topics covered in the course were urban poverty dimensions and alleviation strategies, urban and intra-urban poverty/indicators, global monitoring tools and urban poverty mapping. The content included theoretical and practical approaches to urban poverty assessment and alleviation strategies, with the main focus on developing countries.
In the first week, the participants were exposed to sharing experiences on poverty reduction strategies, as well as remote sensing techniques for the spatial targeting of urban poverty. Within this context, Ms Tsion Lema (Addis Ababa Municipality) gave a presentation on the slum identification project in Addis Ababa. Dr Gora Mboup (chief of the Global Urban Observatory) gave a presentation on urban indicators for monitoring the Habitat agenda and the Millennium Development Goals, with reference to the monitoring tool UrbanInfo. Participants were given the opportunity to present country-based studies. This was very useful and offered new and unique ways of dealing with urban poverty alleviation and reduction. Two excursions were organised during the course: on Wednesday afternoon a visit to the open market area (mercato) in the city centre of Addis Ababa; on Saturday a visit to the neighbouring city of Adama to see a labour-intensive project that uses local materials (so double advantage): the paving of roads with cobblestones.
In the second week, participants concentrated on urban indicators and poverty mapping using GIS. On one day, the participants also attended the ESRI User Conference, where they could follow the present GIS situation in Eastern Africa in relation to planning, land management and economic development. The refresher course was open for half a day as a pre-conference workshop, and welcomed 70 participants. During this workshop, Mr Hilary Kamela shared the main findings of the refresher course and presented a list of challenges related to targeting urban poverty within the African context. Ms Elsa Sereke (Helvetas) presented her research on the urban quality of life and its spatial distribution in Addis Ababa. Finally, and on behalf of Dr Dozie Ezigbalike, chief of UNECA’s Geoinformation Systems Section, André Nonguierma and Girum Asrat gave a presentation on the development of geospatial databases for socio-economic development in Africa.
According to the course evaluation, the course enabled participants to improve their skills and be exposed to ideas and methods that would be useful in their work and particularly in targeting poverty. During the closing ceremony, the participants received a certificate of attendance and a bundle of materials for reference purposes.
Use of low cost earth observation data in environmental and climate monitoring applications: taking further the African Union – AMESD initiative
Partner: Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Research and Training Centre (CGIS-NUR)
5-16 October 2009
This refresher course was conducted at the Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Research and Training Centre (CGIS-NUR), Butare, Rwanda, from 5 to 16 October 2009. CGIS-NUR serves as a national and regional training and research outreach centre of excellence in the field of geographical information systems and remote sensing. Its aim is to promote a spatially literate society by serving as a recognised multidisciplinary training and research centre in GIS and remote sensing technologies and applications, and addressing issues of local, national and regional importance, such as societal and economic transformation and sustainable development.
From the large number of applications for the refresher course (over 170), 28 participants were finally selected. In addition to the NUFFIC sponsorship, funds from the ITC Capacity Building Fund could be utilised. The selected African participants came from Chad (1), Ethiopia (5), Ghana (1), Kenya (4), Sudan (1), Tanzania (1), Uganda (3), Zambia (3), Zimbabwe (1) and Rwanda (8) − mainly from CGIS and various NUR faculties.
The course was designed for mid-career professionals who are active in the field of land and water resources management, governmental staff dealing with meteorology-, environment- and water-related affairs, and lecturers and researchers of relevant departments at African academic institutions.
The course objectives were to:
• provide an update of recent developments supporting environmental and water resources analysis and management and meteorological and climatological monitoring in the African region, and more specifically an update of the contributions of GEONETCast and AMESD
• build on the existing capacity to use remote sensing and GIS in relation to environmental and water resources management issues and linkage to in situ observations
• build capacity in meteorology-, environment- and water resource-related data extraction, data preparation and data exchange using Geo(-IT) tools, such as the GEONETCast toolbox developed as a plug-in under ILWIS 3.6 Open, scripting and batch routines for multi-temporal image processing, and web mapping services for the presentation of results
• apply images and products provided through the GEONETCast environmental data dissemination system, utilising the ground receiving system established at CGIS-NUR in 2006, and develop an own application related to environmental and water resources monitoring.
The course started with an overview of the various international initiatives that are currently being implemented or proposed for the near future in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further information was then provided on GEONETCast, the system infrastructure (including an on-site demonstration), and the images and data products disseminated, and subsequently the capabilities of the GEONETCast toolbox developed under ILWIS 3.6 Open were shown. These lectures were followed by various practical assignments where the participants became further acquainted with the various sources of near real-time information provided.
On the Saturday, there was an excursion to Nyungwe National Park and the Rwanda-Congo border at the southernmost part of Lake Kivu. During this excursion, a visit was also paid to a climatological tower with various measurement devices, and the data recorded by the logger was transferred to a laptop for further assessment of the in situ data later on.
During the first two days of the second week, a guided set of exercises was followed, using images recorded by the SEVIRI instrument onboard Meteosat 9. The purpose was to understand the characteristics of measurements covering different ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, to access the archive and import single event or time series of data, and to apply different, or a combination of, spectral channels for applications related to the environment, meteorology, water resources, disasters and climatology. During the remainder of the course, participants had to develop their own applications using the various images and data products received by the CGIS-NUR GEONETCast ground receiving station. Over 15 different applications were finally presented, covering a wide range of subjects concerning the environment, water resources and climatology. Through developing applications, the participants demonstrated the ability to use the data, perform the analysis, and present the results in the forms of maps, time series animations, and even as a web mapping service for informed (and timely) decision making.
At the conclusion of the course, certificates of attendance were presented by Minister S. Kamanzi from the Rwandan Ministry of Natural Resources, with closing remarks from Ms Bernot Ullerö of the NUFFIC Capacity Building and Scholarships Directorate, the Netherlands. Participants expressed their satisfaction regarding what had been achieved during this refresher course, and a number of participants will try to set up their own GEONETCast ground receiving facilities for work purposes in the future.
Designing and utilizing geo-information infrastructures for effective electronic governance in Eastern Africa (GEOGOV - EA)
Partner: Makarere University (MAK)
12-23 October 2009
Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, hosted the refresher course Designing and Utilising Spatial Data Infrastructures for Effective E-Governance in Eastern and Southern Africa from 12 to 23 October 2009. The course preceded the AfricaGIS 2009 conference. Nineteen participants from seven Eastern and Southern African countries participated.
The course content focused primarily on the governance aspects of information infrastructures and SDI, and on the linkage of more technically oriented views (design) with more socio-organisational and politically oriented views (cultivation) on SDI development. Part of this linkage formed the question of whether to approach SDI organisation from a top-down approach or from a bottom-up approach. Other essential issues dealt with included socio-technical networks, inter-organisational data sharing, cooperation and coordination, and government-citizen interaction.
The Ugandan SDI context became apparent through visits to three organisations in Kampala: one private organisation, GIC, and two from the public sector, NEMA and UBOS. Each organisation was working with spatial data, and was directly or indirectly contributing to the Ugandan SDI. In addition, Bernard Muhwezi of the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics, who is active in forming a platform for SDI development, gave a presentation.
All participants had the opportunity to present and discuss their own experiences during this refresher course. Throughout the deliberations, it became clear that many seeds of SDI and e-governance have already been sown in Southern and Eastern Africa − although interlinking individual initiatives remains an important need. For that reason, at the end of the course the participants formed three open research and educational platforms to continue their common interests in the SDI and e-governance topic within the Eastern and Southern African context.
Innovative approaches to multi-scale landslide hazard and risk assessment
Partner: Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS)
Kandy, Sri Lanka
19 – 30 October 2009
Landslides are ranking as third on the list of causes of natural disasters. Even though individual slope failures are generally not so spectacular and do not cause so much damage as e.g. flood events and earthquakes, they are more widespread and over the years the accumulated damage and number of casualties is enormous. In the past, landslides were not so much regarded as natural disasters because they are often considered as secondary events to earthquakes and tropical storms and typhoons. The damage caused by landslides was not accounted for separately but was attributed to the primary event. This resulted in an underestimation of the importance of landslides.
Recently disaster managers started to recognize landslides as a separate “hazard category” that needs to be addressed by landslide experts within the national disaster management organisations. There is thus a growing demand on landslide expertise. This is particularly the case in Sri Lanka, where landslides are recurring events. With the establishment of a Ministry of Disaster Management after the 2005 tsunami, the demand on landslide expertise increased substantially and organisations dealing with landslide research (e.g. the National Building Research Organisation – NBRO) are constantly looking for highly-trained professionals. This course aims to contribute to these changing staff demands by offering training to approximately 20 - 25 participants and expose them to the latest developments in the field of landslide hazard assessment. It is anticipated that they will return to their home organizations and disseminate and share this new knowledge with their colleagues.