Participatory GIS in Empowering Rural Communities: A Framework for Iterative Development and Evaluation.

Participatory GIS in Empowering Rural Communities: A Framework for Iterative Development and Evaluation.

This is a Report for the 6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Leipzig, Germany, July 1-5.

The paper proposes that participatory GIS empowers rural communities to visualize and understand various problems facing them and their solutions. Such systems however need to be easy-to-use and effective to deliver their intended benefits. Towards this goal, GIS needs to be simplified so that it can be used by villagers without much technical assistance from experts outside their communities. Whilst there have recently been some efforts in this direction, GIS that would provide this kind of simplified functionality is still rudimentary. A framework for iterative development and evaluation of such systems is described.

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