Non-Governmental Developmental Organisations in Africa

The Use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) And International Technology Transfer by Non-Governmental Developmental Organisations in Africa ABSTRACT This Research work is based on the Use of Geographic Information system (GIS) and international technology transfer to Developing Countries (Africa) by Non-Governmental Development organisation. NGDO are involved in initiating and Implementing development projects in Developing Countries. They discover that with the use of GIS in their projects, scarce resources could be appropriately distributed using GIS system for the intervention measures identified.

The GIS Technology seen by NGDO playing a role in improving decision making and planning (Mather1997); used the new mapping technology to assist in agricultural development throughout the third world (CIRAD 1994); seen playing a leading role in environmental assessment in the third world (World bank); GIS seen as technology that remove the 'political' from the decision making process and allows for an equitable and fair distribution of resources.

GIS has many problems both at the development stages and the implementation and use. Some of the problems included: Data Capture, Data access, National infrastructures, Organisational issues (such as Management acceptance, Top management involvement, GIS users participation); also funding sustainable development and appropriate technology transfer are issues of concern.

Recommendation made to overcome such problems included: appropriate participation at all stages of development and use by all GIS users; development of prototypes, incremental (phase) implementation. GIS has many benefits: rational planning, Monitory of trends of disease prevalence, Integration of Data and geo-information from diverse sources (aerial photography, GPs, satellites, survey data, routine data, data from conventional maps); accurate and timely information ; Mapping of social and physical information.

GIS technology transfer should be an incremental approach: Initial phase, orientation, sensitisation programmes, developing technical capacities, training and workshops, establishing of provisional teams to ensure sharing of resources, data and information across line agencies and other government departments, establishment of national system to supported and promoted by international organisations. A piece of equipment, technique, practical knowledge or skills for performing a particular activity".

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: " The broad set of processes covering the exchange of knowledge, money and goods amongst different stakeholders that lead to the spreading of technology for adapting to both for diffusion of technology and cooperation across and within countries. DEVELOPMENT: "To expand or realise the potential of; bring gradually to a fuller, greater or better state"(New college edition of American Heritage Dictionary)

DEVELOPMENT: According to Ingham (1995) "Development is a much broader concept of human welfare, with important social, political and cultural implications. " SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: "To strike a balance in response to continually changing conditions with respect to the principal components that collectively contribute to the welfare of society, namely: the promotion of acceptable forms of economic development, the fulfilment of social needs and the achievement, protection and maintenance of satisfactory environmental condition". (Pryor andChu1997)

"Sustainable Development in a country is a process by which decisions are taken about resources use to provide for both the short and long term needs of its people. This process will allow the people to realise their full potential and provide for a healthy environment and enjoyable quality of life". (www. info. gov. hk/planning/p-study SOCIAL INERTIA: "the resistance to change in organisations in relation to information systems" (Keen1981) CULTURE: "An integrating system of learned behaviour patterns that are characteristic of the members of any given society.

It includes everything that a group thinks, says, does and markets it customs, language, material artefacts and shared systems of attitudes and feelings " Bailey R. E. (2001) DATABASE: "an organised, integrated collection of data stored so as to be capable of use by relevant applications with the data being accessed by different logical paths. Theoretically it is application-independent, but in reality it is rarely so. DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (DBMS): "a collection of software for organising the information in a database.

Typically a DBMS contains routines for data input, verification, and storage. Retrieval and combination DATASET: "A named collection of logically related features arranged in a prescribed manner, for example, all water features. A dataset has more internal structure than a layer and is related to another dataset only by position. DIGITISING: "The process of converting analogue maps and other sources to a computer readable form" EPIDEMIOLOGY: " the study of the spread of disease throughout population in particular areas"

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATON: "Information, which can be related to a location (defined in terms of point, area or volume) on earth, particularly information on natural phenomena, cultural and human resources special case of spatial information" LOCATIONAL REFERENCE: "the means by which information can be related to a specific spatial positions or location" RASTER DATA: "Data expressed as an array of pixels, with spatial position implicit in the ordering of the pixels" REMOTE SENSING: "The technique of obtaining data about the environment and the surface of the earth from a distance, for example from aircraft or satellites"