Micro-level Mapping

Sorry for my absence! The last few weeks of my time in Uganda were a whirlwind of meetings, navigating a crazy city, and going on an awesome safari.

I began this nutrition-tracking project by making contacts in Kampala. I was vaguely aware of a stakeholder mapping project that SUN focal people in Uganda were undertaking, but I had no idea how to get involved. So I would go and find emails of nutrition experts in various reports about Uganda’s nutrition status on the internet and ask to meet with them. Sometimes the meetings were encouraging and sometimes it was hard to feel like I was making any progress.  Slowly but surely, one person would lead me to another and as I connected with people from academia, NGOs, and UN agencies, I learned more and more about the mapping project undertaken by Renewed Effort Against Child Hunger (REACH), the Office of the Prime Minister’s implementing agency for Scaling Up Nutrition.  Several nutrition focal people in Kampala were collaborating on the terms of reference for a REACH consultant. Their strategy is basically sending the consultant into four “early riser” districts in Uganda, compile a list of nutrition implementing agencies with a district official, and conduct extensive interviews with these implementing partners. The goal is to understand not only the activities of these nutrition interventions, but also learn about the capacity of these partners to actually carry out their activities. This detailed mapping process provides a micro-level, local context for the Office of the Prime Minister. This kind of information is crucial for aid allocation because OPM wants to know not only where nutrition investments are currently active, but how well they’re working.

Once I learned about the details of this process, I was especially eager to involve AidData’s geocoding methodology. AidData has the potential to complement the REACH consultant’s work with an efficient data collection method and a macro-visualization of nutrition activities. I knew that each method had strengths and weaknesses, but going about integrating the two seemed daunting, especially when I was still unsure of who could help me.

More to come!


-Emily Mahoney