Putting Uganda on the Map

It is hard to believe that I have been in Uganda for three weeks today! Kampala has become home, HOT colleagues have become friends, and the other AidData Summer Fellows have become family.

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Accra: Where Innovation and Tradition Meet

I am thoroughly enjoying my first few weeks here in Accra, Ghana! Besides everything being coated in a thin layer of red- orange dust, the first thing that I noticed about Accra was the smell. The smoke from cooking fires, burning insecticide, and exhaust is striking- not at all unpleasant, but unlike anywhere I have ever been. I’m greeted by this new smell every morning as I walk across the campus at the University of Ghana, Legon. Women sing as they slice fresh watermelon, pineapple, and mango at the market stands that litter campus, taxi’s honk politely to make their presence known, and in the distance you can hear the sound of the main highway that will take you into the center of the city of Accra. I take the dusty orange paths past tall palm trees that tower over the white-washed buildings with terra-cotta roofs.

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Looking forward to a HOT summer

Hello! My name is Taylor and in a little over a month I will be traveling to Kampala, Uganda to work with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).   HOT uses open data for disaster response and socio-economic development by mapping projects around the world and making geocoded data available in OpenStreetMap. As a team member at HOT, the two main components of my work will be 1) analyzing and visualizing data on financial inclusion in Uganda and 2) creating an interactive web map of HOT’s global impact. These deliverables will call attention to gaps in financial services access in Uganda and allow greater engagement with HOT member projects. I am also looking forward to working with project partners from the University of Makerere and Financial Sector Deepening Uganda to assist in GIS training and data analysis activities.

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AidData Summer Fellows- Center for Remote Sensing and Geospatial Information Systems Ghana

Hi Everyone!

My name is Sarah Martin, and this summer I will be working at University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana with the Center for Remote Sensing and Geospatial Information Systems (CERSGIS) to collect geospatial data regarding development projects in Ghana, and use this data to progress their academic and policy research needs. The three main aspects of my work will be 1) locating and coding the coordinates of development projects from local government records, as well as identifying other sources of development data, 2) conducting analyses of the existing project database for academic and policy- based research, and 3) providing training, technical backstopping and mapping services to the National Development Planning Commision (NPDC). Although the exact research questions that I will be examining are yet to be defined by CERSGIS, I hope to gain a further understanding of how to not only construct geospatial databases, but also how to use them to reach scientific conclusions that have specific academic and policy implications. I also hope to hone my GIS and Remote Sensing skills for further use throughout my academic career. Through this project, I will have support from CERSGIS in gaining access to up- to date GIS technology, government records, existing databases, and other sources of development data in Ghana.

AidData Summer Fellows: Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and Pacific

Hello all!

My name is Caroline Davis and in about a month and a half I will be departing to work as an AidData Summer Fellow in Quezon City – the most populous city in the Philippines, nestled in the dense urban jungle that is Metro Manila.  My fellowship is with the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and Pacific (ANSA).  ANSA’s primary goal is to hold the government and development policy practitioners accountable to civil society and to encourage practitioners to act in society’s best interest.  Specifically, I am assigned to work with their Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) initiative.  CPA encourages citizens to audit the policy implementation process and aims to provide a mechanism for citizen feedback in development.  Due to the Philippines’ vulnerability to natural disasters, a good portion of government funding is designated towards disaster relief and prevention, and the allocation of these funds necessitates citizen auditing in order to maximize effectiveness.  This is where I come in – to support this auditing process for disaster-related funding by making available information to facilitate data-driven decisions.  Spatial data made available to citizens, such as risk and beneficiaries mapping as well as maps of government funded infrastructure, can enhance this process of auditing, monitoring and evaluation of government funded projects in the Philippines.

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