How are the maps being used in the wards?

April 18, 2016

[:en]Guest post by Mercedes Hoffay, Master of Public Administration Candidate – Columbia University

All policy students are obsessed with the effectiveness and feasibility of policies and programs that governments implement. So when we find a tool that allows significant efficiency gains in government planning, we are thrilled. That is how we felt when we embarked on our Graduate Capstone Project to evaluate the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s work in Tanzania and their role in Dar Ramani Huria.

Let me introduce ourselves: we are six Masters students from Columbia University, studying Public Administration, International Affairs and Public Health, all of us from different backgrounds and countries but with a focus on development. As part of our graduate degree, we need to conduct a consultancy project with a client, and that’s how we met HOT and their amazing team. They were interested in having us evaluate the implementation of community mapping in Dar es Salaam, how those maps are being used by the different stakeholders and to assess the sustainability of the project. With this in mind, we decided we needed to talk to those who were the main target users of the maps by the project: the ward officers, which are the local authorities for the neighborhoods or wards.

When we arrived in Dar es Salaam we clearly understood what the lack of maps meant. It was hard for us to know how to go from point A to point B, and to find where the places that we should go were located. In a city that is 70% unplanned and changing fast, this translates into inappropriate infrastructure, insufficient services, and spillover problems like floods and spread of diseases.

Flooding along the Msimbazi river in Magomeni, during the dry season

Flooding along the Msimbazi river in Magomeni, during the dry season

During our visit we got to interview three ward officers, Mr. Osiligi from Tandale, Mr. Nunga from Mabibo and Mr. Mishekh from Buguruni, and an Mtaa or sub-ward officer, Mr. Mwisongo from Ndugumbi. Our first meeting was with Mr. Osiligi from Tandale, who is one of the champions of Dar Ramani Huria. As soon as we stepped into his office we saw the maps proudly displayed on his wall. He kicked off our conversation by saying: “the maps are a place to start. Without the maps, it’s like being blind”. He went on to explain how he was going to use the maps for presenting projects to the municipality, to plan roads and drainage investments. And he also told us how he used them to respond to a cholera outbreak by clearly pointing out to the health authorities where the foci of infection were located.

Presentation of the maps in Tandale, May 2015

Presentation of the maps in Tandale, May 2015

Mr. Osiligi explaining the use of the maps in the Tandale ward office, March 2016

Mr. Osiligi explaining the use of the maps in the Tandale ward office, March 2016

Using the maps for planning was a recurrent theme in all our interviews. Since planning is a very general term, when we asked for clarification the answers revolved around infrastructure projects such as roads, drainages, water and sanitation, but also planning for better provision of public services such as health centers and schools. One ward officer even said that with a clear map of the residential and public buildings, he could also easily identify good spots for recreational areas and request funding accordingly. The maps can also be used for disaster response after floodings occur. One of our interviewees explained how the maps could help him estimate the number of people potentially affected during the next flooding season and what are the best roads to access those flood-prone areas with aid.

You are probably asking yourself, but didn’t the ward officers know this information before having the maps? After all, they probably know the place they are working at even without a map, right? Well, yes and no. We found out that new ward officers were being appointed and they were not necessarily from the ward. And the maps are the only piece of information that has every single road and passageway of the neighborhood. This allows for significant efficiency gains by giving the newcomers a better sense of direction and the details of the terrain where they are working. In fact, one of the officers we interviewed was new, and was very happy about how he could actually know where things are located and how to move from point A to point B.

Mr. Alex Jairos Mwisongo in Ndugumbi showing different features of the maps

Mr. Alex Jairos Mwisongo in Ndugumbi showing different features of the maps

Overall, the ward officers seemed to understand how this practical tool can help them improve their daily operations and, at the same time, allow them to plan in advance. However, as one of the ward officers put it, it’s still too early to measure results and how effective the maps are in allowing for better planning. We would love to see how all these cases fare down the road after a few years of existence of the maps. We have faith that all ward officers will embrace the maps and continue to put them to good use.[:sw]Imeandikwa na Mercedes Hoffay, mwanafunzi wa Digrii ya uzamiri ya utawala wa umma- Chuo kikuu cha Columbia.

Wanafunzi wote wa sera  wanahofu  na ufanisi na upembuzi wa sera na mipango ambayo serikali inapanga kutekeleza.Hivyo tutakuwa na furaha endapo serikali itapata  chombo kitakacho rahisisha  ufanisi na kuleta mafanikio makubwa katika mipango ya serikali.Na hivyo basi tukaona ni muhimu kuliingiza katika taaluma yetu na kutathmini lengo kuu la mradi na kazi ya Humanitarian OpenStreetMap  ya Tanzania na wajibu wao katika Dar Ramani Huria

Nianze tu kwa utambulisho wetu, tupo wanafunzi sita tuna some digri ya uzamili chuo kikuu cha Colombia, tunasome kozi zifuatazo Utawala wa Umma,Masuala ya Kimataifa na Afya ya Umma, sisi sote kutoka asili na nchi mbalimbali  lakini kwa lengo moja la maendeleo. Kama sehemu yataaluma yetu, tunahitaji kufanya ushauri wa mradi na mteja, na vilevile  kukutana na   timu yao ya maajabu ya HOT. Walikuwa nia ya kuwa na sisi katika  kutathmini utekelezaji wa ramani ya jamii jijini Dar es Salaam, na jinsi ramani zinatumiwa na wadau mbalimbali na  kutathmini uendelevu wa mradi.Hivyo basi, sisi tuliamua kuwa kunauhitaji wa  kuzungumza na wale ambao walikuwa walengwa na  watumiaji wakuu wa ramani katika mradi; Maafisa kata, ambao wawakilishi wa serikali za mitaa kwa ajili ya mitaa au kata.

Tulipofika jijini Dar es Salaam tulielewa wazi nini maana ya ukosefu wa ramani. Ilikuwa ni vigumu kwetu kujua jinsi ya kwenda kutoka sehemu A mpaka B, na kupata ugumu wa  maeneo ambayo tulipaswa kwenda. Katika mji huo zaidi ya  70% ni makazi holela na una mabadiliko ya  haraka, hii inasababisha kuzidiwa kwa  miundombinu , huduma za haitoshi, na matatizo mengine  kama mafuriko na kuenea kwa magonjwa.

Flooding along the Msimbazi river in Magomeni, during the dry season

Mafuriko katika  mto Msimbazi kata ya Magomeni, wakati wa kiangazi

Wakati wa ziara yetu tulipata kuwahoji maofisa kata wa tatu, Mheshimiwa Osiligi kutoka Tandale, Mheshimiwa Nunga kutoka Mabibo na Mheshimiwa Mishekh kutoka Buguruni, na  Afisa wa mtaa , Mheshimiwa Mwisongo kutoka Ndugumbi.Mkutano wetu wa kwanza ulikuwa na Mheshimiwa Osiligi kutoka Tandale, ambaye ni mmoja wa mabingwa wa Dar Ramani Huria. Kwa haraka tulipoingia  katika ofisi yake tuliona ramani zime bandikwa kwenye ofisi yake na akajigamba kwa kufurahia kilicho fanywa na mradi.Alianza mazungumzo kwa kusema “ramani ni mahali pa kuanza. Bila ramani, ni kama kuwa kipofu “.Aliendelea kueleza nijinsi gani atakuwa anaenda kutumia ramani kwa kuwasilisha miradi ya manispaa, kupanga barabara na uwekezaji mifereji ya maji. Pia alitueleza jinsi alivyotumia ramani katika kukabiliana na kuzuka kwa kipindupindu na kuelekeza  mamlaka ya afya chanzo kilipo.

 

Presentation of the maps in Tandale, May 2015

Uwasili ya ramani Tandale, Mei 2015

 

Mr. Osiligi explaining the use of the maps in the Tandale ward office, March 2016

Mheshimiwa Osiligi akieleza  namna ya kutumia ramani katika Tandale wodi ofisi, Machi 2016

Matumizi ya ramani kwa ajili ya kupanga ilikuwa mada ya kawaida katika mahojiano yetu yote. Pamoja na neno mipango kuwa na uelewa mpana , wakati tulipouliza kwa ufafanuzi majibu yaligusia miundombinu kama vile barabara, mifereji, maji na usafi wa mazingira, lakini pia kupanga kwa ajili ya utoaji bora wa huduma za kijamii kama vile vituo vya afya na shule. Moja wa afisa kata alisema kuwa pamoja na ramani ya majengo ya makazi na umma, angeweza pia  kutambua kiurahisi maeneo mazuri kwa ajili ya maeneo ya burudani na kuomba ufadhili ipasavyo. Ramani pia inaweza kutumika kwa ajili ya kukabiliana na maafa hayo baada ya mafuriko kutokea. Moja ya waliohojiwa  alieleza jinsi gani angeweza kutumia  ramani na  kumsaidia kukadiria idadi ya watu ambao  wangeweza kuathirika wakati wa mafuriko ya msimu ujao na ni barabara gani bora ya kufikia maeneo hayo mafuriko na misaada endapo yatatokea.

Labda unaweza kujiulia  mwenyewe, je maafisa kata  walikuwa hawana taarifa  hizo kabla ya kuwa na ramani? Baada ya yote,  pengine wao waliweza kujua sehemu wanafanya kazi hata bila ramani, kwa uhakika? Naam ndio au hapana.Tuligundua kwamba maafisa mpya wakata walikuwa wakuteuliwa na walikuwa si lazima kutoka kata husika. Na ramani ni kipande tu cha habari kwamba ina kila barabara moja na geti ya jirani. Hii inawapatia mafanikio makubwa  na ufanisi kwa kuelekeza wageni hali muonekano wa ardhii ya eneo wanalofanyia kazi. Kwa kweli, mmoja wa maafisa waliohojiwa alikuwa ni  mpya, na alikuwa na furaha sana kuhusu jinsi gani angeweza kujua vitu na mahali vilipo na atatokaje sehemu A na kwenda sehemu B.

Mr. Alex Jairos Mwisongo in Ndugumbi showing different features of the maps

Mheshimiwa Alex Jairos Mwisongo kata ya  Ndugumbi akionyesha vitu mbalimbali kwenye ramani

Kwa ujumla, maofisa kata walionekana kuelewa jinsi chombo hiki kinavyoweza kuwasaidia kuboresha shughuli zao za kila siku na, wakati huo huo, kuwaruhusu kupanga mapema.Hata hivyo,mmoja wa maafisa kata alibainisha, bado ni mapema mno kupima matokeo nakujua  jinsi ufanisi ramani utaweza kuruhusu mipango bora. Tungependelea kuona jinsi matukio haya yote yatatokea baada ya miaka michache ya kuwepo kwa ramani.Tunatumaini  kwamba maafisa wote wa kata wata kumbatia ramani na kuendelea kuziweka kwa matumizi mazuri.[:]

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