An Assessment of the Current State of Spatial Data Sharing in Rwanda

Felicia O. Akinyemi, Ernest Uzwayezu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Geographic information is becoming more important everyday at all levels of society. It has a central role in supporting economies, improving business effectiveness in the private sector, enabling more efficient decision-making and increasing citizens’ involvement in governance. The need to share becomes apparent when individuals and organisations cannot produce all datasets they need. Identifying current data sharing arrangements is pivotal to understanding the kind of sharing mechanism required. An assessment of data sharing in Rwanda was made by surveying organisations producing and/or using spatial datasets in their daily activities. Key areas covered include organisational approaches used and inhibitions to spatial data sharing. The main spatial data producers were identified as they exert enormous influence on the data sharing process. Results reveal that the main datasets shared are administrative boundaries, topographic maps and orthophotos. Most spatial data are exchanged as printed maps, implying that the data management system is predominantly paper-based. Furthermore, findings show that majority of data users in Rwanda are decision-makers. Data producers and users perceive the absence of a national policy on data access and sharing as the main impediment to sharing in Rwanda. Consequently, sharing modalities are very informal, with friendship, goodwill and organisation’s propensity to share identified as major considerations influencing decision to share data. Based on survey findings, different data sharing policy options were proposed. This assessment of the state of data sharing in Rwanda helps to identify current arrangements of spatial data exchange.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-387
JournalInternational Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research
Volume6
Issue number365-387
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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