August 26, 2015
Jubal Harpster

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), USAID Feed the Future program, USAID GeoCenter, and Spatial Development International (SpatialDev), have formed a partnership to support and expand Mission use of geospatial technologies. The mandate of this partnership is to help Missions reinforce and improve decision-making capacity in climate-smart agriculture and related areas through the use of geospatial tools.

During first half of 2015, SpatialDev has been visiting several USAID Missions around the world, including those in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Senegal. The goal of these trips has been to work with a wide range of USAID country and bi-lateral Mission staff as well as implementing partners to learn about current and desired capabilities for using geospatial information and tools in support of climate smart agriculture development.

Although we’re covering a variety of subjects, some of the topics of interest include: - Geospatial data currently being used by these organizations
- Data gaps that, when filled, would aid in decision making
- How different data resources are leveraged in decision-making
- Geospatial analysis tools currently in use, their benefits and drawbacks
- Analytic gaps or relevance gaps of geospatial tools in relation to Mission priorities

Having the opportunity to visit these countries has been both invigorating and enlightening. It puts SpatialDev in a unique position to accelerate technical innovation and implementation of some already great programs. Our next stop will be Nepal, a Mission we were scheduled to visit earlier but delayed due to the massive April earthquake. We are looking forward to working with an extended group of partners into 2016.

Bicycle rickshaws are a common way to avoid traffic on the way to the Embassy in Dhaka.

In between meetings in Senegal, we found some time for some casual mapping.

We got out of Addis Ababa briefly to visit some lakes in central Ethiopia.

work geospatial
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