In June 2023, the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi (Kenya) hosted the IDEAMAPS team for a productive week of project planning and public engagement workshops which wrapped up a first phase of our co-design process.
This process included discussions with local stakeholders, including diverse community members from slums and informal settlements, city decision-makers, and local data producers/users, about their priorities and information needs. Most importantly, in the first design phase, we sought to understand what data and maps within the planned IDEAMAPS mobile and web platforms could be used to make positive change in communities, and how sustained community upgrading is achieved. We also discussed negative impacts that have come from well-meaning projects in the past, and how IDEAMAPS can engage stakeholders differently to ensure their first-hand knowledge and priorities remain centered throughout our design and development processes. For a summary of the first phase of co-design, see our blog post here.
One early outcome from these conversations was re-thinking which indicators we map/model and publish in the IDEAMAPS data ecosystem. We initially proposed to model overall "degree of deprivation," however IDEAMAPS modelers are now working with stakeholders to co-develop a handful of specific indicators (for example, flood risk or access to health care) that are more directly relevant to existing local decision-making processes (for example, community advocacy and city budget planning). The IDEAMAPS team is also working with UN-Habitat, other slum mapping initiatives, and our stakeholders to ensure that these revised indicators can be combined to characterize overall deprivation and coverage of slum areas across cities.
Phase 2 of the co-design process will focus on processes of fair data exchange among local communities, local governments, and open data/modelled initiatives to ensure that each of these key stakeholders are able to both contribute and retrieve essential information for change-making via the IDEAMAPS data ecosystem. Phase 2 will conclude with stakeholder workshops in Nairobi (Kenya), and Kano and Lagos (Nigeria). If you’re interested in joining the IDEAMAPS Network (from anywhere in the world), you can follow these links to subscribe to our newsletter, Twitter, or LinkedIn.