What was initially a Pacific training resource is now a global tool, thanks to the collaboration between the Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Together SPC and UNFPA published QGIS for Digital Cartography in Censuses and Surveys, an adaptation of a manual originally developed by SPC’s Statistics for Development Division and translated it to be available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian.
This manual is expected to help national statistics offices across the world make good use of QGIS, one of the most widely used free and open-source GIS packages. The ambition behind the production of this manual for SPC and UNFPA was to contribute to the achievement of SDG 17.18, to enhance capacity building support to countries to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable disaggregated data. The objective thus is to support countries generate, analyze, disseminate and utilize high quality, timely, relevant, and disaggregated geo-referenced census and survey data to inform, implement, monitor, and evaluate sustainable development for the public good.
GIS software was not used regularly by developing countries, mainly due to its cost: such software was generally purchased for large projects, and its use in the longer term was not always planned for in the countries’ budgets. This has all changed with QGIS, that rivals the main commercial products, and allows countries to handle most of the operations needed by their National Statistics Offices and line ministries.
The manual responds to a real need to have a step-by-step guide detailing how national statistical offices, and other users, can undertake a range of critical mapping exercises such as updating Enumeration Area (EA) boundaries, creating field maps for Enumerators and cleaning household locations collected during the enumeration.
The SPC-UNFPA collaboration has enabled a cost-effective use of resources where too often there is duplication of effort. It’s also been a great way to provide visibility of the excellent work being undertaken in the Pacific, on a larger, global stage.
*QGIS is a free open-source GIS software that can perform all the operations required to undertake a census or a survey, avoiding the limiting factors related to licenses and associated costs over the longer term that hinder the adoption of this tool.
Phil Bright, GIS, Innovation and Dissemination Lead, Statistics for Development Division, Pacific Community (SPC) I [email protected]
Sabrina Juran, Regional Technical Advisor on Population and Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) | [email protected]
The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. Guided by the 1994 Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), UNFPA partners with governments, civil society and other agencies to advance its mission. The work of UNFPA is based on the premise that all human beings are entitled to equal rights and protections. UNFPA works in more than 150 countries and territories that are home to the vast majority of the world’s people. UNFPA is the UN leading agency in the field to support the successful implementation of population and housing censuses, which are essential for development planning. www.unfpa.org
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organization in the region, owned and governed by its 26 member countries and territories. www.spc.int