Data in Action: When Communities Engage in Mapping Urban Villages

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Participatory Data Collection

Inspired by the lack of accurate or timely data on urban communities owned by the government, the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) achieved a breakthrough by involving citizens in active data collection. This type of approach is expected to improve the accuracy of community-level data, because it is the citizens themselves that collect and verify the data.
The collected data comes in the form of spatial data and numerics including economic indicators, living conditions, past natural disasters, access to basic needs such as water and sanitation, and the conditions of public services such as schools and health centres. The data collected is expected to complement those gathered by the government.

Local Development

Data collection, verification and analysis is delivered within the span of just two months. The longest stage of the process is the citizen engagament in data collection. This is done through informal meetings with brief introductions covering topics from the purpose of data collection to the expected benefits experienced by citizens. This approach is also delivered to Neighborhood Heads (Ketua RT) and public figures. The joint goal is to provide space for citizens to map the conditions of their neighbourhood and to have data-informed conversations about local development priorities. 

Prototyping and Technology Utilization 

UPC first facilitates and trains citizens to capture the data. They are trained to use a GPS tracker to capture road patterns, field paper to pinpoint locations, google forms for social surveys, google maps to understand historical developments and focus group discussions to understand past occurrences of natural disasters.
The whole process is being tested in Budi Dharma Village, North Jakarta. Resulting in a prototype model for community-generated data on local conditions and development priorities. 

Next Steps 

Several governmental bodies have expressed their interest in the community-led mapping approach undertaken by UPC. At the same time, UPC continues to refine the approach to data collection in other villages, namely Kebun Bayam. The entire process will be completed by the end of October. 
Bappenas (Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning) hopes the methods of participatory data collection will be included in the one million homes programme initiated by the Indonesian Government. By using locally-led data collection, the community can raise its level of participation and influence in housing planning.
This project was made posisble by Pulse Lab Jakarta's Data Innovation Competition, run in early 2015. Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia.

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