Picture of Ms. Sandra Ferguson
Re Participatory Mapping
by Ms. Sandra Ferguson - Monday, 7 April 2014, 8:42 AM

My country does not face the challenge of  extensive slum  settlements though it does have squatter settlements 

The  process of participatory mapping is not yet widely used in my country but is gaining traction, particularly among the civil society sector.  It is a priority activity of their Poverty Reduction Strategy recommendations made to the government.

This process community driven documentation of community assets and resources is intended to dispel the notion of "poor and powerless" communities and to facilitate the engagement of communities in the decision making about the  the development of these resources to address community identified priorities.

Among challenges are:-

- Competence in the implementation of the process

-  In some quarters, it is driven by a top-down approach rather than a bottom-up process with the danger that the community is locked out from the access to information generated and the opportunity to participate in the decision-making about the resources should be developed and used.  These intentions exist particularly with the influential tourism lobby which appears not to see tourism as a means to an end - the development of people and communities  - but rather see communities and people as the means to achieving a ";tourism end" , determined by the tourism lobby.