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dc.contributor.authorMulalu, Mulalu
dc.contributor.supervisorProf. Daniela Stehlik
dc.contributor.supervisorProf. Bert Veenendaal

This research investigated the role of participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) in instituting the culture of using knowledge in order to implement a rural community development strategy that targets improving living standards at the household level. Current development interventions continue to perform poorly because they do not really address people directly, attention has been drawn to the role of knowledge in facilitating the individuals to effect their own development. Geographic information systems (GIS) represent one of the options that the rural community can use to compile and to structure information and to facilitate the construction of knowledge. With regard to what motivates the people to initiate and sustain their own development effort, this research used learning theories to design training material, inform the individual and group learning activities and learning cycles theory to carry out confidence instilling field work research tasks. The overall aim was to work with a rural community to develop a framework that can be used to employ a GIS to a) compile basic data and review current livelihoods, b) determine local needs, c) determine the requirements that will facilitate people to achieve their needs, d) develop a computer assisted information system prototype to hold their knowledge requirements and support their business activities, and e) test the ease with which the local community applied the developed prototype to plan to improve their living standards. Such an approach defined a PGIS framework.The researcher procured guidance from and secured collaborative leadership with six village development committee (VDC) members, the village councillor and the village chief. The VDC facilitated the ward heads to select trainees from the village community, these together with the VDC became the work force of the research project. Eleven business modelling scenarios and ten business plans were produced. Seven two-man teams used GIS software to digitize village plot parcels from colour aerial photographs and also compiled other basic map data layers. Field mapping was used to check and update the preliminary village plots map, to map the existing electric power and water lines and to update the village roads network. The plot data which included type of fencing, types of buildings, presence of toilet, water or power facilities and number of people were used to determine a sampling frame. The village team carried out sixty one conversational interviews and administered an attitudes scale. An interpretation of the social survey exploratory data analysis results was then used to determine the community needs. A data model for shelter acquisition and goats rearing was developed and an application prototype was developed for it. The prototype was subsequently tested on the host rural community.The results of the research indicated that as people gain the skills to work with knowledge, they can become active in the tasks that are aimed at improving their living standards. To achieve this, there was need for a supportive stewardship and close tutoring and mentoring from the village leadership and a community livelihood supporting intervention strategy from the community development institutions. A more experiential form of formal education, and a better appreciation of traditional education are required in order to secure dignified and sustainable livelihoods. Such a conceptualization of education is also required for meaningful and beneficial participation to take place. Although the basic infrastructure was low, the indication was that with knowledge and forward planning, a sufficient infrastructure can be developed. However, whether the PGIS initiative could be sustained would depend on the strength and dedication of the local leadership at the various levels of the community, they would determine whether the PGIS initiative was institutionalized in order to add to the human and social capital of the community.

dc.publisherCurtin University
dc.subjecthousehold level
dc.subjectimproving living standards
dc.subjectrural community development strategy
dc.subjectparticipatory geographic information systems (PGIS)
dc.titleParticipatory geographic information systems to anchor the creation and construction of knowledge to support rural community development. A case study of Tshane village, Botswana
curtin.accessStatusOpen access
curtin.facultyFaculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Spatial Sciences

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