Mapping and Modelling

Many PMs involve local people analysing their situation using pictures, diagrams and symbols rather than just words. Mapping and modelling are common tools and take many forms including social, resource, mobility, environmental and vulnerability maps. Maps and models can be large or small, simple or intricate, two or three dimensional, and can be created using paper and pens, sand, earth, sticks, stones, leaves and a variety of other materials. They can be a very powerful form of expression, especially for non-literate people, and can reveal a great deal about peoples’ lives and how they see the world around them.

Participatory Geographical Information Systems (PGIS)

What are Participatory Geographical Information Systems (PGIS)?

Spatial information technologies, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), remote sensing software and open access to spatial data and imagery, empower those who command them. Differential access can lead to gains to powerful people and interests to the disadvantage of communities and local people, further marginalizing those already marginalized. PGIS is a generic term for approaches which seek to reverse this. 

About Participatory Methods

Participatory methods (PMs) include a range of activities with a common thread: enabling ordinary people to play an active and influential part in decisions which affect their lives. This means that people are not just listened to, but also heard; and that their voices shape outcomes.

Researchers, community members, activists and donors all use PMs. Because respect for local knowledge and experience is paramount, the result is interventions that reflect local realities, often leading to better supported and longer lasting social change.

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