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Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI)  Small Grants Program

As stated in its website, the GSDI Association is an inclusive organization of organizations, agencies, firms, and individuals from around the world. The purpose of the organization is to promote international cooperation and collaboration in support of local, national and international spatial data infrastructure developments that will allow nations to better address social, economic, and environmental issues of pressing importance.

Among its goals, GSDI supports the establishment and expansion of local, national, and regional spatial data infrastructures that are globally compatible and supports interdisciplinary training, education and research activities that advance spatial data infrastructure development. Both internal and external funds are used to support projects and programs that further these goals.

Since 2005 GISCorps has collaborated with the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI) in its Small Grants Program. In that year, Juna Papajorgji, a GISCorps founding member, initiated a partnership between GISCorps and GSDI and, as a result, GISCorps joined the Association’s Small Grants Program’s review team. Since then GISCorps has been identifying proposals that may benefit from having a GISCorps volunteer. Missions may be on-site or remotely accomplished at the volunteer’s location. Awards in professional services or in cash are for spatial data infrastructure or earth observation systems-related activities in economically disadvantaged nations. The partnership with the GISCorps has expanded the GSDI program to allow for a larger number of grant awards and for an increase in value of others. To date, GISCorps has participated in 2005/2006 and more recently in 2008/2009, 2010/2011, and 2011/2012 and 2014 projects. The past four years’ efforts have been spearheaded by Mark Salling, a GISCorps Core Committee member.

2014 projects

GISCorps has collaborated with the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI) in its Small Grants Program since 2005. This year (2014) GSDI was funded by the Canadian government to provide grants of up to $2,500 to four programs that support “local, national and international spatial data infrastructure developments that will allow nations to better address social, economic, and environmental issues of pressing importance”. Applicants can also request GISCorps volunteer assistance.

Thirty-nine applications were received. Assistance from GISCorps was specifically requested in eight applications and another four were identified as possibly able to use GISCorps assistance. At this writing all twelve applicants have been contacted and we are awaiting further clarifications about their projects and staffing needs.

South Africa & Nigeria Projects

The request for volunteers came from South Africa (Endangered Wildlife Trust) and Nigeria (Geographical Resources for Development Centre). These are both GSDI projects and are either interested in developing a metadata Geo Portal (South Africa) or, already have one and would like to enhance it further (Nigeria). Two volunteers were selected, Karl Tiller, a Technical Advisor in the GIS Centre of Makerere University, funded by Horizont3000 as the Project Manager who is working on South Africa project and Brylie Oxley from US who is working on Nigerian project. Both projects have taken much longer than anticipated and therefore, are moved out of active project page.

2011/2012 projects

The 2010/2011 application deadline was October 31, 2011 and the review of 2011/2012 projects resulted in multiple recruitments . At toal of 8 volunteers were recruited for seven projects in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and Russia. More detail is posted on ongoing projects’ page.

2010/2011 projects

The 2010/2011 application deadline was October 31, 2010. As a result, approximately 40 applications are under review and it is expected that between 14 and 18 awards will be given to organizations in emerging nations to help with developing SDI’s and to encourage collaboration and additional funding. Several applicants will be invited to apply for GISCorps volunteers.

2008/2009 Projects

In 2008/2009 cycle, the GSDI and GISCorps team reviewed 31 applications – 19 from Africa and six each from Asia and the Americas. At the end, the effort resulted in launching one GISCorps related mission in Nigeria. GISCorps volunteer Alison Fischer has been providing support to that applicant – the Geographical Resources for Development Centre (GRDC), a non profit organization since 2010. Read about that project here.

2005/2006 Projects

In 2005/2006 cycle, 71 grant proposals from over 50 countries were received and reviewed by the review team. Six of those projects qualified for receiving GISCorps volunteers’ remote assistance. The total value of the program in 2005/2006 cycle was at $30,000 in cash from the GSDI and $13,500 in services from the GISCorps. The following are the 15 final winners:
Recipients of cash in voluntary services from the GISCorps

  • Namibia – Biodiversity database
  • Armenia – Web-mapping volcanoes
  • Kenya – Coastal resources maps/oil spills

Recipients of voluntary services from the GISCorps and cash from the GSDI

  • Institute for Ecology & Botany (Hungary) – Botany Portal
  • World Food Program (Mali) – SDI Application
  • Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands) – Metadata/clearinghouse

Recipients of cash from the GSDI

  • Columbia – Web mapping workshop
  • Observatoire Satellital des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale (Congo) – Biodiversity database
  • Directorate of Land and Property (East Timor) – SDI Workshop
  • Foodlink (Kenya) – workshop on data inventory and agreement
  • Ministry of Lands & Environment (Jamaica) – continuation of existing work
  • Livestock (Kenya) – Data Inventory & Clearinghouse Development
  • Delta (Niger) – On-line Database and clearninghouse
  • Information Management (Philippines) – Building NSDI, technology working groups; policies, and database
  • Management of Health Services (Uganda) – SDI Workshop
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