G O Odero


Humanitarian organisations require reporting to donors on the programmes that they undertake, theirlocation, and the number of beneficiaries reached. United Nation Children’s Fund for Somalia uses a MicrosoftExcel spreadsheet called the 4W Matrix to capture programme data. Donor reports contain information fromthis matrix. It takes time sorting through the rows and columns of this matrix, to address various requirementssuch as; “getting the number of complete water projects in a district?” etc. It is also not easy to evaluate howwell humanitarian aid is spatially distributed or visualise the programme locations and their extents. Thisresearch presents an endeavour to address such challenges encountered. The principle objective was toenhance the sharing of spatial information and addressing spatial analytical requirements. To achieve this, the4W Matrix was converted into GIS vector data file format and then imported into a PostGIS database.GeoServer was used as the map server to publish data from PostGIS database. Heron Mapping Client wasutilised to provide the front-end user interface, while Apache Web Server was deployed to enable onlineaccess. The developed web application provides tools to run queries based on feature attributes, spatialsearches by drawing geometrical shapes on the web-based map and searches by features from other layers.Additional capabilities include tools to compute point-to-point distances and the areas enclosed by individualadministrative districts. Feature layers can also be turned on or off, to provide clear maps devoid of too manyfeatures. Some of the visualisation challenges that UNICEF Somalia faced are addressed by the web applicationwhich disseminates spatial information related to the social programmes to stakeholders in different locations.It is recommended that the web server runs behind a firewall to provide a secure platform for data, some ofwhich could be of confidential nature.


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