In implementing the activities in the climate change and economic resilience project, International Centre for Environmental Health and Development (ICEHD) undertake a community mapping training. It’s an in-house training which was extended to other NGOs and CSOs for FREE to support and encourage capacity building for improved programming, performance and quality service delivery.
VEN. ADELOWO ADESINA, MANAGING CONSULTANT SAGES & SCRIBES CONSULTANTS gave an introductory explanation of the term community mapping, he says; Community Mapping is an inclusive, interactive, research-based strategy or process for project/program planning, implementation and management for sustainability.
· It is the process used to assess the strength and resources of a community
· to determine the needs of the community
· mobilize the resources to address the needs
· Conceive and implement programs and projects to improve the health and well-being of community on a sustainable basis.
· It is the art and science of creating the picture of the socio-physical landscape of a community, working with the indigenous people to understand the social, cultural , and economic landscape, identifying and mapping the resources of the community, determining the needs and fulfilling the needs using available resources.
ESSENCE OF COMMUNITY MAPPING
Community Mapping has essentially three outcomes
1. Identification of resources available in the community
2. Identification of new or additional resources to sustain existing activities or initiatives within the community.
3. Identification of resources to assist in creating and building capacity to support a more comprehensive system
STEPS IN COMMUNITY MAPPING
Essentially, there are four steps in community mapping.
· Pre – Mapping: this includes establish a taskforce, facilitators, resource persons to guide the process, setting a vision, setting goals, communicating continuously and reflecting/questions
· Mapping: this involves Identifying resources, developing mapping tools & strategies gathering information, determining the meaning of the information, communicating and using the mapping results
· Action Plan : Developing an Action Plan, Achieving Consensus, Sharing the Action plan, Implementing the action plan: Evaluation progress, Maintain momentum an Sustaining the Effort
· Maintaining, Sustaining and Evaluating Mapping Efforts: Evaluation progress, maintain momentum, Sustaining the Effort.
He further itemized various activities for community mapping under the previous steps. They are;
STEP 1- Locate the community to work with, respond to need, where impact can best be made, where desired outcome can be achieved.
STEP 2- Identify those in the community who are already active, positively in community affair – community leaders, opinion movers, makers, and influencers.
STEP 3- Clarify information, determine where to meet, language, values, respected taboos, and cultural influences, map out stakeholders and interest groups; decisions are to be made, discuss who might be contacted, Use the initial meeting not only to engage but also to enthuse the community and generate interest.
ADVANTAGES OF MAPPING
1. Assist community members to outline the issues they face and enables them to lead action in response to it.
2. Avoids having government bodies or NGO identify problems for communities, thereby building local investments as solutions.
3. Identify and build on existing solidarities.
4. Encourages deep forms of democracy rather than shallow consultations
5. Spread knowledge from leadership to others
6. Decrease resentment of “outsiders” speaking for communities
7. Builds genuine links between local community members and those from other places
8. Allows stakeholders to locate where messaging and understanding aren’t occurring or being effective
9. Bases campaigns on local values
10.Build consensus about how the community should go forward
11.Dispels negative stereotypes about rural marginalized communities and their ability to navigate and solve problems
12.Demystifies survey processes