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Identifying Strategies for Geo-Information Utilization – A Case Study of Ratnapura Municipality of Sri Lanka

Authors
Publisher
The Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Geomatics
  • Geo-Information Management
  • Capacity Building
  • Local Authorities
  • Disaster Mitigation
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine

Abstract

Many organizations in Sri Lanka have been involved in spatial data collection and distribution. However, most of the local authorities have not been using the available spatial data optimally. This can be identified as one of the major reasons contributing to poor performance of the local authorities in the country. The major functions of local authorities fall within the categories of public health and environmental sanitation, public thoroughfare and public utilities. But, at present, the effectiveness and efficiency of local authorities operating under these fields are not up to the expected level. Problems/constraints that come up regarding the usage of Geo-information within the local authorities are one of the identified reasons for the inefficiency and the non-effectiveness. It also has major implications on the current operational practices within the local authorities. This paper discusses this issue in detail by considering Ratnapura Municipality as a case study. The data was collected by using questionnaires, interviews, physical observations and available supported documents. Data analysis aims to identify Geo-information providers related to the Ratnapura Municipality and District Planning Office and compare the requirements, perceptions and activities in acquiring Geo-information between the above two organizations. Comparison between these two administrative levels will help to identify the improvement strategies to utilize Geo-information within the Municipality. This analysis utilizes a technique of Strategic Grids, including grids with Interest vs. Awareness. Such grids identify the improvement strategies for effective and efficient process of Geo-information exchange, targeting to improve present Geo-information usage in the Ratnapura municipality. Major findings can be summarized as: (a) lack of the required capacity of the municipality to cope with Geo-information related work; (b) lack of motivation of the municipality staff from the management level for Geo-information related activities. This situation has been further aggravated due to the lack of an effective linkage between the major Geoinformation providers and the municipality. Key Words: Geo-information Management; Capacity Building; Local Authorities; Disaster Mitigation DOI: 10.4038/suslj.v8i1.1850 Sabaramuwa University Journal Vol. 8(1); December 2008, pp 49-60

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