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Towards a Public Sector GIS Evaluation Methodology

E Kurwakumire


There is a growing use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) within the public sector in different countries. Geographic Information Systems require a sizeable investment in terms of financial, information and communication technology (ICT) and human resources while they are largely financed by public funds. This adoption is partly influenced by the promises of GIS that has been widely discussed in GIS literature. Geographic information systems have potential in aiding decision making and in public policy formulation and implementation. From a public sector point of view, the society should benefit from the implementation and adoption of GIS. In order to determine whether systems are meeting their intended objectives, it is of importance to develop a mechanism for measuring the success derived from implementing such systems. Evaluation is a means to justify these information systems that are being adopted. However, evaluation methodologies for public sector GIS are largely lacking. Most evaluation procedures available in literature such as returns on investment are based on the commercial sector where operations are profit driven. The public sector presents a different dimension as focus in provision of public goods with an intent to achieve societal good. This study develops an evaluation model for Geographical Information Systems within the public sector. The study is based on field data collected in various public sector organisations in Uganda. This model is not a solution to evaluation but can be used as a base to perform evaluation depending on the available variables since evaluation is context dependent. This study presents a benefit oriented approach to GIS Evaluation.