Assessing the Development of Kenya National Spatial Data Infrastructure (KNSDI)
Spatial data plays a vital role in developmental activities, whether natural resource management or socio-economic development. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) facilitate access, sharing and dissemination of spatial data necessary for complex decision-making processes of the future. Thus, conducting SDI assessment is essential to guide its development, to monitor and improve its quality and to provide evidence of accountability for all stakeholders. Knowledge of the development status of SDI of a country is crucial to increase the accountability and development of spatial data information. In Kenya, there are many organisations both public and private that are involved in spatial data production, use and dissemination to meet needs of the geo-information community. However the developmental status of Kenya National Spatial Data Infrastructure (KNSDI) is unknown. This paper aims at evaluating the development of SDI-initiative in Kenya with an aim of contributing to the enhancement of SDI development to realise its fundamental objectives. Then explore the level to which Kenya is prepared to attain an operational SDI, expose best practices, identify main problems, and review the way forward. Three assessment approaches of multi-view assessment framework were adopted. They are; SDI-Readiness index, Modified state of play and Organisational aspects. Data collection was by interview and questionnaire surveys from 13 KNSDI stakeholders sampled purposively from the following categories; academia, NGOs, public and private sector, civil society, international organisations and government. Document analysis and internet search supplemented data collection. The results indicate that development of KNSDI and implementation in Kenya is ad hoc and fragmented. This paper identified funding sustainability, awareness for SDI and all-inclusiveness communication as major aspects of Kenya NSDI that need to be addressed. The paper suggests that Kenya NSDI secretariat should work towards resolving the identified obstacles by: i) Sustained funding through increased budgetary allocation from the central government and other alternative sources of funding like open source services and cost recovery on geo-information products. ii) Bottom up approach through awareness creation about importance of spatial data for sustainable development.
Keywords: Spatial data infrastructure, Kenya NSDI, development, assessment, multi-view assessment framework, approaches