Abstract for CONGO Forum on Civil Society and Outer Space, 8-9 October 2007, UN/VIC Vienna
Panelists: Sandra Sudhoff & Yann Rébois, CartONG
CartONG, a French NGO based in Chambery, has an operational Data management project with UNHCR in Northern Uganda. Main objective is to gather and analyze information for all humanitarian actors organized in clusters/sectors to facilitate decision making leading to humanitarian assistance.The biggest challenge is monitoring population movement from camps to return locations as the needs of the population in these sites changes with its size. The settlement patterns vary, as the movement is gradual from camp to site to village of return and all information available has to be taken into account in order to describe and analyze these trends. GPS coordinates are taken for camps and sites and verified with satellite images (Landsat) where necessary. This has proven to be of great importance in remoter areas with impassable roads. Shapefiles of old village boundaries were obtained to get an overview whether the location is a village of return or rather temporary. Site names can be volatile and many places have been named differently after years of displacement. Old topographic maps are being used to trace former settlements, their approximate size and their names. The information is then linked with the database created for Return Monitoring to verify whether villages and site names stated match spatially. Furthermore some high resolution satellites were made available and are being piloted for camp coordination, camp decommissioning and camp closure. Up to now their main use is for marking empty huts (in camps slated for decommissioning and closure) and camp mapping as well as for research/surveys. Additionally Google Map Application was created for mapping all sites and camps as well as for displaying information and photographs. This allows all actors involved to view a location in question and display it with the Landsat (in some cases even IKONOS) background Google Map provides. Planned at this stage are future collaborations with RESPOND and UNOSAT, for the development of baseline GIS data and indepth analysis of existing as well as the acquisition of more satellite images for change detection on the settlement patterns over time.