Thursday, July 2, 2015

Failed state, no data? the example of Somalia

I have recently been asked to contribute to a project proposal on Somalia. First though was, my God, working in a failed state, not only it is dangerous but also there will be no local scientific capacities and no data.

What initially sounded like a nightmare, became two weeks later a very fascinating task. Firstly, Somalia is not dangerous everywhere, so work will focus on the safe area. Secondly, there have been training programs to enhance scientific capacities locally through previous collaborations, so we will have people with scientific capabilities on the ground. But most amazingly, there is plenty of data that is available through the land and water information management  by FAO.

SWALIM the FAO platform gives you access to map that i wished i had for many other projects in other countries. It is not just land cover or rainfall, there is also soil degradation or a land use map that is in the end a pretty good livelihood map. It remains that some of information is available only as a image not as geo-data, probably because it can be sensitive information. Some geo-data can be found on the geonetwork.

I am fascinated by the amount of data that is actually available for a failed state, and get more and more exited to develop a research for development project for a country which exports 5 millions of livestock a year, which accounts for 40 % of GDP. A story to follow!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Catherine, I hope this paper will be of interest to your blog. Raffaele