197371 GIS as a tool for community mobilization

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

David Broudy, MPH, PhD , Region 1 & 3, NM Dept of Health, Albuquerque, NM
Reynaluz Juarez , St Joseph Community Health, Albuquerque, NM
Kurt Menke, MA, GISO , Bird's Eye View, Albuquerque, NM
Geographic Information Systems—software that combines mapping, database, spatial analysis, and presentation tools—holds great promise for community health improvement. We report on an on-going collaborative project between the NM Department of Health and the SE Heights of Albuquerque community coalition with the aim of mapping assets in the community and providing tools to support activism. We explore the ways that the community uses GIS and discuss examples of maps and analysis, and explore barriers encountered throughout this project.

Community Asset Mapping is not a GIS method. It is connected with asset based community planning as defined by Kretzman and McKnight and has very little to do with spatial mapping but much more to do with surveying the community and mobilizing individuals and organizations to make connections and build capacity. Nevertheless, there is great interest, and advantage, in doing spatial maps and using GIS.

This presentation will discuss advantages and barriers of using GIS as an adjunct to asset mapping as seen from the perspective of community activists and GIS experts. Advantages include the appeal and inherent interest of using maps in community meetings and the power that comes when organizers bring their own maps and data to meetings with officials. Barriers include the high cost and complexity of software, challenges of deploying GIS in grassroots settings, and uncertainties about how to link mapping with resource databases that may have been built without reference to GIS technology.

Learning Objectives:
1. discuss the basic tenets of Community Asset Mapping 2. explain why, from the community activist's point of view, GIS may be advantageous 3. identify several barriers to use of GIS as part of grassroots mobilization efforts.

Keywords: Community Assets, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have used GIS as part of my work as an epidemiologist for more than five years. I co-teach a hands-on seminar, "GIS for Public Health Data Analysis", for the University of New Mexico MPH Program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.