Outcomes and Learnings from Open Schools Kenya mapping in Kangemi

by: June 5th, 2019 comments: 0

Mapping distribution

The schools mapping of the Kangemi slum and associated surroundings was a very successful exercise, and provided much-needed information for everyone from Kangemi’s residents and parents to policy advisers and education experts to governmental education officials. The project brought together youth residents of Kangemi with Map Kibera mappers, who, working closely with local school leaders and advocates for informal schools, mapped nearly 300 schools. These now appear on Map Kibera’s Open Schools Kenya school database. The mapping exercise, possible thanks to the support of Indigo Trust, has brought visibility to these schools, and increased both information and knowledge about the number and kind of schools in Kangemi. It has also equipped schools and activists with a key resource in advocating for improvements to and recognition of these schools.

Kangemi Schools Mapping

Just like in Kibera, before the project began, Map Kibera conducted a survey with parents, teachers and government officials to try and understand the information gap in regards to education. Parents, for example, were interested in the distance of a school from their home, how much a school charges, and the ratio of teachers to students before selection a school for their children. Other data points that were collected included the number of students, availability of toilet, school building materials, electricity availability, number of teachers, and many more.

Map Kibera also talked to teachers and school leaders, and met with a number of important figures in Kangemi education. Particularly supportive throughout the exercise was Kangemi’s Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training (APBET) coordinator, Evans Onchiri. Evans is a tireless advocate and organizer on behalf of the schools, and he particularly welcomed the addition of detailed data and maps to better support APBET schools (APBET is what the schools are now called which were previously known as “informal” or “non-formal”). Map Kibera found that although there is a government policy to recognize these schools — which would allow them to access more resources, have some oversight in place, and be part of the provision of free basic education guaranteed by law to all children — the process of registering under the policy is not clear and has been stalled over several years. Having a better idea of the number of students served and locations of these schools is essential to pushing forward on this policy. The Sub-County Education Director, Phillip Chirchir, and the area Member of Parliament (MP), Tim Wanyonyi also indicated to Map Kibera that they needed a more comprehensive understanding of the schools in their area.

The schools mapping exercise covered both the schools already on local leaders’ lists, and also unknown schools found directly in the field. From the initial main focus areas of Kangemi, which included Kangemi ward and Mountain View ward, the schools mapping exercise was expanded to other slum areas, following the request of the Sub-County Education Director and the area Member of Parliament. The additional mapped areas are the following: Kibagare slum, Deep Sea slum, and Githogoro slum. All the mapped areas fall into the Westlands Sub-County. The total number of the mapped schools is 282, out of which only 19 are public schools, including pre-primary, primary and secondary levels. Therefore, the majority of schools (263) are APBET schools.

A few outcomes:

Seven youth have been trained in Kangemi on how to collect data using the OpenDataKit app, how to edit maps using JOSM software, and how to upload data onto OpenStreetMap. The youth reported a general satisfaction about the additional skills learned. After the completion of their work, the youth mappers reported raised awareness and general knowledge about their own community. Moreover, the new team of trained mappers in Kangemi could be further involved in updating schools’ information and in other related local developments.

The website Open Schools Kenya has been made mobile-friendly so that it can be easily viewed and used on a smartphone. Previously, due to the difficulty navigating a map on a small screen, the site was best viewed on a laptop. Thanks to feedback from users at schools, we prioritized making sure that they can also navigate the site using their phone’s mobile browser. This makes the data much easier to access. Additionally, we worked on the submission form for data corrections, making it more user-friendly and better suited to the needs of schools to submit changes.

The schools and teachers have been very happy about the project. In the first phase, they reported interest in knowing the location of their own school and of the other schools in the area, in particular, to better know the number of pupils, the facilities and the services provided by the other schools. After the mapping exercise was completed and the schools received the printed map, they reported surprise at being able to see the outcomes of the project. In fact, during past experiences, many researchers went in the area collecting data without going back afterward for community restitution and feedback. Moreover, they reported general excitement for being able to locate their own school on the map and to be able to display the printed map in their office for multiple purposes. The schools also highlighted the importance of the online school page. Having their own specific page on OSK, they are now able to easily update the information, advertise and fundraise for their school, and also help engage parents in the community in decision-making about where to send their sons and daughters to school and increase the quality of their education.

Key local education officials were particularly pleased with the outcomes of the mapping exercise. Both Ms. Esther Kimani, the Sub County Quality Assurance Officer, and Mr. Phillip Chirchir, the Sub County Director of Education, highlighted the importance of being able to locate the schools, especially APBET schools, and to have the head teacher’s contact for each school on the OSK website. They are now able to better reach out to the schools and advise the Ministry of Education about their needs.

Map Kibera is now collaborating with education specialists from local organizations Each Rights and African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) to include the data and findings of the mapping in their advocacy and policy advising. With their assistance, already Map Kibera has presented the schools’ map to the National Council for Nomadic Education (NACONEK), which oversees APBET country-wide, at a joint meeting discussing schools information and potential mapping of all the APBET schools in Nairobi. Map Kibera has also been working with the Kangemi Resource Centre, a local CBO, to establish a workspace for the Kangemi mappers and to develop joint plans for updating the schools’ data regularly. All three of these key partners also presented at the launch event, which allowed them to connect with the various Kangemi school leaders and share some of their advocacy work.

The schools mapping in Kangemi and beyond led to an increased awareness of existing schools and resources within the community itself. As a teacher from a school in Githogoro slum stated, the schools in these marginalized areas are usually left out from development in Westlands. Both the map and the website are therefore crucial to make visible and clear their presence in order to assure their inclusion into the public education system and the overall education policymaking and planning.

Map Kibera and The Sentinel Project launch “Una Hakika?” in Mathare and Kibera

by: May 10th, 2017 comments: 0

Misinformation and disinformation pose a challenge to development, governance, public health, and human security efforts around the world.

Una Hakika logo

Una Hakika logo

As communications technology has become more widely distributed in the developing world, the spread of inaccurate, incomplete or fabricated information is an increasingly significant threat to peace and stability, particularly in regions with limited access to reliable third-party media. Through the use of WikiRumours, a workflow and technology platform, it is possible to count the spread of false information ensuring transparency and early mitigation of conflict.

Map Kibera Trust together with The Sentinel Project have launched the “Una Hakika?” project (in Eng. “Are you sure?”) in two different informal settlements of Nairobi: Mathare and Kibera. Before, during and after the elective season, people can subscribe and report rumors anonymously through SMS free of charge at the number 40050. All the rumors are collected on the WikiRumors, prioritized and verified through a network of trained Community Ambassadors on the field and trusted sources, whether they are true, false or impossible to verify. Through the same platform, the verified information is then sent in a SMS to all the subscribers interested in that area, in order to avoid the beginning of possible violence and the spread of misinformation. Moreover, people can also report rumors calling for free the number 0800722959 or directly contacting the Community Ambassadors in their area. Intervention, when necessary, might be the last step of the process, aiming to involve community partners such as chiefs, elders, youth leaders and women’s representatives.

The Una Hakika workflow

The Una Hakika workflow

On the 8th March, celebrating the International Women’s Day, Map Kibera Trust in partnership with Mathare Peace Initiative and The Sentinel Project launched the “Una Hakika?” project in Mathare.

Joshua Ogure at the launch of the Una Hakika? project in Mathare

Joshua Ogure speaking at the launch of the Una Hakika? project in Mathare

The launch of Una Hakika? project in Mathare

The launch of Una Hakika? project in Mathare

On the 14th April, the project was launched also in Kibera by Map Kibera Trust in partnership with The Sentinel Project and Carolina for Kibera, promoting also Sports and Art initiatives for Peace. The launch saw different groups performing Art, coral verse and inter-ward football teams play at Undugu grounds Kibera.

Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

At Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Community Ambassadors and Map Kibera staff at the Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Community Ambassadors and Map Kibera staff at the Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

For more updating, follow the Facebook page of Una Hakika? Nairobi.

Map Kibera helps launch new Youth Mappers chapters at Kenyan Universities

by: April 11th, 2017 comments: 1

In October 2016, Map Kibera helped found a chapter at University of Nairobi of Youth Mappers, a project supported by USAID’s GeoCenter which aims to see more university students learn to use OpenStreetMap globally. Students worked on field mapping of basic infrastructure and features such as water points, toilets, health centers, schools, and other public facilities in the Mathare slum with members of Map Mathare.

The participating students were from various University of Nairobi departments including the Department of Geospatial and Space Technology, the Department of Geography, the School of Business, School of International Development, and Center for Urban Research and Innovation. To see a brief interview of some students during the training session, click this link.

The Youth Mappers blog

The Youth Mappers blog

The following month, Map Kibera took a trip to Eldoret’s Moi University to train the Geography students Youth Mappers association of Moi University about OpenStreetMap.

The first day, after an introduction by Sharon, the student leader of the Moi University, Lucy Fondo presented about Map Kibera Trust and its work through the years in the slum of Kibera and in other Nairobi’s informal settlements. Then, Joshua Owino of Map Kibera team mentioned the other projects such as the YouTube channel news of Kibera News Network, the SMS reporting platform Voice of Kibera and the photo storytelling Humans of Kibera and how they are used as citizen journalism tools to tell more stories about issues highlighted on the maps.

During the session, Phylister Mutinda from University of Nairobi shared her personal testimony about Youth Mappers experience during the University of Nairobi chapter: “This program helped me a lot for my studies. It was a good opportunity of practice what I’ve learned in theoretical classes about field mapping”.

Lucy

Lucy Fondo presenting about Map Kibera Trust

Josh Ogure talking to the students

Joshua Owino talking about the Map Kibera projects

Later, Zack Wambua introduced the Youth Mappers programme and OpenStreetMap platform. It’s important to create a network of students who share their own personal experiences on mapping, using the free open source map OSM in order to create spatial data that is free and available for everyone to download and to use for their specific work”, he stated.

After a brief presentation of the whole training, the students were able to create their own OSM accounts.

Zack

Zack Wambua introducing the Youth Mappers programme and OpenStreetMap

The second day, the practical training started with Zack Wambua in one of the GIS Laboratories of the University. He demonstrated how they can contribute to OSM both through the ID editor, a web based editor, and the JOSM offline software to add map features, such as point of interest, roads, rivers, buildings and boundaries. Later, the students were able to practice with a mapping exercise in groups to map buildings and roads of the main campus.

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Lucy Fondo during the training

Later this year, Map Kibera plans to return to train the students in a field mapping exercise in an unmapped informal settlement of Eldoret.

Watch the final video of Kibera News Network about the training at Moi University: