by: Sande Wycliffe December 3rd, 2012 Comments Off on Voice of Kibera takes awareness of its platform to Mashinani “Grassroots”
An Attentive Audience at the Meet-up
“I want to play a pivotal role in updating and sharing community generated information with the community and the world at large through citizen journalism. I say so because I witnessed an incident a few months ago during the oil shortage problem, where a CNN journalist came to Kibera slums and paid a woman stage manage some kind or a demonstration saying the price of Paraffin had gone up as he recorded her. I would like to know more about www.voiceofkibera.org so that I can challenge the perceptions and misrepresentations that Kibera goes through.” This was what Ann one of the participants had to say during the introductions session at the meet-up.
Before then, Map Kibera Trusts’ Voice of Kibera had organized a presentation in Soweto East village to engage the youth group leaders more on how they can get engaged with the platform. Having invited 30 representatives, 22 were able to turn up for the event that started at about 2:15pm on Saturday the 1st of December.
Preparations for the day:
Adequate arrangements by the V.O.K team were made to ensure that the days program would run smoothly hence achieving its purpose. Below was the program flow.
Introduction of the entire Map Kibera Trust and Voice of Kibera.
The relationship between Map Kibera Trust programs.
The Voice of Kibera platform and how it works, what the participants think can be improved.
Question and Answer time to enable a brain storming session for better understanding.
Distribution of Maps on 3 themes; Education, Health and security to the line organizations that attended.
Refreshment and Networking
The voice of Kibera Presentation:
This was a step by step presentation done with Fredrick, one of the Map Kibera trust members. I could feel the mood in the hall, one with silence meaning the participants were keenly taking in what was being said. Some of the details that were shared are; How to submit a report, The ways with which you can send the report to the website, the details and importance of categories, editing, proof reading and approving or reports among others.
Fredrick Doing the Presentation in Soweto East
After the session Sande took over to reinforce what had been discussed even as he led the question and answer time.
Some of the questions:
How do you ensure authenticity of the reports you collect?
Now that we have new boundaries, what is your organization doing to that effect?
Do you have anywhere you advertise jobs for the youths in the slums?
Our Response to the Questions:
That when you have a report and you are not sure about its’ contends, you can get call back the person who send it to get more clarification, if the news has been covered by a 2nd or 3rd parties you can use that as well as using your available networks to get confirmation or more information on the same. Map Kibera is currently remapping the new boundaries by IEBC including information on the location of polling stations so that this information can be available to the locals before the elections in March 2013. We are developing a plartform under the name organizational directory that will see advertisement of opportunities a reality in the sense that those who consume contend do it for free apart from profiling organizations in Kibera on the Platform.
The meet-up that took close to 3 hours came to an end with the p
Having been the first organization to put the entire Kibera slums on the world map, Map Kibera Trust; an organization that seeks to be a hub where access to open information contributes to positive community transformation was on the road again to ensure that the maps that were produced reached the community which in-turn would put them to use.
To achieve this, the program coordinators met for the preparation of distributing the maps; there intention of meeting was to bring the attention of the three programs on how they will be working together towards achieving the objective of the exercise and to come up with relevant locations for maps distribution. It was there that they agreed that members from the 3 programs; Mapping, Voice of Kibera and Kibera News Network were to go to the field to distribute the maps which had been developed based on themes. Maps on Education, Security and Health are the themes that were distributed.
The aim of the exercise was to give back to the community through the high quality printed maps that contain the informational that came from them during the first phase of the mapping exercise.
For the 2 days that we were in the field, we were able to cover all the 13 villages; Gatwikera, Raila, Olympic, Soweto west&east, Kianda, Kambi muru, Kisumu ndogo, Lindi, Mashimoni, Makina, Silanga, and Laini Saba.
Positive Feedback From the Field.
As we visited different places, we collected feedback from the people we found so that we could ascertain how the maps will be put to good used.
The local administration appreciated our work and accepted to be interviewed i.e. Sarang’ombe and Laina Saba ward chiefs.
Most of the institutions accepted to use the map for positive transfiguration most of the institution wanted more than one map so they can use it for informational purposes as well as Education especially the Schools we visited.
We even had a chance to meet with D.O 1 (District Commissioner) who had a compliment for us saying that our map was outstanding compared to the one they had before.
For those who were not able to access our maps online were able to access them on hard-copy something that was important for us since it was now realized.
We ensured equal distribution of maps in at least all villages in Kibera.
Some of the Challenges.
Though most of the places we went to were very receptive, we experienced some hostility in a few areas where we were thought to be a different group out to just take advantage of the situations in Kibera by walking around to talk to people as we take photos to go and sell. After a few minutes of sharing our intentions with them, they understood us and we gave out the maps, something they congratulated us for showing a good example to organizations by sharing the findings of the work done with the community. We also found some schools that were to get maps already closed for holiday which means we will have to give them the maps when they resume school.
In general, the exercise was a success only for the schools that had already closed. Going forward, we need to print big and more visible maps a suggestion that came from one of the places we visited.
We hope that the maps distributed will not only be put to good use but also help Map Kibera Trust bond more with the community so that even as we get ready to cover the vents before, during and after the elections, we can work together to achieve optimum results and that Kibera and the other slums we are currently working with (Mathare and Mukuru) will never be the same again.
and if you’re curious, a little more detailed Report
The approaches to paper mapping are well described by Mikel in his blog post called Paper Mapping in Community Meetings. What I would like to add to his points are the reasons why we conducted the paper mapping in the first place. To name a few:
Feedback. To acquire feedback from the wider community regarding the maps and the data collected by a few community members.
Understanding the place. To understand the areas where we are mapping – more accurately, to at least trying to understand complex places like Kibera. Outsiders to communities often overlook this step, and end up conducting projects in communities that they don’t really understand and haven’t taken the time to learn much about.
Acquire more information. We wanted to collect more information and double-check the information collected, find the missing objects, listen to the stories regarding particular issues, and to identify specific problems and solutions to these problems.
Monitoring the accuracy of the mapping. Through community’s input we were able to monitor the accuracy of our mapping endeavor.
These were the reasons I decided I’m going to look closely into these paper/drawn maps and try to understand what the people from Kibera were telling us. I’ve done a similar exercise before with Joshua Goldstein (as a part of Map Kibera) who was at that time working for UNICEF Innovations. We – together with the rest of the Map Kibera team, of course – had created the first, and the most comprehensive Security map of Kibera. Now it was time to focus on other problematic areas, where we also involved community members who drew on our existing map to add information and new issues. For that reason, there were, and still are, some twenty or so drawn, paper maps stored safely away in cyberspace, which cover issue topics ranging from education, health, water and sanitation. To extract useful information from these maps required some Photoshop magic. The first maps I looked into were the water and sanitation maps.
So what did we ask, and what did the community tell us?
Identifying missing resources:
Is it representative?Is anything missing or mislabeled?” were some of the questions we asked to help us see the extent of the missing data. The feedback made us realize that we missed a lot, and it made us realize we need to re-do the mapping.
Identifying problem areas:
What and where are the biggest problems regarding water and sanitation in the community? Which water points and toilets would you say are the worst and why? Are there many people who use public spaces for toilets?” were the questions which helped us identify the most pressing issues and problems. Some of the major problems identified were:
All streams are used as toilets and dumping sites
There is a health hazard because the people at times use the railway as a toilet, garbage dump & a cooking point
Misuse of the drainage system as a dumping site
Stories behind issues:
What would you say are the largest and most direct challenges to providing quality water and sanitation? What is the biggest need regarding water, waste disposal, and sanitation in Kibera? What would you want the Government and other decision makers to know about water, waste disposal, and sanitation in Kibera?” These questions helped us collect stories that lent insight into the complex dynamics of Kibera. Some stories:
Stories connected to water and sanitation
Different amounts of money is required depending on which toilet you use
Solid waste management is poor
Vigilante groups demand money for the toilets which are to be constructed in their area
Maintenance of toilets is a big problem; toilets get polluted quickly
For “short calls” people use plastic tins; flying toilets (plastic bags in which people defecate and then throw out of their home) are used at night because of insecurity
Households use paper bags for waste collection; these bags are then picked up by individuals and groups who bring them to collection points for a certain amount
Where do your collect water? Where do you use the toilet? Where do you dump trash? Why?” By asking these questions we were able to observe the movements connected to the water and sanitation. Some of the findings that came out of the mobility mapping were that:
Mobility connected to water and sanitation
People dump their trash into rivers, and the rivers serve as collectors of most of the garbage from the slums
There are some points of data collection within the slum where the city council collects the trash and transports it out of the slum
People don’t necessarily use the closest toilets and water points but look for the most affordable ones
How would you solve some of the problems you pointed out? In what ways can you envision using this map to improve water, waste disposal, and sanitation in Kibera?” These questions encouraged people to share their views on how to solve certain problems regarding water and sanitation:
Some of the solutions
Awareness and education
Need for weekly garbage collection
More dumping sites, more toilets to be constructed
Stakeholder involvement – coordination between stakeholders
Partnership involvement – CBOs, NGOs, and landlords should come on board to make sure that each plot has a sanitary facility/usable toilet
Paper mapping or drawing exercises proved to be a very useful feedback mechanism and also a very useful tool for planning. The community’s knowledge is priceless and only the community understands and knows all the answers. There’s no point in figuring out something new when the solutions are already available and when all you have to do is just listen!
Before the late 1980s and early 1990s when some of us were so excited at what we were finding local people could do, much indigenous, local and participatory mapping had already taken place in different regions, countries and continents. Mapping and various forms of spatial representation by local people on their own have a long history, and very likely a prehistory!
More remarkable than what local people had already done in mapping and other forms of spatial representation was “our” educated professional ignorance of their mapping abilities.