Senegalese Geographer to Lead 2014 GIS Workshop
Dr. Ibrahima Dia, a health geographer with Senegal’s Ministry of Health, will be the primary instructor for a 2014 workshop on the use of geographic information systems (GIS). The workshop focuses on using GIS to enhance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of HIV and AIDS and related health programs in francophone Africa.
The workshop will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in the spring at the Centre Africain d’Etudes Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG), which is MEASURE Evaluation’s regional training partner. The exact dates and other details are being planned. (Interested participants may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to submit applications to CESAG).
Dia also co-taught sessions and took on a leadership role for the 2013 GIS and M&E workshop, which CESAG and MEASURE Evaluation led on March 25-April 5. Nine participants from seven countries in Africa attended the workshop.
“The partnership between CESAG and MEASURE Evaluation is very beneficial for us, especially the Ministry of Health in Senegal,” Dia says.
One component of the annual workshop is teaching participants how to use Quantum GIS (QGIS), a free and open-source software. Using no-cost software such as QGIS makes the technology more accessible to health program decision makers throughout francophone Africa.
MEASURE Evaluation started integrating GIS into an existing CESAG regional workshop on M&E of HIV and AIDS programs in 2010. Dr. Alimou Barry, a senior health information systems specialist with MEASURE Evaluation, led that workshop. James Stewart, a geographer and senior spatial analyst with MEASURE Evaluation, designed and taught the first GIS segment, which was expanded in 2012 to become a separate, weeklong workshop. It expanded to two weeks in 2013 to provide additional time for global positioning system (GPS) data collection, spatial data exploration, and more participant group work.
CESAG is taking over the leadership role for future M&E and GIS workshops for health programs. Although focused on francophone Africa, CESAG workshops also attract participants from other francophone regions, such as the Caribbean.
Stewart describes Dia as an engaging instructor with an in-depth grasp of both GIS and how to use it effectively in a public health context. Dia said he has learned a lot from their collaboration on the workshops. “I know that MEASURE Evaluation is very much invested in the success of the course,” said Dia.