Special Issue "Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance"

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yola Georgiadou

University of Twente, Faculty ITC, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wicked policy problems; values; spatial knowledge; qualitative methods; “working with the grain”
Guest Editor
Dr. Diana Reckien

Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In current times, highly complex and urgent policy problems—e.g., climate change, rapid urbanization, equitable access to key services, land rights, and massive human resettlement—challenge citizens, NGOs, private corporations, and government at all levels, both in the global North and in the South. These problems, often called ‘wicked’, involve multiple causal factors, anticipated and unanticipated effects, as well as high levels of disagreement among stakeholders about the nature of the problem and the appropriateness of solutions.

Given the wickedness of such policy problems, interdisciplinary and longitudinal research, rather than onetime and single-discipline studies, are required. Research that harnesses and integrates the diverse skills and knowledge of urban planners, anthropologists, geographers, geo-information scientists, economists, among others, can deepen our understanding of how different levels of government and different governance stakeholders reach consensus despite their diverging beliefs and preferences. Due to the particularly complex spatio-temporal characteristics of wicked policy problems, alternative concepts, methods and innovative geo-information tools may play significant roles. This particularly speaks to concepts, methods and tools that help to analyze alternative solutions, facilitate stakeholder dialogue, and explore possibilities, rather than prescribing a single solution.

Aim of this Special Issue

This Special Issue aims to promote innovative concepts, methods, and tools, as well as the role of geo-information to help (1) analyze alternative policy solutions, (2) facilitate stakeholder dialogue, and (3) explore possibilities for tackling wicked problems related to climate change, rapid urbanization, equitable access to key services (such as water and health), land rights and human resettlement in high-, middle-, and low-income countries in the North and South.

Topics

In line with the context and aims outlined above, we invite original research contributions on the following topics (might be extended):

  • Innovative forms of governing climate change, rapid urbanization, equitable access to key public services (water and health), land rights and informal human settlements
  • New and newly conceptualized governance and government tools in informal and formal governing
  • Longitudinal studies on the effects of new or established governance tools and forms
  • Distributional aspects of goods and services for tackling above mentioned wicked policy problems
  • Procedural aspects in negotiating and deciding about potential solutions of above mentioned wicked problems, such as:
    • Inclusion of under-represented groups in formal policy and planning
    • Gender aspects and their inclusion in governance, policy and planning
  • By the use of:
    • Innovative geo-information tools and techniques
    • Crowd-sourcing techniques
    • Use of social media data in formal and informal governing
    • Games and gaming

Prof. Dr. Yola Georgiadou
Dr. Diana Reckien
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Geo-Information Tools, Governance, and Wicked Policy Problems
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7010021
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (495 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The emblematic intergovernmental Group of Earth Observations (GEO) sees food, water and energy security, natural hazards, pandemics of infectious diseases, sustainability of key services, poverty, and climate change as societal challenges [...]
Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Monitoring Rural Water Points in Tanzania with Mobile Phones: The Evolution of the SEMA App
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(10), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6100316
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3140 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Development professionals have deployed several mobile phone-based ICT (Information and Communications Technology) platforms in the global South for improving water, health, and education services. In this paper, we focus on a mobile phone-based ICT platform for water services, called Sensors, Empowerment and Accountability [...] Read more.
Development professionals have deployed several mobile phone-based ICT (Information and Communications Technology) platforms in the global South for improving water, health, and education services. In this paper, we focus on a mobile phone-based ICT platform for water services, called Sensors, Empowerment and Accountability in Tanzania (SEMA), developed by our team in the context of an action research project in Tanzania. Water users in villages and district water engineers in local governments may use it to monitor the functionality status of rural water points in the country. We describe the current architecture of the platform’s front-end (the SEMA app) and back-end and elaborate on its deployment in four districts in Tanzania. To conceptualize the evolution of the SEMA app, we use three concepts: transaction-intensiveness, discretion and crowdsourcing. The SEMA app effectively digitized only transaction-intensive tasks in the information flow between water users in villages and district water engineers. Further, it resolved two tensions over time: the tension over what to report (by decreasing the discretion of reporters) and over who should report (by constraining the reporting “crowd”). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Interactive Planning Support Tool for Addressing Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy Projects in The Netherlands
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(10), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6100313
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The implementation of renewable energy policies is lagging behind in The Netherlands. While several Dutch cities have ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the implementation of renewable energy projects has been rather slow. The main reasons for this are the limited [...] Read more.
The implementation of renewable energy policies is lagging behind in The Netherlands. While several Dutch cities have ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the implementation of renewable energy projects has been rather slow. The main reasons for this are the limited institutional capacities of local decision-makers, low levels of social acceptance of renewable-energy technologies, and limited opportunities for engagement of communities in decision-making processes. In order to address these issues we have developed an interactive planning support tool named COLLAGE for stakeholder participation in local renewable-energy planning. The goal of this paper is to analyze whether the COLLAGE tool helps to increase community engagement in renewable-energy projects and planning by increasing awareness and addressing social learning issues related to renewable-energy options. We tested the tool in a series of workshops with stakeholders and citizens from the city of Enschede, The Netherlands. The workshop results show that the tool helped involve stakeholders and communities in deciding where to locate renewable-energy facilities. It increased community members’ awareness of the benefits of and requirements for renewable energy by disclosing the spatial consequences of overall municipal goals. We conclude that the COLLAGE tool can be an important building block towards new local energy governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
The Governance Landscape of Geospatial E-Services—The Belgian Case
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(9), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6090282
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Geospatial data and geospatial e-services require governance and coordination between different governmental organisations. This article aims to understand what governance, and specifically what coordination, is used in Belgium for geospatial e-services and data. The Belgian case, with a focus on the regions and [...] Read more.
Geospatial data and geospatial e-services require governance and coordination between different governmental organisations. This article aims to understand what governance, and specifically what coordination, is used in Belgium for geospatial e-services and data. The Belgian case, with a focus on the regions and federal administration, is researched by making use of a document analysis, interviews with key stakeholders and an online survey. In contrast to the federal and Walloon administration, the Flemish administration and the Brussels Capital Region administration have a clearly developed governance model. Flanders combines hierarchy with network governance, whereas the Brussels administration is known for its hierarchical way of working. The transposition of the INSPIRE Directive had a strong influence: The Brussels Capital Region became more network-oriented, and the Walloon Region developed a form of network governance. The federal level, however, struggles to make the connection between geospatial data and e-services. From an inter-organisational perspective, the coordination can be labelled as a weak form of network governance: Cooperation exists, but only in a few areas. Nevertheless, geospatial data are exchanged within and between regions and the federal level. Geospatial e-services are also developed but there is a clear influence of the degree of organisational coordination on the development of geospatial e-services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
Open AccessArticle
Closing Data Gaps with Citizen Science? Findings from the Danube Region
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(9), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6090277
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8923 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although data is increasingly shared online and accessible for re-use, we still witness heterogeneous coverage of thematic areas and geographic regions. This especially becomes an issue when data is needed for large territories and including different nations, as, for example, required to support [...] Read more.
Although data is increasingly shared online and accessible for re-use, we still witness heterogeneous coverage of thematic areas and geographic regions. This especially becomes an issue when data is needed for large territories and including different nations, as, for example, required to support macro-regional development policies. Once identified, data gaps might be closed using different approaches. Existing—but so far non accessible—data might be made available; new public sector information could be gathered; or data might be acquired from the private sector. Our work explores a fourth option: closing data gaps with direct contributions from citizen (Citizen Science). This work summarizes a particular case study that was conducted in 2016 in the Danube Region. We provide a gap analysis over an existing macro-regional data infrastructure, and examine potential Citizen Science approaches that might help to close these gaps. We highlight already existing Citizen Science projects that could address a large part of the identified gaps, and suggest one particular new application in order to indicate how a—so far uncovered—gap might be approached. This new application addresses bioenergy as a particular field of the circular economy. On this basis we discuss the emerging opportunities and challenges for this particular way of public participation in regional development policy. We close by highlighting areas for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Tensions in Rural Water Governance: The Elusive Functioning of Rural Water Points in Tanzania
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(9), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6090266
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public water services are still failing rural Tanzanians. Emboldened by advances in information communication technologies, the Ministry of Water has been developing computing, financial and administrative technologies to update and visualise the status of rural water points. This amalgam of technologies marks the [...] Read more.
Public water services are still failing rural Tanzanians. Emboldened by advances in information communication technologies, the Ministry of Water has been developing computing, financial and administrative technologies to update and visualise the status of rural water points. This amalgam of technologies marks the emergence of an information infrastructure for rural water governance. The information infrastructure will enable the ministry to “see” the functionality status of all rural water points and to plan and budget for their repair and maintenance. In this paper, we examine three administrative technologies, which aim to standardise the functionality status of water points, and to prescribe how the information flows within the government hierarchy, and who is a legitimate recipient of this information. We analyze qualitative data, collected over a period of four years, in the framework of an interdisciplinary research program, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research—Science for Global Development (NWO-Wotro). In contrast to other researchers who study how information infrastructure evolves over time, we study what infrastructure evolution reveals about water governance. Our analysis of the practices of participants in rural water governance reveals tensions between formal and informal processes, which affect rural water services negatively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolving Spatial Data Infrastructures and the Role of Adaptive Governance
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(8), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6080254
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) are becoming more mature worldwide. However, despite this growing maturity, longitudinal research on the governance of SDIs is rare. The current research examines the governance history of two SDIs in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). Both represent decades-long undertakings [...] Read more.
Spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) are becoming more mature worldwide. However, despite this growing maturity, longitudinal research on the governance of SDIs is rare. The current research examines the governance history of two SDIs in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). Both represent decades-long undertakings to create a large-scale base map. During these processes, SDI governance changed, often quite radically. We analyse written accounts from geo-information industry magazines to determine if the SDI governance of these two base maps can be considered adaptive. We conclude that SDI governance was adaptive, as it changed considerably during the evolution of the two SDIs. However, we also find that most governance models did not hold up very long, as they were either not meeting their goals, were not satisfying all stakeholders or were not in alignment with new visions and ideas. In recent years, the policy instruments governing these base maps became increasingly diverse. In particular, more hierarchical instruments were introduced. Indeed, governance scholars increasingly agree that governance can better respond to changes when a broader mix of policy instruments is applied. Alas, this does not make SDI governance any less complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Wicked Water Points: The Quest for an Error Free National Water Point Database
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(8), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6080244
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP) of Tanzania aims to improve the performance of the water sector in general and rural water supply (RWS) in particular. During the first phase of the WSDP (2007 to 2014), implementing agencies developed information systems for attaining [...] Read more.
The Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP) of Tanzania aims to improve the performance of the water sector in general and rural water supply (RWS) in particular. During the first phase of the WSDP (2007 to 2014), implementing agencies developed information systems for attaining management efficiencies. One of these systems, the Water Point Mapping System (WPMS), has now been completed, and the database is openly available to the public, as part of the country’s commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative. The Tanzanian WPMS project was the first attempt to map “wall-to-wall” all rural public water points in an African nation. The complexity of the endeavor led to suboptimal results in the quality of the WPMS database, the baseline of the WPMS. The WPMS database was a means for the future monitoring of all rural water points, but its construction has become an end in itself. We trace the challenges of water point mapping in Tanzania and describe how the WPMS database was initially populated and to what effect. The paper conceptualizes errors found in the WPMS database as material, observational, conceptual and discursive, and characterizes them in terms of type, suspected origin and mitigation options. The discussion focuses on the consequences of open data scrutiny for the integrity of the WPMS database and the implications for monitoring wicked water point data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
What do New Yorkers Think about Impacts and Adaptation to Heat Waves? An Evaluation Tool to Incorporate Perception of Low-Income Groups into Heat Wave Adaptation Scenarios in New York City
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(8), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6080229
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (15759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Low-income residents are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change in urban areas, particularly regarding heat stress. However, their perceptions about heat and the impacts they face go often undocumented, and are seldom considered in decision-making processes delivering adaptation. This paper presents [...] Read more.
Low-income residents are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change in urban areas, particularly regarding heat stress. However, their perceptions about heat and the impacts they face go often undocumented, and are seldom considered in decision-making processes delivering adaptation. This paper presents a robust tool to allow the integration of perception, concerns and impacts of different income groups in urban adaptation planning and governance, using the City of New York as a case study. Employing online interviews—a solid method to reach poorer households—and Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping, we compare impacts and adaptation perception to heat and simulate adaptation scenarios. Results reveal that lower income groups are more concerned about impacts of heat waves than middle- and high-income populations. All income groups see citizens more in charge of adaptation, although more people from the lower income groups regard it necessary to do much more to protect themselves, proportionately more people from the higher income groups think they are doing the right amount. The scenario analysis shows that, compared to investments in the water/electricity and health system, improvements in the transit system would yield the largest decrease in negative impacts during heat, benefitting all income groups jointly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Geo-Information Tools for Governance)
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