Geospatial data holds multiple benefits for health and development programs including effective decision making, efficient allocation of resources, and improved beneficiary targeting. However, these benefits are often not realized due to the fragmented application of geospatial data to health and development outcomes. This is one of the goals of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Geospatial Insights Support Team (GIST).
The GIST aims to support sustainable end-to-end geospatial value pipelines in low- and middle-income countries and foster cross-cutting alignment within geospatial ecosystems. The intended outcome of these goals is to ensure increased impact in global health and development and effective investment and advancement across the geospatial field. The need for end-to-end geospatial support and cross-cutting alignment was validated by in-country stakeholders in Nigeria at the value pipeline assessment workshop held in December 2022. In addition to the aforementioned goals, GIST also prioritized the promotion of local voices and knowledge exchange in the ecosystem. Dev-Afrique supported the GIST team with the development of the strategy to achieve its goals. The strategy includes dissemination of the insights from the value pipeline assessment report and identifying highly impactful and highly feasible gaps in the ecosystem. It also involves crowdsourcing scalable ideas to these gaps through a call for concept that was managed end-to-end by Dev-Afrique. In addition to these, Dev Afrique continues to facilitate engagements between in-country stakeholders and the GIST team. As part of the next steps, Dev-Afrique will monitor and evaluate funded initiatives from the call for concept process.