Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Whose Map? | ¿De Quién Son Los Mapas? | à qui appartiennent les cartes ? English / français/ español

In recent years, changes in participatory methodologies (PMs) may have been even more rapid than those in spatial technologies. Local people's abilities to make maps only became widely known and facilitated in the early 1990s. In this article Dr. Robert Chambers argues that participatory mapping has spread like a pandemic with many variants and applications not only in natural resource management but also in many other domains. With mapping as one element, there are now signs of a new pluralist eclecticism and creativity in PMs. The medium and means of mapping, whether ground, paper or GIS and the style and mode of facilitation, influence who takes part, the nature of outcomes and power relationships. Much depends on the behaviour and attitudes of facilitators and who controls the process. Many ethical issues present troubling dilemmas, and lead to overarching questions about empowerment and ownership. Questions to be asked, again and again, are: Who is empowered and who disempowered? And, who gains and who loses?

Below is the original article published on  EJISDC, an open access journal, and translations in French and Spanish done in the context of the development of the "Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Managamant and Communication" soon to be published by CTA and IFAD.
Here is a related interview with Robert Chambers subtitled in 10 languages (you can embed this video on your blog or web site!)

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