5-year strategy sets spatial data up

Launching the National Spatial Data Infrastructure this week, acting Statistician General Sikongo Haihambo said the committee for spatial data was established in November 2013 to draft a National Spatial Data Infrastructure policy. It was was gazetted earlier this year in March to pave the way for the development of the NSDI Strategy and Action Plan to guide the implementation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
The action plan will also generate near real-time to real time spatial data for monitoring of disasters and national food security. Most importantly, it will also concentrate on building a spatially enabled information society. It is estimated that around N$45 million will be required over the next five years to fully implement this strategy and action plan.
The Director General of the National Planning Commission at that time, appointed members to the Committee for Spatial Data in November 2013.The purpose of this committee is to advise the Minister and the Namibia Statistics Agency on the establishment of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
The national spatial data infrastructure is data infrastructure of geographic or locational information. The NSDI can therefore be seen as the set of policies, agency standards and procedures under which organizations and technologies interact to foster more efficient production, management, access and use of spatial data.
“In our country this has so far not been well coordinated resulting in various ministries collecting the same information at high costs, leaving collected information not documented, the data quality and fitness not generally known and access to and sharing of such data being non -existent or limited. The National Spatial Data Infrastructure was hence created to place more value on the use of spatial data, avoid wastage,improving coordination and increasing the use of spatial data and therefore building a knowledge-based economy,” said Haihambo.
The NSDI policy identified various fundamental data sets seen as critical for the national spatial data infrastructure. These relate to all types of information and are coordinated by various stakeholders. The Action Plan hence places significant responsibilities in the hands of the NSDI stakeholders. These include,but are not limited to, the Namibia Statistics Agency, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Land Reform, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Safety and Security, Ministry of Economic Planning and National Planning Commission, Namwater and Nampower.
The Action Plan has four overall goals, twelve strategic objectives and sixty five key activities. The issues that are addressed include the quality and timeliness of spatial data, the avoidance of duplication of data collection by different ministries and agencies, generate wide spread access to and sharing of spatial data for timely decision making and evidence based development planning.