Mapping applied to intervention management in Senegal

By Daniel Godon, geographer, Crossroads International volunteer in Senegal, June-December 2016

I had the good fortune to have an unforgettable and enriching experience in 2016 as a Crossroader in Senegal, in Kaolack. For six months I worked with Crossroads’ local partner, the Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Sénégalaise (association for the promotion of Senegalese women, or APROFES) to support the geographical mapping of their interventions by developing a Geographic Information System (GIS). This advanced technological tool would respond to APROFES’ needs to share information with its partners and to monitor and evaluate its projects.

Working on this project was very positive and stimulating in that through the various steps of setting up the system, I developed a very close and friendly sense of co-operation with the six intervention zone supervisors and a project manager from the NGO. These women worked with me to carry out inventories of the management data related to their projects and to map the organization’s seven intervention zones in the greater Kaolack region. This helped them to understand the geographic scope of their interventions (target villages and communes) and measure them, in connection with the different projects.

I think the most interesting aspect of my mandate, in terms of sustainability, is having been able to convince the personnel of this NGO that mapping is a powerful tool that can facilitate information gathering and synthesis. The mapping has allowed them to see data on interventions across their territory and cross-reference different types of data to support the management of all kinds of projects, now and in the future.

A good example of an intervention I mapped was the Crossroads–APROFES project to develop an organic agriculture program to foster the independence of women farmers in Kaolack. The program supports the joint efforts of other APROFES partners in the Kaolack women’s village plots, helping to improve living conditions for the people in these communities.

Data compiled from this intervention are illustrated in the map below. We can clearly see that the villages with the biggest areas under market garden cultivation (10% to 80%, pale green to dark green) are located in the south of Zone 1 and are mostly supported by the Spanish NGO ARAPAZ and MUNDU BAKEAN, which are both APROFES partners. The mapping not only allows the managers to locate and assess current interventions, it also target villages with less support that could benefit from future interventions with their partners.

What I found both astonishing and motivating is that there were already some members of the APROFES team who were aware of the power of mapping for intervention management (which is not often the case for managers, even in Québec!) and that they instigated the development of this project with Crossroads International. One of the things my contribution did was spread this knowledge to more members of the APROFES staff.

The geographic information system software MapInfo Pro used to do the mapping was generously provided at a nominal cost by Pitney Bowes through a partnership agreement with Crossroads International. Korem, a Pitney Bowes partner, provided very professional software assistance and support. Thank you to everyone who made this partnership a success!


Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: