Azile Mdleleni was announced as the 2020 Esri Young Scholar Award winner for her participatory GIS (PGIS) project. For her BScHons Geoinformatics research project, Azile focused on the daily struggles of individuals who live in the informal settlement of Alaska, City of Tshwane.
PGIS is a method which aims to use local knowledge to map an area and places an emphasis on community involvement. This allows for an open line of communication with the community and thus a better understanding of their needs. In this project, this was done through in-depth interviews with community members in order to identify and understand their daily struggles.
The result of the analysis was two visualisations were created (i.e. a web map and a story map) to communicate the results of the interviews. The web map provided a detailed look at the daily struggles. The web map can be used by community leaders when communicating with local governments and other stakeholders, such as non-profits. The community members would have maps which they helped create and their involvement in the process of decision-making could ultimately lead to empowerment.
The main outputs of Azile's project can be accessed here, https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/c928b339a5bb429cbc445f2be803ed5f (story map) and https://uparcgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=1ac9f86179e941ce818d2f08001d83dc (web map).
Congratulations again, Azile!