From February 22 to March 3, 2021 the The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa project staff at RCMRD conducted a data collection on the Open Geographical Regional Reference Vector Data in Sudan. In this mission, 12 agencies were visited including eight government and four non-governmental or (humanitarian) organisations. The agencies claimed that they were not aware about the GMES related activities in Sudan and thus there was a need to make a presentation and create awareness on the subject matter. Datasets were collected from both governmental and non-governmental agencies, with most requiring a follow up from the country focal person.
University of Khartoum, is one of the important agencies that provided most of the data and actively participated in various geospatial related activities. Some agencies already have developed Geoportals and important websites for sharing data, and therefore preferred to share their links rather than actual datasets. Some institutions like the Forest National Cooperation (FNC) that was a Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) project focal point said they should have been involved in the GMES project.
The officer noted that most of these institutions were not aware of GMES and Africa initiatives in Sudan and thus, the presentation slides, demos and discussions were geared towards awareness creation for the project. However, in future, it would be important to undertake a user needs assessment or engagement in the initial stages of project implementation. It would also be important to involve the critical government institutions such as the Forest National Corporation in implementing critical services such as land degradation that directly fall within their domain and make use of their expertise in such areas to reduce duplication of efforts. It would also be important to create links in terms of data/information flow that is web-based portals and websites to be linked to the main GMES website. This was due to the fact that most government institutions have existing geoportals and are willing to share links with RCMRD. The training/workshop component would be very critical as most stakeholders would like to be involved and understand how the final products are produced, this is especially important for the land degradation and wetlands services.