Module M05 - Enabling and Disabling Environments

Unit M05U02 - Legal and Political Frameworks


This Unit focuses on external, macro factors which affect the initiation, implementation and follow-up of processes in participatory geographical information systems (PGIS) practice. The Unit highlights the importance of national policies, national and local laws, property tenure systems and national and international regulatory frameworks and conventions.

The land and resource tenure policy in a specific country (and maybe also at the regional level) is an important factor in enabling successful participatory mapping activities. Therefore, to have a full appreciation of the issues in this Unit requires prior knowledge of an area’s land law and legislation, private and communal property and customary and legislated laws.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • discuss the relevance of international conventions and policies;
  • describe how policy instruments influence local people’s behaviour;
  • analyse the implications of land and resource rights and entitlements;
  • describe the importance of the legal status of indigenous and local people as an enabling or disabling factor;
  • clarify the importance of recognising community-based mapping;
  • present examples of community-based mapping.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Introduction to Unit M05U02 (PPT No. 1, Slides 1 – 3) (10 min)
  2. Participants’ experiences with participatory mapping (Exercise No. 1) (30 min)
  3. Legal and political frameworks (PPT No. 1, Slides 4 - 19) (20 min)

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)



1 hours

Equipment needed

Computer and digital projector, markers, flip charts

Additional downloads