Module M05 - Enabling and Disabling Environments

Unit M05U03 - Social, Economic, Cultural and Institutional Factors at the Local and Community Levels


This Unit focuses on the local factors and situations which affect the initiation, implementation and follow-up of participatory mapping processes. The factors may be enabling or disabling; that is, they may support or hinder the practice of participatory geographical information systems (PGIS). These factors can impact PGIS processes in many ways. This Unit categorises the different types of factors and their relative significance, and examines the feasibility of tackling disabling factors.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

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

  • assess the strengths and weaknesses of local spatial knowledge;
  • describe the dimensions of community resources, including governance, technical and financial factors, cultural and social factors and land rights and entitlements;
  • explain the relevance of gendered and children’s maps;
  • examine the feasibility of countering disabling factors.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Introduction to Unit M05U03 (PPT No. 1, Slides 1 – 3) (10 min); (Exercise No. 1) (30 min)
  2. Local spatial knowledge (PPT No. 1, Slides 4 - 7) (10 min); (Exercise No. 2) (45 min)
  3. Community resources (PPT No. 1, Slides 8 - 9) (10 min)
  4. Governance (PPT No. 1, Slide 10) (5 min)
  5. Technical and financial factors (PPT No. 1, Slide 11) (5 min)
  6. Cultural and social factors (PPT No. 1, Slide 12) (10 min); (Exercise No. 3) (30 min)
  7. Land rights and entitlements (PPT No. 1, Slide 13 - 14) (5 min)
  8. Gendered and children’s maps (PPT No. 1, Slide 15) (10 min); (Exercise No. 4) (45 min)
  9. Countering negative factors (PPT No. 1, Slides 16 - 17) (10 min)

Components of the Unit


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

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)



3¾ hours

Equipment needed

Computer and digital projector, metacards, markers of different colours, flip charts, three large sheets of craft paper (1.2 m x 1.6 m each), masking tape, scissor, wall space, community-based maps included in Exercise No. 3

Additional downloads