Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) in Fragile Contexts – Now accessible on the World Bank Group's Open Learning Campus



The Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has relaunched its online course on GIT in fragile contexts on the World Bank’s Open Learning Campus. The course was developed as part of their capacity building activity for the EO4SD Fragility, Conflict and Security consortium, and has since its publication in English earlier this year also been published in French and Arabic. More than 900 participants have already taken part in the various online modules. They are coming from more than 100 different countries, including many from states affected by fragility as well as developing states.

Geospatial information technologies (GIT) have evolved to become increasingly advanced and cost-effective in recent decades. This has led to their efficient use in a number of fields contributing to sustainable development and resilience. States affected by fragility can especially benefit from it given their specific issues (reconstruction, conflicts, lack of natural resources) and often relatively low budget.

The course was designed to convey essential concepts of GIT (with a focus on remote sensing) and how such technologies can be used in situations of fragility. It offers an introduction to key ideas about the technology’s capacities and limitations and then focuses on specific types of earth observation services that can prove useful in projects focusing on development, disasters, illegal activities, environmental resources and conflicts.

The course aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • Differentiate GIT, GIS, Remote sensing and Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Explain why GIS has become a privileged tool to support states affected by fragility
  • Differentiate between popular representations and real capacities of remote sensing
  • Identify the main types and availability of remote sensing data
  • Explain how satellite data can be used to obtain numerous types of information
  • Analyze a project and identify potential GIS applications
  • Select the appropriate GIS data sources according to the information needs

It is divided into 4 modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to GIT in Fragile Contexts
  • Module 2: What Can Satellites See?
  • Module 3: GIS Analysis for Fragile States
  • Module 4: EO4SO FCV Online Platform (Optional)

This course is aimed at decision-makers, project managers and M&E specialists, and participants are not expected to have any prior knowledge in the field of GIT. It can be accessed here