03/19/2007 10:09 AM
To: Nyoike.Mugechi at bamburi.lafarge.com
Subject: Re: Invitation for Expession of Interest to participate in an East African SDI Mashup
Thank you for your support. At this stage there are neither dates nor venues for any meetings. My plan is, initially, to survey the field and see who's interested in contributing and, as far as possible, get some organization going without disrupting too much people day-to-day. We are a net-enabled group and I think we can get some momentum going without waiting for physical meetings.
Already, in a matter of days, we have offers between agencies to help with some swapping of basic skill slike setting up OGC web feature services. Call this phase zero, out of which comes a sort of directory of "who's who in East Africa SDI stuff" and at least an initial indicator of what their capabilities and/or needs might be. This is however just a proposal and I'm open to suggestions how better to proceed.
Once past phase 0 then would be the time perhaps for some more "formal" structure. We the UN gang have an obligation and capabilities to start getting our own house in order but we don't have the assets or mandate to attempt to solve all the problems this exercise uncovers. What we can do, however, is get organized with "clusters" of our neighbours - for example, UNEP with the conservation community, wildlife management and NGOs like Green Belt Movement; UN-Habitat with civil society and social equity NGOs - and try to use scanty UN assets to boost local capabilities. Call that phase 1, and that is probably the point where some "real" meeting would yield some real results and give the local players a chance to meet each other and the UN gang. This plausibly could happen in a couple of months' time, before everyone disappears for the northern summer.
Would you mind if I copied this response to the SDI-EA list?
PS Via which did you get the invitation? Where possible I want to drop the "list of lists" approach and get individuals registered so we can do our laundry within the community and reserving announcments to more public lists for when really neat things. It'll also make it easier for you to respond directly to the list without relying on me.