The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a US$773,476 grant to the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI) in Sierra Leone to develop an Integrated GIS Portal that will utilise technology, software and devices to collect, label and model data to inform real-time government and development partner decision making.
The grant will also seek to strengthen the local ecosystem around human capacity development.
“This generous support provided by the Bill & Melinda Foundation will enable DSTI to use low-cost technology solutions like SMS, USSD, interactive voice response and mobile apps to provide citizens with real-time information for timely access and receipt of services, and optimise service delivery specifically in the provision of maternal healthcare services,” said Dr. Moinina David Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer at DSTI.
“We will further be able to collect and analyse data that will be provided to government service providers to optimize and improve their services both for supply chain and resource allocation.”
The Integrated Geographic Information System (iGIS) Portal is a cross-sectoral spatial data infrastructure and geodatabase and links diverse geographic information datasets from the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and its partners.
“The Foundation’s support will serve as the seed funding for the scaling of the Integrated GIS Portal and will support the collection of critical data and develop analyses to promote health, agriculture, environmental, and education outcomes,” said Glenna Wilson, Data Engineer, and GIS Portal Project Lead.
“By the project’s completion, the government will have the evidence to efficiently target HCD investment resources towards the most impactful interventions and to effectively coordinate investments by government, development partners, NGOs, and the private sector.”