The Kenya Space Agency (KSA) recently convened a workshop focusing on data innovations and Earth Observation to bolster decision support and fortify urban resilience in Kenya. The event brought together many stakeholders, including representatives from key government agencies at national and county levels, the World Bank, international agencies, academia, and private enterprises engaged in spatial planning and urban development.
According to an excerpt from KSA, the primary agenda was to strategise mapping and monitoring urban centre growth in Kenya, aiding decision-making processes and shaping urban planning policies. A key proposal was the establishment of an urban observatory, envisioned as a centralised platform housing diverse datasets on urban and human settlements, facilitating the visualisation of temporal changes.
Key outcomes from the discussions
- Development of a Comprehensive Data Management Roadmap: Participants extensively discussed crafting a roadmap encompassing data collection, dissemination, analysis, and tool utilisation to strengthen data-driven decision-making.
- Case Study Presentations: Various stakeholders shared case studies, offering insights into adaptable models tailored to Kenya’s context.
- Framework for the Urban Observatory: Deliberations focused on outlining the Urban Observatory’s framework, defining objectives, engaging stakeholders, and addressing critical issues and gaps.
- Student Engagement: Recognising the significance of continuous data collection and institutional support, discussions highlighted the integration of tertiary institution students in data collection efforts and internship programs.
- Anticipated Impacts: The Urban Observatory’s establishment will empower national and county governments with data-driven insights crucial for informed policy formulation, particularly in infrastructure development and revenue generation.
The workshop underscored the imperative of integrating data from diverse stakeholders, emphasising its role in driving informed decision-making processes. It was a pivotal platform for fostering collaboration and laying the groundwork for a robust urban development support system and a community of practice in Kenya.