Evaluating a Public Sector Organisation for SDI Readiness – The Case of a South African Government Department

Sibusisiwe Hlela, Serena Coetzee, Antony Cooper


Spatial data infrastructure (SDI) facilitates the collection and sharing of geographic information developed by different organisations. As a result, SDI initiatives are occurring in different countries. Various government departments are implementing SDI in order to contribute to the achievements of its objectives. SDI assessments to evaluate the implementation thereof is also occurring from local levels to international levels. This paper establishes the availability of geographic information within the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) by describing DEA’s contribution to the South African SDI objectives and by assessing DEA’s SDI readiness.

The qualitative method was used to collect data. The techniques used in this research were literature review, interviews, mainly in-depth interview, document and internet analysis.

The results indicate that geographic information is available and the department continues to make more means to make it available. They also reveal that there are some challenges with respect to accessibility. Currently there is a process to make it even more easily accessible. The results show DEA’s willingness and capacity to contribute to the South African SDI. The voluntary participation in SDI activities and the ability to obtain additional funding for geographic information is a clear indicator of DEA’s willingness to contribute to SASDI’s objectives. The results contribute to the body of knowledge that if an SDI is still in the early stages of development, it is challenging to make conclusions on some of the key SDI assessment indices. Future research is required once South African SDI has reached mature stages.

Full Text: PDF