The Government of Nigeria takes over operation of GRID3 Nigeria data and portal

October 20, 2020

To ensure long term integration and sustainability of geospatial analytics in the country, the Government of Nigeria, under its National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), is taking over management, hosting, and maintenance of the GRID3 Nigeria data and portal. To facilitate a smooth transition, the GRID3 Nigeria team is in the process of delivering a technology transfer and training to NASRDA so that the appropriate resources, infrastructure and skills are in place. 

“This tech transfer is a big win for our partnership with the Nigerian government. We’ve also supported NASRDA with setting up a new physical lab and infrastructure to host the portal and geodatabase by investing in new space, computers, and servers,”

explains Emilie Schnarr, GRID3 country lead for Nigeria.

The GRID3 Nigeria geodatabase is made up of 980 datasets in 37 states and 12 sectors.* It contains datasets relating to subnational boundaries, key infrastructure (e.g. schools, health facilities, markets, etc.), as well as settlements. The latest GRID3 Nigeria gridded population estimates are also available as GIS data and aggregated at country, state, Local Government Area (LGA), and ward levels. The portal grants public access to most of the data, allowing users to search and download datasets by sectors and states. 

NASRDA has been approaching various ministries, departments and agencies at national and sub-national levels to integrate, harmonise and merge any government-hosted geospatial data into the GRID3 Nigeria portal. Some of these organisations include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), National Population Commision (NPopC), Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGoF), and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), amongst others.

Details about the tech transfer and training

To support the delivery of remote capacity strengthening modules and train NASRDA on the management of the GRID3 Nigeria portal and associated datasets, GRID3 contracted Novel-T, a humanitarian-focused software and IT company. Starting on 31 August of this year, Novel-T has trained 20 NASRDA staff on the management of the GRID3 Nigeria geodatabase and hosting of the portal. Participants have been learning about the GRID3 data management system and infrastructure, focusing on the front and back end of the portal. 


“Our role at Novel-T has been to support GRID3 with the delivery of training modules but also to enhance the geodatabase and portal infrastructure. GRID3 inherited some of the data and the portal from eHealth Africa, the non-profit contracted by GRID3 at the early stage of the project. We were contracted to upgrade the geo-data management pipeline and web portal publishing by developing new tools to automate recurrent and tedious tasks and by streamlining data management processes. We also took the opportunity to clean the existing data hosted on the portal, fix some portal bugs, improve some functionalities, and prepare documentation to facilitate the transfer to the Government,”

explains explains Roger Widmer, Senior Project Manager at Novel-T.

GRID3 Portal and Data Management Process
All datasets uploaded to the system need to respect a GRID3 schema definition agreed and followed by all NASRDA geodatabase and portal managers. The team will run quality controls checks and edit the data to ensure GRID3 compliance. The data is then imported into the system, following specific steps, and published to the portal for open access.

Throughout the course, NASRDA representatives learned how to run quality checks, (such as checking duplicates for field matches) and how to integrate different types of datasets into the system. At the end of the training (scheduled for this month), NASRDA teams will be able to fully operate the database and portal.

“The training and transfer are essential for ensuring access and use of a comprehensive and accurate geospatial data system in Nigeria. We are excited for the future of geospatial analytics in Nigeria. The next steps for us will be to train states on geospatial data and how to incorporate their data into this database,”

states Dr. Matthew Adepoju, Deputy Director, Strategic Space Applications Department of NASRDA.

* correct at the date of publication
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