In Zambia, the Office of the Surveyor General (OSG) and Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) are responsible for designating national, provincial, and district boundaries, while the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is responsible for mapping wards and constituencies countrywide. Given that Zambia’s administrative boundaries are created by different institutions at different mapping scales with little coordination, it has historically been difficult to align boundaries in the country. This challenge has only grown since the 2010 census after which Zambia created a new province (Muchinga) as well as many new districts, constituencies, and wards.
In May 2018, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office, in coordination with the OSG, Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats) Ministry of National Development Planning-Population (MNDP), Development Department, and the University of Zambia (UNZA), proposed that GRID3 could support the harmonisation of administrative boundaries and codes. Following this meeting came a technical mission in November 2018. During this mission, the GRID3 Zambia team met with the country’s boundary data custodians, including ECZ, OSG, and ZamStats, who detailed how a lack of harmonised boundaries had limited their ability to effectively use and share boundary data for efficient planning and decision-making. In response, the team organised a workshop held in April 2019 to facilitate the boundary harmonisation process among key stakeholders.