The output from the boundaries harmonisation exercise is an updated district shapefile validated against officially endorsed narratives and aligned to topographic features at a scale of 1:10,000, which corresponds to the mapping scale used by Electoral Commission of Zambia for ward delineation. The second output is a ward shapefile aligned to the district boundaries. Another important output is the harmonisation of codes among districts, wards, and provinces (which are now consistent among administrative boundaries, allowing for correct aggregation of administrative units from higher to lower levels).
One important outcome of the boundaries harmonisation was the identification of issues within the district narratives, such as typological or spelling errors and content errors. In the course of the boundaries harmonisation workshop, participants recorded any identified errors within narratives and tracked any changes that have been made to the text. Upon the completion of the workshop, a letter from the OSG was sent to the Director of Ministry of Local Government and Housing explaining the issues found in the narratives and requesting to engage the Ministry of Justice to review and publish new Statutory Instruments.
GRID3 Zambia facilitated coordination among all government agencies responsible for boundaries in Zambia to ensure a production of government- endorsed administrative boundaries shapefiles. The harmonised shapefiles are now used among government ministries as the official boundary set for all planning and decision-making.
In September 2019, GRID3 received feedback from the OSG describing how the updated district boundaries are being used by local authorities or councils to resolve land disputes. Most district councils in Zambia have little or no capacity to interpret their area of jurisdiction, which often results in councils occupying land beyond the boundaries of their authority. In such instances, the team from the OSG is called upon to assist local councils with resolving land disputes. The land disputes between councils are resolved by referring to the district maps as well as to district narratives to determine which district the property belongs to. Given that the land disputes occur at various levels (such as the city, farm plot, or property level), it is important to have high resolution district boundaries that follow topological features precisely.
The Office of Surveyor General often collaborates with ECZ to conduct ward delineations. During the delineation exercises, community members and decision-makers meet to discuss proposed edits to the wards and determine whether the wards are nested within a particular district or need to be split/merged based on the population counts. For this reason, the district maps and accompanying narratives are being referenced to make sure any edits done to the ward boundaries are within a particular district’s boundary.