Environmental Information Systems

Example Project: Mobile phone system to improve two-way transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector

Project overview:

Hatfield developed a community-based monitoring system that uses mobile-phones to monitor and track the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of oil and gas development on communities in Ghana.

The system was designed to allow communities and civil society to trackand report the impacts of extractive activities to a centralized platform by sending SMS with their mobile phones. The gathered data was then be analysed and shared with the individual participants, media and civil society organisations to raise awareness and to advocate for better governance and accountability.

System Features and Benefits:

  • Created a community-driven, grassroots amplifying feedback loop that gathered individual voices which were aggregated and amplified to action and information. This feedback loop includes individuals, civil society, district governments, the national government and oil and gas operators.
  • The timeliness and adaptability of aggregating and amplifying individual voices into information and action is greatly enhanced through the use of a mobile-phone enabled platform. Whereby previously information gathering processes were slow and rarely returned information to communities, a mobile-phone enabled system greatly reduces the time it takes to aggregate and return information.
  • The system was designed using participatory stakeholder engagement processes, with key technical implementation choices linked directly to stakeholder engagement findings.
  • Community-based environmental and socioeconomic impacts of oil and gas development were aggregated using a standardised data gathering template that was designed using participatory stakeholder design processes.
  • A web-based system allowed for community-given results to be easily aggregated and disseminated into meaningful information.

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