GIS based development of Blocks and Enumeration Areas (EAs) for Sustainable Development Policy Institute

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is an independent non-profit organization which serves as a hub of accumulating, producing and providing information related to public interests in order to facilitate concerned individuals, institutions, supreme policy making authorities and other stakeholders of the government for soliciting policy advice and advocacy services. The SDPI is registered under the provisions of Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860, which provides expertise for analysis, development and intervening new socio-economic policies framework. The accumulated information is used to control and regulate the sustainable development by defining, monitoring and enhancing parameters for enhancing quality of services and social justice among the generations.

According to Director General of “National Socio-Economic Registry”-NSER of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the latest “National Prosperity Survey” was held in 2010-2011, elucidating the dire need of gathering contemporary socio-economic details of commonalities throughout the country for shaping out the way-forward to inclusive national plan. As per factual tenable facts, NSER of BISP launched execution plan of country-wide data accumulation phenomena termed as ‘Qaumi Khushali Survey” for latest data collection and progression for socio-economic sustainable development and vindicated divisions of public resources. In this regard, Urban Unit, being capable of developing and mapping of geo-datasets due to its highly professional and well-practiced GIS team and its own data development labs and paramount data resource centers, was requested to provide its services to SDPI for technical support for digital geo-database development of Blocks and EAs within desired areas, which was the first landmark towards the successful and smooth implementation of country wide National Prosperity Survey.

On August 26th, 2019, The SDPI and Urban unit came into contract of GIS based development of Blocks and of Enumeration Areas for the target 21 districts of Punjab for initiating and executing the process of national prosperity survey. In this regard, the urban Unit was on the go for data development support of National Prosperity Survey ensuring that each and every structure existing within the target area shall be incorporated. The required EAs, in both urban or rural areas, were demarcated on the latest high resolution satellite imagery by the process of digitization within each UC of each district by dividing each tehsil into four equal blocks and each block was further sub-divided into small segments termed as Enumeration Areas-EAs. Unique Ids were assigned to each block and each EA for removing any data redundancy. The EAs were digitized with great caution by following a set of standard operating procedures-SOPs along with attribute entry of all related basic information of each EA, i.e., precise counting of structures pertained within each EA, Block number, mouza/ locality, Union council-UC, Tehsil, District, Division and cluster boundary information of the area. Also, for a smooth and hassle-free execution of door-to-door survey, EAs were demarked precisely on the basis of structure count thresholds which were provided by decisive authorities of SDPI as a reasonable sized EA would be more convenient to be succeeded by the survey teams. This prepared geo-database, after quality assurance and data cleaning phase, was further processed by urban unit team for developing map books of each and every EA. The maps provided vibrant graphic picture as well as a clear illustration of all basic information of EA numbers, block numbers, UC, tehsil and district names.

The developed spatial datasets and maps were delivered to SDPI which was of great help to the survey conducting authorities for the national cause of facilitating government authorities in order to control the issues of financial insufficiencies and succinctly, providing a better vision for improving the lives of the vulnerable segments of society. Once the desired datasets have been developed and provided by the urban unit team, SDPI will be steering latest door-to-door survey for reviewing and accelerating socio-economic details of the public and highlighting poverty issues by gathering basic data of each household/ structure within that area for analysis and future resource planning. The Urban Unit has developed spatial datasets of various data layers including district boundaries, tehsil boundaries, locality boundaries, Union council boundaries, block boundaries and finally the enumeration areas for each UC individually. Maps have been developed by the urban unit team for each and every Enumeration area on UC level, on District level, on division level and on cluster level. Maps for 6 districts including Khanewal, Okara, Toba Tek Singh, Sheikhupura, Bhakkar and Mianwali have been prepared and delivered to SDPI by urban unit and rest are in contiguous phase. A joint Survey will be conducted by the parent department SDPI and BISP for each and every household of each EA after completion of the data development phase. For the completed districts, ground survey has been started by the survey teams and will soon move into other districts across Punjab.

This joint struggle of urban unit with SDPI and BISP will assist Government in maintaining and updating digital record of each union council along with its enumeration blocks with structure count details. Once this “Khushali Survey” will be accomplished by joint efforts of Urban Unit, SDPI and BISP authorities, this will come out to be a real success story in terms of discovering, analyzing and proposing new ways and solutions to help out the poor public of the nation and writing out a comprehensive national plan. Concisely, this approach will enable Government in keeping and updating digital record of structures of each union council for the sake of better planning of socio economic factors and improving the life style of poor.