Annual Report 2015: Knowledge generation and use

Innovative Uses for Geospatial Tools, Crowdsourcing and Other New Methods Emerge from Small Grants Programme

The SERVIR-Himalaya Small Grants Programme has spurred innovative ways to help decision makers do everything, from expanding banana production to monitoring forest biomass from the sky.

One application, for instance, aims to improve the effectiveness of forest fire control by bringing communities into the communication loop. In addition to including local people on the automated 

updates on forest fires along with district forest officers and other officials, it enables communities to let firefighters know about fires that aren’t captured by satellites, which only pass over twice a day. Other apps and programmes use mobile phones, crowdsourcing, and earth observation information to address agriculture, food security, disaster reporting, and a wide range of other issues.

The overall objective of the SERVIRHimalaya Small Grants Programme is to enhance the regional capacity for evidence-based decision making, expand the network of organizations, universities and institutions, and promote the application of Earth observation data and geospatial tools in decision making. There were eight small grants and six small skills projects funded through the project.