Local government officials in the municipality of Marinilla, Antioquia department (located about 50 kilometers away from Antioquia’s capital, Medellin) had spent several years searching for a municipal planning software tool that could help them organize and manage the large volumes of data streaming in from the municipality’s 35 urban zones and 34 rural zones.
To help guide the software selection process, local officials had compiled a basic list of system requirements. The tool had to be able to handle geo-referenced data at the municipal level. It needed to be user-friendly and easily accessible to municipal planners. And most importantly, the tool needed to provide outputs that would support decision-making in the areas of municipal planning and development.
After testing several GIS software packages, municipal officials decided to settle on the one they felt would best serve their needs:DevInfo. The database system had been recommended to them by the Office of Children, Youth and Adolescents, Antioquia department, which was already using DevInfo to track local data on children and youth.
With some guidance and encouragement from department staff, municipal officials were able to customize the software platform for their own needs and launch a new municipal information system: MarinillaInfo. This new system contains data sourced from various municipal secretariats, including those charged with oversight for legal services, social development, planning, local health, projects, education, culture, agriculture, environment and transportation.
According to municipal GIS consultant France Vanegas Marin, one of the key strengths of MarinillaInfo lies in its ability to record data
disaggregated by geographic sub-areas such as neighborhood, village and municipality which facilitates analysis for planning and development. Another strength is the ability to record and analyze data disaggregated by sex and location (urban/rural).
Additionally, MarinillaInfo allows users to easily access, map, and generate reports from the stored data, enabling planners to visualize selected indicators during the decision-making process.
“This new information system provides the municipality with many benefits,” explains Vanegas. “It will allow municipal officials to respond quickly to internal and external requests for information, thereby reducing duplication of efforts and resources. It provides staff with better knowledge of all the neighborhoods and villages in their municipality. It enables follow-up tracking to assess impacts of various interventions. It also contributes to the establishment of a strong culture of information management and organization.”
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact France Vanegas Marin, GIS Consultant, Municipality of Marinilla, Colombia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.