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T-MARC Project Leads GIS Mapping in Tanzania

T-MARC GIS Mapping

Quickly emerging as a leader in GIS/GPS mapping in Tanzania, the T-MARC project will be launching Phase Two of its work to measure coverage, quality of coverage, and access to condoms in "hot spots," or areas where sexual negotiations and acts occur. The second round of activities will begin in April using a methodology focusing on diverse regions and at-risk groups. The findings will be a key component in the development of future targeted outreach to those most at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. The findings can serve to achieve many programmatic objectives, including tracking and monitoring outlets and increasing product penetration; developing benchmarks for marketing strategies targeted for at-risk populations; and providing country-level data to influence future programmatic activities targeted at high-risk populations.

Geographical information systems (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) devices are used by the T-MARC project to map retail outlets that sell HIV prevention products (male and female condoms) and track their proximity to high risk areas or “hot spots.” In the first phase, the Kinondoni District of Dar es Salaam was featured in a pilot. In November 2008, AED Program Officer, Jennifer Barker, visited Tanzania to work with the T-MARC Company’s Monitoring and Evaluation team, Jovina Tibenda and Ninian Kalenyula, Dr. Prakash Pant of MITRA Samaj from Nepal, and a local GIS consultant on the pilot program. Dr. Pant is one of the founders of this methodology and has done extensive work in Nepal with T-MARC’s sister project, N-MARC. This collaboration represents the first partnership between these PSP projects and represents a successful South-South cooperation. The findings of this pilot and using GIS/GPS for impact evaluation will be featured at the Perspectives on Impact Evaluation conference in Cairo, Egypt in late March.

Throughout the three-week pilot, over 300 hot spots were enumerated, 75 hot zones were created, and over 300 retail outlets were mapped. After successfully completing the pilot, it was determined that condom coverage in the pilot area was good, with 86% of high-risk areas having at least one condom-selling outlet per two high-risk meeting places or hot spots. However, the quality of condom coverage remained poor in certain areas, primarily due to stock outs and low promotional material visibility. The pilot also found that 81% of the hot spots in Kinondoni were within a radius of 100 meters of a condom selling outlet, encouraging news in terms of availability.

In order to reach representatives of all of the at-risk groups in Tanzania, Phase Two of the GIS/GPS mapping exercises will target two new regions; Mbeya in the South, representing both rural populations and a major transportation corridor, and Arusha, representing the mining community.

Posted March 2009

Read more about the Tanzania Marketing and Communications Project (T-MARC) project