STEP 3. PREPARING FOR THE TRAINING
3.1 Identifying the venue and the storage area
The venue of the actual P3DM and the storage area of the 3D map should be properly identified. This is crucial in order to avoid mistakes in choosing the scale and dimension of the 3D map. Based on several experiences, it also determines who will be in charge of looking after the map once the training is finished and the facilitator gone. This is sometimes a problematic issue which has to be carefully anticipated. The venue for the actual P3DM and the storage area of the 3D map are not necessarily the same. The training venue of the actual P3DM is normally conducted in a huge space to accommodate the participants and to properly facilitate the activities. On the other hand, the final storage area is normally smaller than the training venue. If the scale and dimension of the 3D map is calculated based on the size of the training venue, there is a risk that it would be too large for the storage area. Therfore, the scale and dimension of the 3D map should always depend on the dimension of the storage area. In addition, if the training venue and the storage area are not the same, the facilitator has to anticipate how to move the map out of the training venue to its final storage area (Figure 2). Considering the height and width of doorways, a whole 3D map might need to be divided into two or four parts (see section 3.4). Although these reminders and considerations are quite commonsensical, they should not be mistaken otherwise the next tasks would not go smoothly as planned.
Identifying the space available for storage will also determine the scale of the 3D map (as well as its actual dimension and the size of the support table) and ultimately the level of details of the data to be depicted on the 3D map (see section 3.2). Table 2 enumeratessome of the issues and critical considerations in identifying the venue and the storage area:
|Space available for storing the map||Should be wide enough to allow people to move around easily|
|Space for training||Anticipate that there needs to be more space for the construction of the map than for it storage. Assembling materials and preparing the legend require space. Consider also the space needed to organize discussion with a significant group of participants around the map.|
|Space for meals and snack||Always consider reserving a table or space for eating, snack or coffee break. In most cases, participants would be too excited to the extent that they bring their food or coffee near the 3D map. Though this is a good sign of their commitment, it might damage the 3D map.|
|Type of structure||Open structures are good for lighting and ventilation (see below) but they usually poorly protect from rain and other climatic hazards. Similarly be careful at animals which could approach the area and alter information plotted on the map.|
|Lighting||Should be strong enough to have a clear view of the map.|
|Ventilation||Should be enough to avoid participants’ sweat dripping on the map and dilute the paint. But be careful of windy places where materials may be blown away by gusts.|
|Access to water||It is good to have an access to water nearby for painting and other cleaning activities|
|Cabinets and other storage facilities||Useful for storing legend (push pins, yarns and paints) and other construction materials so that these are immediately available for updating activities.|
Table 2 – Issues and critical considerations in identifying the venue of the training and storage area for the 3D map
3.2 Choosing the scale and size of the map
Scales can be differentiated as horizontal or vertical scale. The horizontal scale (or simply scale) is the ratio of a distance on the map to a corresponding ratio on the ground. On the other hand, vertical scale is actually the contour interval or the difference in elevation between successive contour lines on a topographic map, which ultimately is the ratio to actual elevation on the ground. Ideally, horizontal scale should be the same as vertical scale (or contour interval). If the horizontal scale of the map is 1:1000 which means 1 cm on the map is equal to 10 meters on the ground, the ideal vertical scale (contour interval) is also 10 meters or equivalent to 1cm thickness of each layer of polystyrene or carton. The 1:1 ratio of the vertical and horizontal scale gives the best representation of the reality in a 3D map. However, the vertical scale could be higher or lower than the horizontal scale especially if there is a need to emphasize or de-emphasize important landforms based on the preferences and priorities of the participants. Should the 3D map be eventually hung on a wall it may be relevant to adjust the vertical scale so that the map be not too heavy or that the pushpins do not fall on the ground. In any case the entire map should easily be accessible. In very mountainous areas, it may also be appropriate to adjust the vertical scale so that the participants do not need a ladder to access some parts of the 3D map. As a general rule in P3DM for DRR, the larger is the scale the better. The larger scale is translated to more space on the actual 3D map and thus more information can be depicted. Since the information on the map is intended at the household level, the ideal scale is from 1:500 to 1:1000. In rural areas where houses and settlements are generally scattered, the scale can be smaller than 1:1000 as long as the necessary information can still be depicted without congesting the pushpins, yarns and paints in the 3D map (Figure 3). In urban areas, however, where houses and structures are usually overcrowded and concentrated, it is advisable that scale is at least 1:500 or much larger (Figure 3).
However, a large scale would also mean a large size of the actual 3D map especially if the target land area is large.
From Figure 4, with the same size of the target land area (900 hectares), choosing a larger scale (1:1000) over a smaller scale (e.g. 1:2000) would mean a larger size of the actual 3D map (310 cm X 310 cm). This requires a large space for storage at least double the size of the 3D map so that there is enough space for people to discuss around it. If there is no space for such size of the 3D map (310 cm X 310 cm), then the scale should be smaller than 1:1000 in order to fit it to the available size for storage.
Thus, it is clear that before choosing the scale and size of the 3D map, it is always necessary to first verify if there is an available space for storage. This is one of the most common difficulties based on past experiences wherein there is not always available space for storage of a large 3D map. Several examples, however, have shown how the local people and facilitator turned this difficulty into their advantage (Box 1).
3.3 Preparing the base map
The base map is a scaled map of the target area containing information that can be used as basis of the construction of the relief model. The following map elements should be present in the base map (Figure 6):
1. Contour lines and labels based on desired contour interval (vertical scale)
2. Basic elements of a map such as title, scale (horizontal scale), north arrow, and legend for the contour lines (with labels in local language)
3. Points representing landmarks (preferably based on GPS survey)
4. Political boundary
5. Rivers and roads
6. If there are too many contour lines, the color of subsequent lines can be differentiated into two (black or orange)
The contour lines are the most essential elements of the base map. A contour line is a line of which any point along it has the same elevation. A contour line should be accompanied by a contour label or a number that indicates the elevation. The contour lines serve as guides for the participants to define each layer of polystyrene or cartons to be superimposed later to produce the blank relief model. The contour lines may be obtained using the following methods (see Annex 1 for the detailed instructions on how to
produce the base map using the different methods below):
1. Direct enlargement of the latest topographic map (Figure 7)
2. Tracing of the latest topographic map, which has been initially
enlarged, using carbon paper
3. Digitizing of the latest topographic map using GIS
4. Extraction of the contours from an existing Digital Elevation Model
(DEM) using a GIS
The first three methods are quite laborious as they normally require time, patience, and sometimes lucky chances to get the right size and scale (when using photocopier) or to trace each contour lines one at a time (when using carbon paper or GIS). On the other hand, the fourth method can be used to automatically generate contours using a DEM. With proper skills on GIS (which may also be required on the second method), the contour lines can be generated much easier and in a shorter period of time. If a DEM is not available locally, a high resolution worldwide DEM can be easily accessed and is freely available for download in the internet (http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org/SELECTION/inputCoord.asp). Rivers, mountains, watersheds and other prominent landforms can also be automatically generated in the DEM and can be included in the base map.
Despite the practicality of the fourth method in terms of time and precision, it requires skilled personnel who understand the know-how of GIS. It is very seldom, however, to find GIS personnel in rural areas where we usually conduct P3DM, making the third and fourth methods sometimes impractical at all.
If there are only few contours on the study area, the base map should contain at least the boundary of the study area (should it follow administrative borders) and few references such as roads, river, and landmarks that are preferably based on GPS or other mapping techniques.
In some cases, maps of the target area might not exist or might be too difficult to obtain especially in rural remote areas. Thus there would be no basis for the boundary of the base map. GPS then can be used to obtain the boundaries through GPS mapping of the boundary which require some technical skills and knowledge on that technology.
3.3.1 Who prepares the base map?
Preferably, the preparation of the base map is a task of the local government unit (or the concerned partner government agency) and local NGO (Figure 8). Thus the method of preparing the base map and obtaining the contour should depend on their preferences and capacities. This is one way to ensure that replication of the tool can be done without the necessity to ask for experts or technical personnel. However, in most cases, there are no GIS specialists or technical persons even among the members of NGOs. It is more likely, however, that government authorities and agencies have the capacity to produce the base map with their technical expertise on the matter. Thus, it is advisable that there is a partner government authority (or academic institution) involved in a P3DM project. In fact, this is an opportunity to build partnership and start the collaboration between local people, NGO, government authority and academic institution.
3.3.2 Materials for the base map
The base map can be printed on either paper or tarpaulin depending on the cost and practicality of the materials in the locality. Table 3 enumerates the advantages and disadvantages of the materials for base map.
|Paper||Easy to cut; Lighter||Fragile; Sensitive to wind, humidity and scratches||The cost of the materials depends on the locality, e.g. in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia base maps printed on tarpaulin are cheaper than if printed on paper. On the other hand, in France, tarpaulin printing is much more expensive than paper printing.|
|Tarpaulin||Waterproof; flexible and not sensitive to wind; Easy to move from time-to-time without erasing the content||Heavier than paper but can be carried easily|
Table 3– Advantages and disadvantages of paper and tarpaulin as base map material
3.4 Preparing the support table
The support table is used as the underlying support to the 3D map. The size of the support table is dependent on the chosen scale and size of the 3D map and the storage area. The size of the support table must be of the same size or a bit larger than the size of the 3D map (the edges of the table may be used to hold elements of the map such as legend, north arrow, title, etc. or as support for glass cover).The strength and stability of the support table should be carefully considered (Figure 9). The table should be strong enough to withstand the actual weight of the 3D map as well as the vertical pressure that will be exerted by the participants during the construction of the 3D map. During the plotting of pushpins, for example, you would expect participants clinging or holding on the table, and in some case sitting or standing on the table (Figure 10).
At this stage, it is essential to foster the participation of local craftsmen to gather the required materials and actually build the support table. On the long run, such early participation in the activities ensures ownership as locals are usually very keen to look after the map they have built with their own hands. The 3D map is normally huge in size (with a dimension of least 1.5 x 1.5 m for a 1000 hectare land area). For several reasons, it is sometimes necessary that the 3D map (thus the support table and the base map) be divided into two or more parts. Also, if the 3D map is huge in size, it might be inconvenient for the participants to put information (pushpin, paint or yarn) on the map as they have to stretch their arms to reach the center or distant part of the 3D map. Thus the 3D map including the support table and the base should be divided into two or four parts in order for the participants to easily circulate on each part of the 3D map (Figure 11).
Also, if the storage area or room is not the same as the venue of the actual P3DM, it is easier to transport 3D map piece by piece. Thus, it is also necessary to check the size of the door to ensure that the 3D map (or the divided parts) can be brought inside the room (Figure 12). All of these considerations while making the support table should be anticipated.
3.5 Collecting some GPS points
This is not a compulsory task and P3DM may well proceed without using GPS. However, GPS points could serve as guides for participants to locate other community information. It is to make sure that information (in the form of pushpin, yarn and paint) is properly located on the 3D map. Usually, on where and which information to start is a bit tricky especially for participants who are not familiar with maps. In many marginalized communities especially in rural areas, the 3D map might be the first map the participants could have ever seen. GPS points are extremely important especially if the blank model is relatively plain and there are no prominent features such as mountains, rivers, and other landforms that could guide the participants to locate other information. With GPS points already located on the 3D map, it would be easier for the participants to identify adjacent information (Figure 13).
Collecting GPS requires some technical skills on both GPS and GIS mapping. After collecting the GPS points, they need to be transferred into a GIS. The GPS points could be printed on the base map or could be depicted directly on the blank model using any local materials such as stick or pushpin. GPS points could also help to verify the accuracy of the base map in terms of the boundary, elevation and scale (both vertical and horizontal).
3.6 Preparing the training materials
It is important that all the materials are ready before the actual P3DM activities in order to avoid delays. Based on previous P3DM experiences, it is always better to prepare the materials in collaboration with the community. Local people always have the ideas and alternatives to replace missing items with what they have in the community. It is also the best time to explain to the participants why those materials are needed.
Prepare attendance sheet for the participants. This is also useful to count the actual number of meals to be prepared for the participants. Try to provide a kit for the participants containing at least a pen and a paper. It should also contain some brochures, nametag, and other necessary materials. In some cultural contexts, however, kits and name tags may be irrelevant.
3.6.2 Group discussion and activities
Anticipate as much as possible the different activities that shall be conducted as part of the actual P3DM. Mostly, there will be some discussion before or in-between the P3DM activities and thus large pieces of paper and pens would be needed. There might also be some games or ‘energizers’ in between, and some materials might also be needed like a ball. Take note of those complementary activities and list the required materials.Also, consider the number of participants to better estimate the quantity of the materials to be provided. During the discussion, for instance, each person might need a pen so that each can write at the same time and thus unnecessary time for waiting will be avoided.
3.6.3 Materials for the P3DM
In preparing the materials for P3DM, always consider the accessibility for the local people and environmental impact and sustainability of those materials. This is particularly important during the updating process on which additional supply of same materials will be needed. It is also crucial should similar mapping activities are to be reproduced eventually by local stakeholders in neighboring areas. In case the identified materials are not accessible for the people or a lot of time, effort and money are required to obtain them, consult the local people immediately for the possible alternatives. Certainly, you will not be disappointed! In fact, it is best to encourage the participation of prospective participants in identifying and collecting the materials required to conduct subsequent activities. Table 4
is a suggested list of materials to be prepared in view of P3DM:
Table 4– List of materials to be prepared for each stage of P3DM
The usual problem is the limited variety of pushpins especially in the rural provinces. One of the easiest ways to cope with the shortage in the number of pushpins of a particular color is to paint some of another color (Figure 14). In addition, Figure 15 shows other locally-invented alternatives to make for an insufficient diversity or numbers of pushpins. Locally available materials can always be used as replacements.
Table 5– Comparison of possible base materials for a 3D map
The facilitator and participants should consider balancing the advantages and disadvantages of the base materials and choose according to suitability to local context. For instance, in relatively dry places where humidity is low and booklice is not a common problem, the carton might be the best choice over other materials not to mention that it is relatively cheap if not free. On the other hand, considering available locally, polystyrene might be the best material as it guarantees the same durability as crepe sole and rubber mat at relatively cheaper price although it is not eco-friendly and should be use with care.
3.6.4 Transportation of materials
The facilitator should also anticipate the difficulties during the transportation of the materials. In some cases, materials must be transported to communities where roads are poorly maintained or not passable by cars and other 4-wheel vehicles. A large truck or 4×4 vehicles can be used or perhaps the facilitator and the local people themselves could carry the materials by foot if vehicles are not allowed in the area.
3.7 Identifying the participants
P3DM is a tool and method which facilitates people’s participation in consensual decision making with a large array of stakeholders. Ensuring a large, representative and fair participation of the local community is therefore essential.First, there needs to be a core group of participants who will follow the activities from the start up to the end of the training and beyond, i.e. they should also be involved in the monitoring and upgrading of the map. This core group should be large enough to include several people from all places covered by the map so that enough knowledge is available for the entire area. Most often this core group is composed of 15 to 30 people, but there is no definite figure as the number varies with the size and population of the local community.This core group must also cover all sectors of the community. It should involve the most and less affluent people, the young, adults and elderly, men, women and non-heterosexuals, farmers, fishermen, factory workers and office employees, people with different disabilities, different ethnic and religious groups, etc., depending on the local context. P3DM is a tool which usually works very well with people who are usually marginalised within their community or amidst the larger society because it makes knowledge and issues tangible and scales down power relationships. Emphasis should therefore be placed on those usually neglected (Figure 16).
Finally, the core group should consider power relationship within the local community. Its composition should therefore draw upon a fine knowledge of the context and involve local stakeholders in the decision making process. Participants must be committed volunteers. Transportation fares to reach the training area may be covered by the facilitator but no allowances or per diems should be distributed as power relationships between outsiders and insiders should be leveled down as much as possible.Beyond the core group, no one should be prevented to participate at all stage of the training activities. It is always better to have more participants than too few as it reflects a sense of dedication and interest on the side of the local community. It is the task of the facilitator to find a way to accommodate an unexpected large number of participants. In some instances, it may be good to organize special session with specific groups to discuss particular issues upon the map, e.g. women and gender minorities to discuss gender-related issues, children and elderly to address age-related concerns, farmers for problems pertaining to agriculture, and fishermen to tackle hazards which form off shore (Figure 17).
Beyond members of the local community, P3DM activities should also involve from the beginning of the training representatives of other crucial stakeholders of DRR, e.g. NGO staffs, local government officials, scientists, faith group leaders, representative of the business sector. The sooner they are involved in the activities, the better the dialogue is afterwards as rapport and trust are built along the construction process. Such a large array of stakeholders also eventually facilitates the reproduction of the methods in neighboring areas.
3.8 Anticipating the logistics
Logistic are an important element to achieve a smooth flow in conducting P3DM activities, to work in better conditions and to avoid unnecessary delays. Planning the logistics, however, should always take into account its suitability to the local context.
3.8.1 Schedule of the activities
Ideally, the schedule of activities should be defined by the participants according to their own needs and availability. Some participants might be too generous to the extent that they would suspend their daily activities just to please the outside facilitator. The facilitator should always keep in mind that for some participants, a day lost is equivalent to a day or days without food on the family’s table. Prayer time, community feasts and celebrations, and other community’s occasion should not be disturbed.The facilitator should then be flexible enough with regards to the schedule and should propose two or three schedules for the participants to choose so that there is not a need for them to sacrifice their daily activities. For example, a focus group discussion with women can be organized during the day if they are free while men can have the same activity late in the afternoon after their work.In some cases, some participants could not participate simply because of the distance from their home to the venue especially in remote rural areas. This should be taken into account by the facilitator in think of a strategy to make them participate.There are basically two main options for scheduling P3DM activities. The first consists in organizing all activities within a week or several consecutive days. The second scenario includes activities on a regular basis, e.g. once a week, over a longer period. The second option usually fits best Western context where people attend formal jobs which require presence at work on a daily basis. In more flexible contexts, the first option is often best as it creates a momentum amongst participants.During the 3D mapping activities, it is preferred that the participants from the first day could also attend the remaining days until the map is finished. This way, there is no need for the facilitator to explain again the process on the second or third day for the newcomers. However, it is again a question of availability of time of the participants and the facilitator should anticipate it. In the Philippines, sustainability of participation of the participants is ensured through the village chief or the village council who arrange the schedule on behalf of the members of the community.
The role of the facilitator is instrumental. It is actually recommended that there be a tandem of two facilitators to orient a P3DM activity as there often many parallel tasks which demand attention on several sides. Too many facilitators may, on the other hand, out weight the power relationships with the participants.Most often the facilitator is an outsider (i.e. from beyond the local community) and has to be very careful about their overall behavior when interacting with locals. To level down power relationships it is strongly recommended that the facilitator be careful at her/his attire and do not show obvious (pseudo-) signs of power, i.e. wealth and knowledge (e.g. devices and gadgets such as fancy mobile phones, GPS, voice recorders, cameras). Language should also be gentle and encouraging and it is obviously best if the facilitator speaks the vernacular. The facilitator should never teach participants or show them that they are wrong in locating a feature on the map. Because the map is scaled, a wrongly located feature will lead to all other features being misallocated and ultimately people will realize that not all fit in the map. By themselves, they will look back at potential errors and eventually correct the entire map. The more marginalized the community is, the more careful the facilitator needs to be.The facilitator, however, is not always necessarily the outside stakeholders who have initiated or funded the activities; any participant can be a facilitator as long as he/she understands the purpose and objective of the activity. In most cases, there is always a local leader or facilitator that comes out and is highly recommended by the local people. If there is no one, maybe that is a chance to look for someone and develop local leaders!
3.8.4 Role of the participants
P3DM is usually a fun activity which involves the entire community. For example, children may sort pushpins and cut papers while men prepare the table and women assemble the blank model.Many preparatory activities such as sorting of small materials (e.g. pushpins, yarns, paints), preparation of the support table and the polystyrenes (or cartons), arrangement of presentation materials such as the markers and huge papers (or data projector and computer), etc., actually have to be done subsequently. The facilitator should not attempt to do all these activities by themselves. Instead, the participants should be encouraged to participate at all times. In fact, it is more ideal that facilitator work less while the local people accomplish the activities they can do by themselves.For instance, during the construction of the 3D map, some of the laborious activities are cutting, gluing, painting, putting of pushpins, etc. Always encourage the local participants to do all those activities and, if possible, do not intervene to the extent that local participants become intimidated. Always consider that there are many communities which do not have much exposure to the outside and that local people are usually timid in front of outsiders. It is for this very reason that the outside facilitator should try not to dominate the activity as local people would always try to avoid mistakes in their every action making them hesitant to do many things. In other words, skills and time of the participants should be maximized through proper distribution of tasks.
3.8.5 Arrangement of meals for the staff and the participants
Preparation of decent meals is very important as it can be the only consolation for the participants during the whole activities. Always overestimate the number of meals to be prepared in order to ensure that every participant will be served with food.It is always better that the local people prepare the food for themselves. There should always be someone from the community who would be willing to perform the role as a cook. The local cooks know better than anyone the food preferences of the local people – ditto for the refreshments. Also, it is preferred that the same venue of the activity is to be used during lunchtime so that the participants need not to leave the area. This is also a good chance to hear some feedback from the participants and to assess their interests in the activity.However, there are some cases that meals have to be delayed especially if the participants are too busy or too focused on the map or discussing important matters related to the activity. This is to avoid interrupting the momentum of the participants which might not happen again because of the meal. This is not to say that meals will not be served until the discussion or certain activity is finished but the facilitator should be observable.
3.8.6 Accommodation for staff
To save time and to be fully integrated into the community, the facilitator should try sleeping or staying in the community during the whole duration of the activity. Late-afternoon informal conversations with the local people or neighbors would allow the facilitator to better understand the community. Customs, taboos, traditions and other community issues that are invaluable in understanding the community but cannot be discussed formally during the day may be revealed at night.Also, keep in mind that the living and working conditions within the community may be full of constraints. For example, there might be no electricity and thus debriefing at night is almost impossible. However, do not impose the desire to sleep in the community if it is uncomfortable to the local people. At the very least, the place where you will stay or sleep at night is near the village and that there is not much time to spend travelling every day.