Objective 3

Collaborate to build an asset map of technology access points


First, we determined the scope of the map. The WPI team and the sponsor liaisons held discussions to decide that a map would display technology access points, where the women could use computers or the Internet. Our liaisons determined the physical area, which covered the communities where members of the Women’s Networking Group lived.

Creating the asset map was a two stage process:

  • Adapting our mapping plan based on the technological skills of our co-researchers.
  • Deciding which mapping platform would meet the needs of the stakeholders.

A plan for mapping was devised, drawn from similar strategies employed by both the Open Development Technology Alliance and the National Center Secondary Education and Transition (Shkabatur et al., 2014 and Crane et al., 2005), who have each made guides to social/resource mapping. Our steps were:

  • Print a physical copy of the selected map area using mapping software
  • Walk around in the area of coverage with the print map to make a connection between places in the community and locations on the satellite map
  • Identify important community landmarks first on the map
  • Identify local organizations, resources, services, NGOs, etc., that fit the criteria and put them on the map
  • Make contact with local organizations, resources, services, NGOs, etc.
  • Update map accordingly

Despite our sponsor’s initial suggestion of building a map of Community Based Organizations, the WPI team decided to build a map of computer and Internet access points because it would facilitate continued learning for our co-researchers, as well as benefit the community. Although, we did provide Sizakuyenza with a rudimentary list of CBOs as a start for further mapping. Finding these access points started with conversations about what our co-researchers know of in their communities. From there, they used their technology skills to call and research other potential access points in the area.