Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication. CTA/IFAD

Module M05 - Enabling and Disabling Environments

Unit M05U01 - Significance of Enabling and Disabling Factors for Participatory Mapping


Activities involving participatory geographical information systems (PGIS) depend on social, economic, political, institutional and infrastructural factors which can be described as external or internal and enabling or disabling. This Unit analyses and summarises these concepts and the significance of such factors. The disabling factors tend to receive more attention than enabling factors, because they require more analysis and smarter approaches to try to reduce or mitigate them.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • formulate the criteria for “successful” participatory mapping;
  • list examples of external and internal factors;
  • determine enabling and disabling factors and explain the logic behind such classifications.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Introduction to Module M05 and Unit M05U01(PPT No.1, Slides 1 - 5) (10 min)
  2. Success in participatory mapping (PPT No. 1, Slides 6 - 8) (10 min); (Exercise No. 1) (45 min)
  3. External and internal factors (PPT No. 1, Slides 9 - 11) (10 min); (Exercise No. 2) (45 min)
  4. Determining enabling and disabling factors (PPT No. 1, Slides 12 - 13) (10 min);
  5. Specifying enabling and disabling factors (PPT No. 1, Slides 14 - 16) (10 min)

Keywords / key concepts

Enabling factors, disabling factors, stakeholder interests, successful participatory mapping, purposes, needs assessment, legitimacy, community-based mapping

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)



2 1/3 hrs

Additional trainer resources

  • Jatulan, William. 1998. Swot Analysis, in Participatory Methods in Community-based Coastal Resource Management, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Silang, Cavite, Philippines; Vol. 2:27-32, 1998.
  • McCall, Mike. 2006. Precision for Whom? Mapping Ambiguity and Certainty in (Participatory) GIS; PLA 54:114-119, IIED, London, UK.
  • McCall, Mike, Ashley, Holly and Rambaldi, Giacomo (2006). The Snowball. PLA 54:135-137, IIED, London, UK.

Equipment needed

Computer and digital projector, metacards (A5-size), colour markers, flipcharts, adhesive tape, large sheets of craft paper (1.2m x 1.6m), wall space

Additional downloads

Source: CTA. 2010. Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication. CTA, The Netherlands and IFAD, Italy (ISBN: 978-92-9081-446-7)