ADB, Afghanistan Launch New GIS Policies to Improve Geospatial Data

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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (14 September 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Afghanistan this week unveiled two foundation policies that will help develop a central information portal to increase access to accurate and comprehensive geospatial data in the country.

The Afghanistan Geospatial Data Classification Policy will help the government classify geospatial and related information assets to ensure they are appropriately used and protected, and meet the requirements of relevant legislation and international or bilateral agreements and obligations.

“The policy documents will be very useful to overcome the challenges regarding the lack of availability, quality, accessibility, and sharing of geospatial data in Afghanistan,” said Rafiodin Malikzay, ICT Chief Advisor to the President of Afghanistan. “We are thankful to ADB for the financial assistance and ALCIS Holding Ltd (UK) for the technical support in initiating this task for the benefit of the Government of Afghanistan and for the benefit of the Afghan Geographic Information Systems community.”

The Afghanistan Geospatial Data Standardization Policy, meanwhile, will help the government adopt the geospatial data standards by creating a coordinated system for high quality, accessible, and reliable geospatial information.

“ADB is committed to support the Afghan government’s development efforts, applying conflict-sensitive development approaches and strengthening human and financial resources for conflict-sensitive development operations,” said Marko Davila, ADB Country Specialist.

Shahzad Aryobee, Acting Minister for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, expressed that the two policies are major achievements towards creating, maintaining, and sharing quality and accurate geospatial data. The project supports the Afghanistan National Peace Development Framework, and is also aligned with the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. It will help build the government’s capacity to utilize technology to improve its development planning and decision making, leading to better and more sustainable outcomes for the country.

Afghanistan is a founding member of ADB, and, to date, has received over $4.7 billion in grants and loans.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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