Groundwork for Data Collection

By Dinesh Lodha, IFMR Finance Foundation

As part of the five-step process, below is the first in a series of posts on the Current State Diagnostic step.

In order to assess and finance a city’s infrastructure requirements, we need to undertake a visioning exercise to capture the collective vision that citizens have for the town. However, any meaningful conversation about a city’s future would require a basic understanding of where it stands today. Therefore, our first step was to collate data regarding the current state of infrastructure provision and service delivery in the city.

We started out by understanding the type of data that the Srirangapatna Town Municipal Corporation (TMC) already had. What we found was that data on key infrastructure which the city already had was largely out of date and what little was available was in physical format. For instance, the land use map was hand drawn from 1994, and continuous folding and re-folding of the map had made many of the features hard to distinguish.

What we quickly ascertained was that there was a need to generate good quality data, because the available information was patchy and out of date in many cases.

Consequently, our “Current State Diagnostic” process was designed to provide the necessary input for discussions with the citizens on the future of Srirangapatna. It was to be a comprehensive data-collection effort capturing granular data – on access to infrastructure, spatial distribution of infrastructure and quality of service delivery. The scope of the process encompassed all local public infrastructure, viz. public sanitation, drinking water, drainage network, waste disposal, street lights, in addition to slums and land use.

In order to capture all this information, we designed a two-step data collection process involving spatial mapping of physical infrastructure and surveying households and businesses on perceptions of service delivery. However, before this information could be collected on the ground, there was some background work to be done.

Srirangapatna is a town with a population of around 25,000, divided into 23 wards with 9 slums. We had to start out by creating a base level map of the city and ward-level maps of each of the 23 wards. The TMC had provided us a basic property-layer map of the town, upon which we drew the ward-level maps in Adobe Illustrator with relevant legends to aid the data collection process.

Srirangapatna City Map

Ward 2 Map

Legends used for physcial mapping of infrastructure (click image to expand)

The household survey was designed to capture citizen perceptions on infrastructure and services, and collected information on demographics, employment, transportation, drinking water, sanitation, solid waste disposal, electricity, housing, access to finance, and technology. The business survey on the other hand was intended to provide a perspective on the nature of the businesses, the supply-chain networks and local infrastructure.

Household survey questionnaire (Click image for PDF)

In the next post, we will discuss how we put in place a local team and the training program we devised for them.

  • Subin

    I am an architecture student, doing a project in Srirangapatnam. My project revolves around the Sangam area.
    It involves the design of a crematorium alongside Sangam.
    Some of the data on your website has been very valuable.

    I would like to know if you’d have a drawing or a CAD file of the plan of Srirangapatnam.
    I’d greatly appreciate it if I could get a copy.

  • Dinesh

    Hi Subin,

    Thanks for your comment. Have sent you an email.