ognizant Communication Corporation

FAILURE & LESSONS LEARNED IN INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1, 1998

Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 2, pp. 3-7, 1998
1088-128X/98 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1998 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Resource Management Domains as a Vehicle for Sustainable Development

Eric T. Craswell,1 Mohammad Rais,1 and Julian Dumanski2

1International Board for Soil Research and Management, P.O. Box 9-109, Bangkhen, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
2AGRAF, The World Bank, Headquarters, Washington, DC 20433

The concept of sustainable development (SD) has been discussed for more than a decade. At the forefront of the discussion has been the Brundtland Commission report and Agenda 21, the environmental blueprint devised at the Rio Conference. Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, "Information for Decision Making," highlights the importance of using appropriate information and information technology in decision making. However, there have been few attempts to develop paradigms and tools based on information technology to operationalize and implement the concept of SD into the actual development planning processes at the national and regional level. Nevertheless, the operationalization of SD will require the development of such new methods and tools that can cope with the complexity of SD by utilizing state-of-the-art information technology. The international research community is actively working to develop tools for operationalizing the sustainable development concept. The concept of Resource Management Domains is one such initiative. "A Resource Management Domain (RMD) is a spatial (landscape) unit that offers opportunities for identification and application of resource management options to address specific issues. It is derived from georeferenced biophysical and socio-economic information, and it is dynamic and multiscale in that it reflects human interventions in the landscape." This article focuses on RMDs for sustainable land management for agriculture and draws on papers and Working Group discussions at the International Workshop on Resource Management Domains, Kuala Lumpur, 26-29 August 1996. The article also draws on proceedings of the Expert Group Workshop on Decision Support Systems for Sustainable Development held at International Institute for Software Technology, United Nations University, Macau, 25 February-8 March 1996. The RMD approach can be applied to other application domains as well.

Key words: Resource management domains (RMD); Information technology for sustainable development; Sustainable land management (SLM)

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Mohammad Rais. Fax: +66-2-561-1230; E-mail: rais@ksc8.th.com




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 2, pp. 9-20, 1998
1088-128X/98 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1998 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Towards Effective Computer Support for Socioeconomic and Environmental Planning in Developing Countries: Accepting the Challenge of Information Technology

H. Detlef Kammeier

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Human Settlements Development Program, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), P.O. Box 4, Pathumthani 12 120, Thailand

The so-called developing countries are seemingly catching up with the progress in IT applications in industrialized countries, but there are significantly different gaps with regard to IT use in socioeconomic and environmental planning in both kinds of countries. It may not be appropriate, therefore, to speak of real failures, but the opportunities that exist have not been utilized yet. This article outlines trends and developments in computer use in planning since the 1960s, emphasizes the great opportunities since the microcomputer "revolution," and points to the current prospects for true planning support systems (PSS). With certain lags, trends in Asian countries follow those in the West, but, as the example of Thailand shows, the institutional and human resource obstacles are particularly difficult to overcome, despite the progress in IT use in urban and regional planning. The article takes a cautiously optimistic view into the future; hence, the subtitle "accepting the challenge," rather than referring to "failures." In the same spirit, three innovative software packages on location planning are presented in a comparative perspective. They have been designed specifically for developing-country conditions.

Key words: Spatial and environmental planning; Developing countries; Planning support systems; Spatial planning software

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to H. Detlef Kammeier. Tel: +66-2 561 1824; Fax: +66-2 941 7838; E-mail: kammeier@ait.ac.th




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 2, pp. 21-31, 1998
1088-128X/98 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1998 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Information Tools for Sustainable Development: Enabling Distributed Human Intelligence

Aldo de Moor

Infolab, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands

In the field of sustainable development, numerous information tools, many of them connected through computer networks, support users in their individual activities. However, these tools cannot always be effectively used, as problems occur with the quality and accessibility of the data on which they operate. Another major issue is that these tools are not very well suited to support collaborative problem solving. One solution proposed by some is distributed artificial intelligence. It is argued that in many cases groupware provides a more viable approach as it enables strong collaboration between human stakeholders. To optimally support professional communities, network information systems must be constructed. Such systems consist of suites of information tools supporting both individual and group needs. The users themselves must be actively involved in their incremental design. Specification methods must be available to this purpose.

Key words: Information tools; Collaborative problem solving; Groupware; Network information systems; Specification methods; Sustainable development

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Aldo de Moor. Tel: +31-13-4663020; Fax: +31-13-4663069; E-mail: ademoor@kub.nl




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 2, pp. 33-38, 1998
1088-128X/98 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1998 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Interfacing GIS With Models for Urban Planning and Analysis

Gerardo S. Trinidad and Leorey O. Marquez

CSIRO Division of Building, Construction and Engineering, P.O. Box 56, Graham Road, Highett, Victoria 3190, Australia

This article describes a possible approach in integrating models for urban planning and related disciplines, with a geographic information system (GIS). The proposed approach, based on interprocess communication (IPC), is compared with two traditional methods of integrating models with a GIS or a mapping software. The aim of the exercise is to integrate planning models with commercial GIS or mapping packages such as MaplnfoTM. This goal was achieved by establishing an IPC link between the model and Maplnfo, where the model acts as the client and Maplnfo as the server. This approach differs from the traditional method that involves either extending the existing implementation of the model or reimplementing the model within a commercial GIS or mapping software.

Key words: Urban planning; Urban modeling; Geographic information systems

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Gerardo S. Trinidad. Tel: (61) (03) 9252-6000; Fax: (61) (03) 9252-6249; E-mail: Gerardo.Trinidad@dbce.csiro.au




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 2, pp. 39-41, 1998
1088-128X/98 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1998 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Role of Information Systems in Sustainable Development: Experience in India

R. Rajamani

IAS (Retd), 8-2-585/A/l, Road No. 9, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500 034, India

Good information systems are a necessary but not sufficient condition for promotion of sustainable development. Sustainable development, or economic growth without damaging natural resources, is a function of four forces mutually acting on each other viz. executive actions, laws, scientific research, and environmental awareness complied with social action by interest groups. For all four, mutual information flows are essential. If information is open and processed fast using state-of-the-art information technology, any access from one of the forces is bound to initiate moves by the others. Applying these tests to the information system called ENVIS set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India along with 21 centers dealing with various functional and geographical environmental issues, it is found that there are strengths and weaknesses. It is yet to reach out to various parts of the country and there is no real-time linkage with global databases. Local governments, which have to play a key role for environmental amelioration, rarely access such information. But the opportunities to use this information for sustainable development will slowly be grasped by 0 interest groups, including governments, industry, academia, NGOs etc. Our collective can thus further the future of information technology itself.

Key words: Sustainable development; Environmental factors; GIS

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to R. Rajamani. Tel: (040) 318 320, (040) 395 480.