IdRC and ESRI Canada to Design Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Kingdom of Jordan

Project Will Develop a National Strategy for Broad Sharing of Geographic Information in Support of the Country's Development Goals

Amman, Jordan and Toronto, Canada – October 20, 2010 – Interdisciplinary Research Consultants (IdRC) and ESRI Canada today announced that the companies have been selected to provide consulting services on the design of a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) for the Kingdom of Jordan.  This will help Jordan develop a national strategic plan that will enable broad sharing of geographic information to monitor and support the country's development.  The project is being undertaken through funds from the Korean Trust Fund on ICT4D, administered by infoDev as part of a World Bank initiative.

“A national spatial data infrastructure will allow the government of Jordan to establish a platform for building essential applications, including monitoring development outcomes, land use planning and disaster management,” said Dr. Tim Kelly, lead information and communication technology policy specialist, World Bank.  “This project will give them access to international expertise and help them take the necessary steps in effectively using spatial data and technology to address the country's issues and goals.” 

“Organizing Jordan's spatial data into one framework will increase efficiencies in information management, reduce costs through shared infrastructure and open valuable data to the community,” said Alex Miller, president, ESRI Canada.  “With new developments in geographic information systems, they can leverage emerging technologies such as Web services, mobile applications and cloud computing to efficiently distribute spatial data to a wider audience and promote collaborative decision making.” 

IdRC and ESRI Canada will assess current SDI trends in Jordan and identify best practices.  They will work with various stakeholders to develop a plan that encompasses the technology, policies, human resources and related activities needed to establish a national SDI.  The plan will outline protocols and standards for collecting, processing, distributing and maintaining the country's spatial data.  They will also work with the appropriate organizations and professionals to transfer knowledge and build local capacity for developing and maintaining the SDI.  The project is expected to be completed in 2011.

“Incorporating a spatial dimension to social and economic analysis reveals patterns not identifiable in traditional analysis,” said Dr. Tarek Tarawneh, managing partner, IdRC.  “It allows decision makers to look at issues in a new way and perform broader analysis.  This will help the government and private sector in Jordan to leverage geographic information to strengthen decision making, improve productivity and identify development needs and opportunities.”

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About infoDev
infoDev is a global partnership program in the World Bank Group of international development agencies that helps donors and developing countries use innovation and information and communication technologies (ICT) to achieve economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction.  For more information, visit www.infodev.org.

About the Interdisciplinary Research Consultants (IdRC)
The Interdisciplinary Research Consultants (IdRC) is an international consulting firm with offices in Jordan and the US.  Combining the experience of senior professionals from a variety of backgrounds, the IdRC delivers high quality consulting to address the needs of governmental organizations, private sector entities, and international organizations in the Middle East and other developing countries. The firm provides consulting services in areas including engineering, water resources studies, transportation and traffic management studies, environmental management studies, social and socio-economic studies, economic development, public sector and state enterprise reform, private sector development, and project development and implementation.  For more information, visit www.idrc-jo.com.

About ESRI Canada
Founded in 1984, ESRI Canada provides enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from ESRI, Telvent, Azteca Systems and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the top 250 Canadian IT companies and top 25 IT professional services providers in Canada by the Branham Group.  Information about ESRI Canada can be found at esricanada.com.

Media contacts:
In Jordan:
Dr. Tarek Tarawneh
Managing Partner
IdRC
(+962 6) 551-7225
Email Contact
www.idrc-jo.com

In Canada:
Joy Chan
PR Specialist
ESRI Canada
+1-416-386-6488
Email Contact
esricanada.com 



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