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DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A geographical information system (GIS) cell has been opened in the district to facilitate the local authorities in using field and file data while planning and monitoring public service delivery more efficiently.

Deputy Commissioner Nisar Ahmed inaugurated the cell.

Government officers in the district now will have the facility of a full-fledged GIS cell and GIS analyst to take important decisions as per needs of citizens, according to a statement issued here on Friday.

Additional deputy commissioner Umar Javed will act as focal person for GIS, coordinating and consolidating data flow from and among different departments and deputy commissioner’s office.

As the volume of data has grown and the methods of analysing them have improved, government departments have been integrating data more firmly into the decision-making process, it added.

However, increasing numbers of traditional and non-traditional data sources are inundating government departments with data in volumes and types they may not have seen before.

Government departments are finding an increasing gap between the acquisition of data and their meaningful use.

The introduction of GIS model in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was instrumental to equip the government departments with technology to bridge this gap for the effective use of “big data” for data-driven-decision-making, the statement added.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the Sub-National Governance (SNG) programme piloted the use of GIS in Haripur and Karak districts in 2015.

The experiment would lead to effective planning and monitoring of service delivery processes by district departments, it said. Consequently, the SNG programme extended the GIS implementation in four other districts, including Buner, Nowshera, Lakki Marwat and now DI Khan.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2016