Building geographic information system capacity in local health departments: lessons from a North Carolina project.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

State government, university, and local health department (LHD) partners collaborated to build the geographic information system (GIS) capacity of 5 LHDs in North Carolina. Project elements included procuring hardware and software, conducting individualized and group training, developing data layers, guiding the project development process, coordinating participation in technical conferences, providing ongoing project consultation, and evaluating project milestones. The project provided health department personnel with the skills and resources required to use sophisticated information management systems, particularly those that address spatial dimensions of public health practice. This capacity-building project helped LHDs incorporate GIS technology into daily operations, resulting in improved time and cost efficiency. Keys to success included (1) methods training rooted in problems specific to the LHD, (2) required project identification by LHD staff with associated timelines for development, (3) ongoing technical support as staff returned to home offices after training, (4) subgrants to LHDs to ease hardware and software resource constraints, (5) networks of relationships among LHDs and other professional GIS users, and (6) senior LHD leadership who supported the professional development activities being undertaken by staff.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Miranda, ML; Silva, JM; Overstreet Galeano, MA; Brown, JP; Campbell, DS; Coley, E; Cowan, CS; Harvell, D; Lassiter, J; Parks, JL; Sandelé, W

Published Date

  • December 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2180 - 2185

PubMed ID

  • 16257950

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1449504

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-0048

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-0036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2105/ajph.2004.048785


  • eng