Department of Geomatics, School of Engineering, Centre for SDI and Land Administration, PhD Thesis(February):279 pages, 2005. Paper abstract bibtex
Spatial information is increasingly acknowledged as a national resource essential for sustainable development. Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is part of the basic infrastructure that needs to be efficiently coordinated and managed in the interests of the nation. However, there is no framework or adequate knowledge available for users, providers and administrators of SDI to collaborate effectively to build National SDI. In countries that are a federation of states, administration is dispersed across multiple tiers of government. The system of governance and constitution in a federated country makes the coordination of spatial activities in the national interest complex. Australia is recognised internationally as a leader in SDI development and spatial information management. However, Australia's spatial information resources and activities are not well managed. Duplication of effort and expense is occurring throughout jurisdictions at all levels of administration. Increased recognition for nationally important spatial information to be managed in the interests of the community has fuelled National SDI development and an ethos of sharing spatial information in Australia and other nations. Countries with established National SDI are better positioned to respond to national disasters of the scale of the Indian Ocean Tsunami that followed the massive earthquake off the Indonesian north-western coast in December 2004. This research aimed to develop a methodology for collaboration that could facilitate stakeholder interaction in National SDI development for countries that are federations of states. Investigation revealed that while work on the technological and spatial data standards components of SDI is advancing rapidly, little effort was being placed on the institutional and administrative aspects. This research exposed the nature of National SDI, federalism and national administration and the nature of organisational collaboration. The investigation demonstrated that a country's system of governance impacts the nature of National SDI and how it is administered. Collaboration theory was found to provide a useful way of thinking about coordination problems and organisational interactions. The major outcome of the research is the National SDI Collaboration Model and accompanying set of collaboration strategies for National SDI development in federated countries. This Model was developed through a case study of Australia. The model was tested against a case study of Canada as a comparative federated country. The Model was determined to be transferable to other countries that are federations of states. The study substantially proved the research hypothesis by determining that collaboration underpins the development of National SDI in countries that are a federation of states. The study contributed to a gap in the knowledge on organisational-based collaboration to share spatial information and resources. A framework was developed for improving collaboration and coordination of spatial information and activities in countries negotiating federal structures, independent states, private industry and the needs of the community. Further avenues of research address additional testing of the Model in other federal systems, the increasing role of local government and the private sector, and the emerging impact of ICT on SDI.