Lessons from using geospatial data to improve sanitation for vulnerable communities in Antananarivo, Madagascar
2021-09-30, 14:30–15:00, Bariloche

In this presentation Lieven Slenders – Geospatial Manager at Gather – will introduce the methodology, outcomes, and lessons from Gather’s partnership with the municipal sanitation company in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

In 2020 we formed a unique partnership with sanitation organisations in Antananarivo, Madagascar to use geospatial data to improve sanitation infrastructure and services for 1.7 million people. Madagascar ranks 172nd for sanitation provision out of 180 countries. The first phase of our partnership has laid the groundwork for the first city-wide geospatial baseline. Together – led by the municipality - we have pioneered a new geospatial index and platform to allow organisations to collect, share and analyse standardised sanitation data. These tools have been tested in the fifth arrondissement, home to 350,000 people.

1. Lieven will introduce the technical specification for the tools
2. Lieven will share our principles for improving the integrity of location data
3. Lieven will share the challenges, successes, and lessons from the partnership, opening a conversation on steps to success for partnerships that use geospatial data to recentre data to the Global South and advance the sustainable development goals

About Gather:
Gather is a non-profit registered in Madagascar and the UK. Gather’s vision is for every person - regardless of their age, ethnicity, gender, orientation, economic status, or ability - to have access to a safe, working toilet.

The sanitation crisis
Today, 2.5 billion people live in cities around the world without access to safely-managed sanitation. Past efforts to improve sanitation infrastructure and services for vulnerable communities in cities have struggled to gain momentum because decision-makers cannot access the best data to understand the best action to take. That is where Gather comes in. Our mission is to close the sanitation data gap. We transform how sanitation organisations collect, share, and analyse data, helping them to get toilets to people who need them most. By doing so, we can create city-wide maps that help decision makers know where and how to improve sanitation.

Our partners in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Commune Urbaine d’Antananarivo - the municipality.
La Société municipale d’assainissement - municipal sanitation company, the recent successor to Service Autonome de l'Assainissement de la Ville d'Antananarivo (autonomous sanitation utility).
Tsinjo Soa – a waterless container based sanitation provider
Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor – a trisector partnership

Sharing successes and failures
Gather is a signatory to the Nakuru Accord, a movement across the global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector that is committed to share lessons from failures so that others can learn and build toward success.

Authors and Affiliations

Holy Ravonjiarimanana, GIS Data Analyst, Gather (Antananarivo, Madagascar)
Lieven Senders, Geospatial Manager, Gather (London, UK)
Ludovic Randrianiaina, GIS Data Analyst, Gather (Antananarivo, Madagascar)


Use cases & applications


FOSS4G for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)


1 - Principiants. No required specific knowledge is needed.

Language of the Presentation


Lieven joined Gather in 2019. He oversees a growing, global team of GIS Data Scientists leading on the development of tools and insight for municipal organisations in Madagascar. In 2021 Lieven was included in GeoWorld’s 50 global geospatial rising stars.