From it's start, the CHiRP initiative has emphasized participatory, community-based approaches. However, this methodology faced unexpected obstacles during the Coronavirus pandemic. Restricted movement reduced capacity to engage residents and make progress on shared ambitions. In many cases the situation of rural citizens worsened due to impacts such as declines in tourism and access to markets.
While stakeholders sustained and rebuilt momentum following the lockdowns, it was clear that such a complex project, covering multiple languages and worldviews required significant coordination.
However, the initial, general-purpose tools that were adopted did not provide adequate support for the unique situations being faced in the project. There was a clear need for a system able to support cross-stakeholder communications, and to integrate with government and business systems to provide unified access to resources for participants and stakeholders.
Through a participatory knowledge sharing process, clear requirements have been identified for the CHiRP project and development is now underway. A Landscape Network is being customized in support of the local organizational leader, Samerth, linked to national data services and information sources, as well as to securely connect with remote partners such as Commonland. Primary goals are to raise clarity of inter-stakeholder communications, ensure reliability and security of collected data, and extend benefits from / control over usage to local communities.
Due to the high-reliability, open-access technology approach, long-term availability of the system is ensured. Ahead of the CHiRP community, other landscapes have shown the viability and scale of methods for the project, as well as the potential to unlock further scale-up and replication initiatives.