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About the Community Assessment & Mapping Project

Build Health International (BHI), in partnership with the Association for the Development of Fond des Blancs (ADF) and Center for Community GIS (CCGIS), have conducted multi-sectoral Community Assessments and GIS Mapping Project in 106 villages within the Fond-des-Blancs Commune. The goal of this project was to conduct comprehensive community assessments and digital mapping--aided by Geographic Information Systems technology (GIS)--of hurricane affected communities in order to assess damage and identify community needs, priorities, and areas of future vulnerability to natural disasters and famine. Meeting This information is being provided to organizations and community groups to assist in Hurricane Matthew response efforts and to assist in the long term development and planning of the Fond-des-Blancs Commune.

This project has mapped and assessed the newly established Fond-des-Bancs Commune. Fond-des-Blancs was recently promoted from being a "Section Communale" to an independent "Commune" with two of its own "Section Communales" (Fond-des-Blancs and Franchipagne). The current limits drawn for the Fond-des-Blancs Commune, however, do not reflect what people living in the area consider Fond-des-Blancs. The communal limits leave out some key communities where all residents would consider themselves to be from Fond-des-Blancs. Knowing this, we chose to assess the area considered Fond-des-Blancs by most people rather than what the government limits indicate is Fond-des-Blancs. Uricaine This is the first time that the majority of these villages have been located, mapped, and perhaps most importantly, officially documented how they are recognized locally. Please note that all maps we create will be reflective of how the people view the area. Also note that almost all (a few exceptions were made) village names will be in Kreyol, not French.

Although all of the issues assessed were cross-cutting, this assessment revealed the most acute needs in the Fond-des-Blancs Commune are shelter, agriculture (i.e., food and livelihoods), water, and sanitation. Hurricane Matthew caused some damage to WASH infrastructure, but it was found that the poor access to water and sanitation facilities were primarily pre-existing. Shelter and agriculture were the most profoundly devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

If you would like free maps or assessment data, please visit our Resources section


We request that all organizations send us at [email protected] updates on where you are working and what activities you are doing in each specific community.This will be critical to keeping maps and assessment data updated and for coordination between organizations working in the commune.

Please see an example activity report HERE

Project Methodology

In order to effectively inform organizations providing relief and development activities across multiple sectors, BHI opted for a village level, qualitative, multi-sectoral approach to data collection. Data was collected on the following sectors: Livelihoods, Logistics, Shelter, WASH, Food Security, Education, and Health.

Sampling: This assessment aimed to collect GIS data and community assessment data from every village in the commune. However, since the commune has never been mapped before and villages are often very small and remote, Assessors were unable to assess every single village in our timeframe, though we do believe we have captured the vast majority. A total of 105 communities, spanning from small coastal towns to mountainous rural villages, were both mapped and assessed.

Data Collection: The assessment team operated out of the ADF Office in Dugue. A pilot assessment was conducted in the coastal village of Puits Sales on October 18th with Avery, Josiah, and the Community GIS Team. Following the pilot assessment, 11 Assessors (6 community, 5 GIS) were hired and trained to conduct the GIS mapping and community assessments over the course of 20 work days (October 22 – November 14th). Assessors used motorbikes to reach each village, although some less accessible villages could only be reached by foot.

In each community, informal Key Informant (KI) interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were conducted with community representatives who were selected on the basis of their ability to report on the impact of the hurricane in their community.

Typically, Community Assessors walked around the entire community, taking notes and asking a few people questions as they went. They would then sit down with KIs for in depth interviews. Key Informant Interviews typically occurred with community leaders such as Casecs, ministers, headmasters, shop owners, and teachers. These interviews tended to be more structured, as the Assessor would run through the entire assessment form while taking notes. Following these KI interviews, Assessors would walk about the community a second time and hold ad hoc FGDs with a variety of groups in order to cross-check the information from the KI interviews with information provided by a diverse group of community members.

Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) consisted of anywhere between 4-6 community members. The Community Assessors took notes as they guided the group through a series of generalized questions based off the assessment form. These discussions tend to provide accurate information as the groups would use their collective knowledge to discern the most accurate information about the communities’ situation. Topics for discussion included: community demographics, livelihoods, access, shelter, water, toilets, hazards, infrastructure and services, housing and land rights, food security, and community buildings. Assessors held multiple FGDs. If the Assessor received inconsistent information, they would continue to ask the same questions to multiple groups or key informants until there was a more clear consensus.

The final task of the Community Assessor was to compile their notes and fill out the community assessment form. GIS mapping did not require as much in depth conversation and discussion. Therefore, GIS assessors typically conducted very short (2-3 question) interviews with individuals or groups nearby the point being captured.

Information gathered from FDGs and KI interviews were assessed alongside photographs and observations from the Assessors to formulate findings.


  1. Knowledge: Communities assessed and mapped were based off the assessment team’s collective knowledge on the area and not a preexisting, all-encompassing database of villages, as one does not exist. It is possible that additional communities exist, but are so remote they were not found by the assessors as they went.
  2. Time: The assessors mapped and assessed as many villages as they were able in the time provided. With more time, they may have found additional, remote villages to include.
  3. Grading System: There were limitations in the grading system created for each sector, primarily because it only allowed for the consideration of two variables. Please find a more detailed explanation on the limitations of the grading system outlined in Appendix E.5.
  4. Type of Assessment: This was a rapid multi-sector community assessment and therefore it was limited in the detail of information in could gather in each sector. This assessment was conducted quickly to provide response
  5. The findings presented in this report reflect the situation and information gathered from the communities at the time the assessment and mapping was carried out in those particular locations. The situation in these communities may have since changed as external aid is provided or communities mobilize themselves and adapt to the new circumstances.