The I-Tracker Report - A review of the I-Tracker data collection and management program across north Australia KS 04 2009
The I-Tracker Report - A review of the I-Tracker data collection and management program across north Australia, summarises a reivew undertaken to evaluate the hardware and software components of I-Tracker.
The review also explored rangers’ interests and requirements for developing additional sequences; a suitable process for the development of new, standardised sequences; the provision of ongoing support for I-Tracker participants; training requirements and options; and options to support regional sharing and management of data such as web-based systems.
The review was supported by funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative, including the Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) Program. I-Tracker is currently used in a number of IPA across northern and central Australia, and the IPA program is currently exploring the application of the I-Tracker model across the wider Indigenous Protected Area estate.
I-Tracker (short for ‘Indigenous Tracker’) is a network of Indigenous land and sea managers across remote north Australia using CyberTracker to collect and manage information about natural and cultural resources.
The I-Tracker support network was developed by the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) as a part of the Dugong and Marine Turtle Project and in association with Djelk Rangers and GhostNets Australia in response to requests from Indigenous rangers for user friendly tools to facilitate the collection and reporting of ranger patrol data.
As a part of the I-Tracker trial, a review was conducted between March and June 2009 to evaluate the I-Tracker trial and explore options for future roll-out of an I-Tracker support program. Major outcomes and findings of the review include:
I-Tracker is well-accepted among Indigenous sea ranger programs as a powerful tool for collecting and managing patrol data.
Operational uptake of I-Tracker was influenced by a range of factors including the perceived relevance to immediate operational requirements, available support and training and IT issues and requirements.
IT issues are a barrier to regular uptake of I-Tracker; these issues are often embedded in the corporate IT environment of the ranger host program, and these problems are likely to be ongoing. IT issues will likely be increasingly important with the growing ‘computerisation’ of ranger offices.
On site training is both demanded and required to increase the uptake and regular use of I-Tracker.
Within and outside of participating groups, people have identified a wide range of uses for CyberTracker-based monitoring including natural and cultural resources monitoring and recording of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge.
There is significant interest in the I-Tracker concept from outside organisations.
There is strong support for I-Tracker among potential external ‘end users’ including government agencies and research organisations who see the benefits of CyberTracker monitoring and reporting capabilities.
The I-Tracker review has demonstrated that data collected using CyberTracker can be shared and incorporated into one database to produce cross-regional analyses of ranger patrol data and observations.
During the I-Tracker trial, 11 participating groups collected and shared (for the purposes of this report) a total of 3,408 sightings over 266 patrol days.
Intellectual Property issues require careful consideration for the future roll-out of I-Tracker.
A coordinated approach to I-Tracker provides the means to:
- identify the needs for and undertake development of new sequences;
- ensure standardisation of data collection thereby supporting cross-regional comparisons and data sharing;
- nsure that sequences are shared across north Australia (reducing duplication and inefficient use of resources);
- facilitate scientific input into sequence development;
- ensure delivery of consistent quality-assured and accredited training to users; and
- provide web-based system for data management and sharing.