[Contribution by Naima Friha]:
I think to ensure a good link between the UNGEGN s work and UNGGIM activities , notably between UNGEGN and the WG on Fundamental Data themes, we should start first to ensure a link at the national level between the UNGEGN work and UNGGIM work in order to optimize efforts deployed by each representative, we should know first who does what and ensure that both activities are converging and progressing with respect to the UNGEGN and UNGGIM requirements which are essentially based on producing accurate, uptodate and standardized geospatial data to strongly support fundamental themes.
Communication should also continue at the regional and global level and participation to both events is also recommended to stay informed about the work of both groups.
As UNGEGN has 2 of its experts as members in the WGFDT, I think that this will facilitate the task and reinforce the bridge between the 2 bodies. Being more involved in the work of UNGEGN, The 2 experts can advise on how UNGEGN may streamline its efforts in making available the required data and UNGEGN also should be informed about the GGIM plan and activities.
I think that more contact between the 2 bodies either directly by attending each others meetings or through webex or other is very important to keep the 2 bodies near to each others and seek together how to better contribute to make the SDGs progress the way it has to be.
Thanks Naima for the first comment! I'm looking forward to moderating this forum and facilitating (hopefully!) lots more constructive ideas on this question. My own thoughts echo Naima's: I agree that it's at the individual expert level that the most meaningful collaboration should happen. At the more 'holistic' (broad/global) level there has been some good progress between the 2 Bureau groups, with the suggestion that some core members from each of these (perhaps 3 people from each Bureau) could oversee the collaboration. But without connections and links being made amongst individuals in their national context, this 'overview' will not be a fruitful endeavour! My view also is that the onus is on UNGEGN to make this collaboration work. Our field is the more nuanced and less easy to understand, so it falls to us to promote the purpose of names standardisation in its wider geospatial context.
Now, over to you!!
On August 2, 2018, the UN-GGIM-UNGEGN-Bureaux Meeting within the 8th UN-GGIM Committee of Experts Meeting went well. Amongst others, we discussed and agreed upon the following items:
At the 5th UN-GGIM: Europe Plenary Meeting in June 2018 a workshop was conducted to discuss the work and output of the global UN-GGIM Working Group Global Fundamental Data Themes. I gave a presentation on the work of the IAEG-SDG WGGI to identify Indicators with geospatial relevance, and about the work of the European Region Data Interoperability Working Group. I took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the geograpghical names standardization for the fundamental data theme "geographical names"...
Thank you Pier-Giorgio for these valuable updates. It seems that the links between UN-GGIM and UNGEGN are taking shape - but this will not continue without the ongoing contribution of the members of both organisations. As has been commented before, the fundamental connection must be at the national level rather than a 'top-down' approach: there is only so much the UN Secretariat can do to encourage and assist our collaborative work.
Pier-Giorgio and I will continue to update you on the work being done on the UN side - and we are realy keen to hear reports of activities from within the member states!
Here are the slides Pier-Giorgio and I presented to the recent Working Group meeting in Brussels (October 2018). They cover details on the recent collaboration between UNGEGN and the Committee of Experts of GGIM; information on what came out of the 8th Committee of Experts of GGIM as well as detail on the Agenda 2030 / Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and ways in which UNGEGN may contribute to these. As ever any feedback and input is warmly welcomed!