Menu Close

Participatory Mapping with Herders in a Climate Adaptation Research Project


Ilboudo Nébié, Elisabeth Kago; West, Colin Thor; & Crane, Todd Andrew (2021). Participatory Mapping with Herders in a Climate Adaptation Research Project. Practicing Anthropology, 43(1), 25-29.


Declining grazing lands threaten the livelihoods of Fulɓe herders in Burkina Faso and other parts of Africa. I used GIS to spatially represent ethnographic narratives about land use and land cover changes. In a place where maps were unavailable or treated as closely held community secrets, I used participatory mapping to offer participants the opportunity to control the process and resulting maps. Our project sought to understand environmental challenges from a fine-grained emic perspective using high-resolution satellite imagery and focus groups. I reflect on challenges of conducting fieldwork in one’s home country, which made it easier to build relationships and interact with officials. At the same time, however, I faced the intersecting challenges of “being an outsider and a woman” as I interacted with Fulɓe men and that of being “too educated” in interacting with women.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Practicing Anthropology


Ilboudo Nébié, Elisabeth Kago
West, Colin Thor
Crane, Todd Andrew


Burkina Faso