Alcis coastal work

To answer complex questions our clients need accurate, robust, reliable data and evidence

A powerful combination of information collected in the field, data derived from satellites and additional geospatial datasets distributed on a range of online platforms that enable innovative research, greater understanding and more effective decision making.


Our strong partner relationships with universities, academics and industry leading providers such as ESRI and Maxar (Digital Globe) give us access to cutting edge technology and data, which we harness for our clients success.

To find out more, please get in touch.

Collaboration is critical to our success

We work on complex projects in fragile and challenging places.  We develop and build long and trusting relationships with our partners, built on trust, transparency and respect.

Dr David Mansfield is a leading expert on rural livelihoods and poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. His research, of more than 20 years, takes him deep into the villages, where he has built strong relationships with the communities he is supporting through his work.

We have worked with David since 2005, providing the technical analysis on his extensive research into rural livelihoods and opium production.

David's work has been covered extensively by many publications, including The Economist, The Guardian and the BBC.  We created a short video to summarise his latest work "When the Water Runs Dry", which can be found here.


What we do

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the collection, display and analysis of geographic data.  We bring together all the constituent parts, resulting in innovative and often ground breaking solutions for our clients. 


We enable evidence-based decision making through collecting, analysing and presenting data in an engaging and interactive way.


Appropriate policy development requires a robust evidence base and a good understanding of the situation, something Alcis continuously delivers.

Earth Observation

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Understanding what and where change is occurring on the ground, when you are denied access to those places is a common problem during humanitarian and complex development interventions. Rumours, ill informed judgement, opinion and biases can influence the design and delivery of activity.

We use commercial satellite imagery to understand what, when and where events on the ground have taken place. We identify and quantify objects without having to go to the location on the ground to see them.


Earth Observation (EO) is the practice of collecting data about earth from space. It covers sensors and systems predominantly found in satellites, but also in aircraft or other aerial platforms. It is possible to develop a long term understanding, or baseline, of a situation and build a picture of the trends before, during and after a project’s delivery.


The collection and analysis of this data provides the rigorous evidence base that is required to plan and implement effective projects

Geographic Information

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Making objective decisions to identify the optimal place and time to implement a project is complex. There are many relevant and interconnected factors that need to be understood and balanced in order to make a sound judgement. 


One method is to map and integrate it based on geography. Sometimes location is the only element available to link disparate information. Through the process of mapping data, we can overlay different inputs and find confluences and patterns that would otherwise be invisible

Geographic Information is a term to describe any data that contains a component that describes where it is located. It could be as simple as the inclusion of a place name, for example the population of a named town, or specific map data that records a building footprint or road alignment.

Generally, geographic information records both the position and a number of associated measurements about that feature. 

Field Surveying

Not all the required answers or details can be provided by remote analysis. Whilst those techniques are very good at identifying “what, where and when” they might struggle to answer “why”.  Field Survey is the process of collecting data and information on the ground, either through questionnaires or interviews with people, or through recording measurements about objects at specific locations.

Field surveying is not new and technology helps improve the quality of the results and its utility. Using tools like Alcis Collect, comprehensive data can be collected and entered directly into information systems, from mobile phones, removing the risk of human error. Using geographic data analysis, surveys can be planned to ensure they capture the actual beneficiaries, or a broad spectrum of respondents, so avoiding human bias that can creep in, particularly in complex operating  environments.

By using mobile phones with GPS and cameras, it is possible to collect analysis ready information to answer complex questions.