Decision making at the national level in both developing and developed countries requires the integrated use of information from a multitude of sources. Both local and national governments in many developed countries have found geographic information systems (GIS) to be a critical tool in resource management, regional planning, and economic development. Unfortunately, the practical use of GIS in many developing countries is hampered by the lack of accurate and detailed spatial and demographic data, political considerations, and management issues. To highlight importance of these issues, we present a framework for GIS adoption in less developed countries and discuss these and other constraints in the context of this framework. We also offer ideas for technical, managerial, and policy initiatives that should be helpful in addressing impediments to GIS adoption. These ideas are summarized in a set of propositions and a related framework that shows our expectations about the impact of these initiatives on implementation success.