Humanitarian OSM Team/HOT Microgrants/Community Impact Microgrants 2021/Proposal/Building a Resilient OpenStreetMap Community in Fiji

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Building a Resilient OpenStreetMap Community in Fiji
We want to establish an OpenStreetMap community in Fiji to raise consciousness of open data, improve disaster preparedness in vulnerable communities, and develop skills in mapping and community organising. We hope to share what we learn with other Pacific Island communities.
budget (USD)$5000
location(s)Suva, Fiji
granteeCarrol Chan

Your project

This is an opportunity for you to tell us about your project. In this section we'd like to hear about your community, which local challenge your project addresses, what you plan to do and how, your sustainability plan, and how you plan to share your stories.

Describe the local challenge your project is addressing

In this section please describe in detail the challenge that your project addresses. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

More often than not, during disaster emergencies such as Tropical Cyclone Yasa (Dec 2020), datasets are hurriedly requested and merged from multiple sources that may or may not be verified. This underpins the need for the geospatial community to collaborate closely in working towards establishing common operational datasets that are open, accessible, verifiable and locally owned not only for response and recovery efforts, but also prevention and planning.

From this, we highlight there are three key issues that currently stand, that we would like to address with a range of identified activities with our proposed project:

  1. Stigma associated with the value and utilisation of open data, including OSM data within the geospatial community for disaster risk management and planning
  2. Discrepancies in completeness of current datasets for disaster risk management and planning
  3. Lack of representation across marginalised groups and local communities

These issues can be addressed through our proposed activities which will also form local, regional and international relationships to not only encourage but also empower intersectoral participation towards a common goal being the contribution and use of OpenStreetMap data for disaster risk resilience in Fiji.

Describe your project

In this section, please provide specific details about your mapping objectives. This should include: how you will contribute to help solve the local challenge you are addressing, what you aim to achieve with funding, what volume of mapping you plan to complete and how, and the number individuals are you aiming to include in mapping activities. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

Project Activity 1: Community Awareness Workshops on Open Data for Disaster Risk Resilience Currently there is a stigma associated with the value of open data for disaster risk resilience, especially since integration of geospatial data across sectors is rare. We aim to address this by undertaking local community awareness workshops on OSM and associated open data, and their value for sustainable development.

The following activities are expected to be conducted:

  • Socialisation workshops: This activity will target practitioners, stakeholders and the wider interested local community. The focus will be on how OSM and open geospatial data can be utilised for disaster risk resilience and beyond. Outreach will be done at already available platforms such as the annual Pacific GIS and RS User Conference and local GIS User Forum, drawing in volunteer interest for planned mapathon activities. Digital communication outreach will also be done via available social media channels and available local and regional mailing channels.

Funding will be used to support catering for the workshops and volunteer coordination.

Project Activity 2: Running Local Mapathon Events Mapping events and small training sessions organised for students, practitioners, project partners and the wider local community will be central to the proposed project.

The following activities are expected to be conducted:

  • OSM mapathons: remote mapping/digitising objects of interest (buildings, roads/tracks, waterways, water tanks, vegetation areas) and informal settlements. A number of settlements/areas will be prioritised to map via these mapathons after consultation with partner organisations. It is estimated that a total of 50 volunteers will participate in mapathons (with many attending more than one mapathon), and at least 50 settlements will be mapped as a result.

Funding will be used to support catering for the mapathons and volunteer coordination.

Project Activity 3: Field Survey and Validating OSM Data with Local Communities Local community mapping through field surveying and validation exercises will be run with local youth volunteers around the Greater Suva area, including Lami. While there is a need to map communities and surrounding points of interest, the project team anticipates to respect individuals' wishes to not be mapped for legal or cultural reasons.

The following activities are expected to be conducted:

  • Training of local volunteers: this will include field data collection and validation of existing features on OSM using mobile technology at hand. It is aimed that a total of 50 volunteers will undergo available training
  • Identification of target areas: preliminary analysis on potential areas near within the Greater Suva area, including Lami has been undertaken by the project team. Further consultation will be conducted with these communities and existing stakeholders for approval and coordination of activities
  • Field surveying and validating: trained volunteers and project team will be deployed to the identified areas to undertake field mapping and validation of assets which include buildings, houses, roads/tracks, water tanks, public and communal areas, and vegetated areas. It is aimed that 3 one-day field surveys be completed.

Funding will be used to support travel costs, mobile data for verification, and volunteer coordination.

Describe your sustainability plan

In this section please describe how your activities will continue post-funding. If you are applying for funding to purchase equipment, explain who will store/use the equipment you purchase, and if you have long term sustainability plans for your community's development. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

We envision the activities developed and supported by the project and volunteers to continue outside of the project lifespan. This will be done by ensuring the following is established well:

  • Empowering our local geospatial and volunteer community to remain active and driven by the powers of open data for disaster and climate action. This will be done through all project activities, of which we aim to be as inclusive, welcoming and supportive as possible.
  • Ensure and see through a culture of open data for development at the community level.
  • Link project activities and provide support to existing DRM geospatial activities undertaken by other organisations including Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, USP, and SPC
  • Establishing working relationships with the Fiji GIS/RS User Group, Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Council, the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council and the Pacific Young Surveyors Network. By utilising available interest groups that have similar objectives, we aim to create synergies between these groups to eventually independently progress our activities post-funding including trainings and mapathon events
  • Exploring local interest in establishing a Special Interest Group that is a subset of the Local GIS/RS User Forum focused on open data and providing support where applicable to ensure longevity post project

What are your community defined project goals, and how do you define project success?

Please explain you project goals. This can include: setting goals such as "we will train X number of new mappers", "we will register as a legal entity", or "the data will be used by X", and why these goals are important to your community such as "we intent to be legally registered so that we can receive more grant funding in the future", "we intend to engage X number of women in mapping activities so that we can empower local women" or "we want to build a partnership with X so that our data will be used and trusted". We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

We would define project success as being able to successfully transfer knowledge and skills that enable the local community to continue growing and contributing to building OSM data for the region regardless of an individual or groups focal area.

Our defined goals to measure success are as follows:

  • To carry out at least 3 workshops on the socialisation of OSM data for disaster preparedness in Fiji, reaching a potential number of at least 20 participants specifically from the government sectors for each workshop
  • Coordination with local partners including the local GIS/RS User Group to recruit and upskill at least 50 local volunteer mappers to use and contribute to OSM. This will include university students, existing practitioners, local communities as well as partners, prioritising partners involved in LGBTQ+ communities such as the Rainbow Pride Foundation and local woman groups.
  • To map at least 50 settlements/villages (currently we have 200+ missing settlements that are not mapped)for ‘data user’ partners through mapathons
  • To complete 3 one-day field surveys and validation in OSM within the Greater Suva area

What are your community's long term goals?

Please give describe your community's vision. This can include: where you see your community in five years time, how you want your data to be used, future partnerships you'd like to establish, or how you would like your community to grow (or not!). We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

  • To grow an active, supportive and inclusive local community of mappers within Fiji
  • An empowered community that prioritises, contributes and values open data and tools for integrated decision making, specifically for disaster risk management
  • We would like our data to be utilised by our own partners, who participate in building a feedback loop of adding value to the existing data which will remain accessible and open
  • Increase the number of unmapped local settlements within OSM (currently there are 200+ missing settlements)
  • We would like to establish strong partnerships with regional and international mapping and geospatial groups for peer-to-peer support and collaboration where fit

List the tools you intend to use during your project and why

Please describe which tools you plan to use to collect, update, clean, or store you data and why. For example: "we plan to use HOT's Tasking Manager to coordinate volunteers" or "we will upload our data to X platform because..." We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

  • Jitsi or Zoom to coordinate and host meeting rooms for planning meetings and virtual events
  • HOT Tasking manager to set up projects and coordinate mapping efforts
  • Phone/handheld tablet apps that could be used during field Validation:
    • OSM Tracker (for points of interest)
    • GoMap
    • Mapillary (to capture street level imagery)
    • OSMAnd
  • A shared Google Drive folder for guides and other training materials, volunteer and participant contact information, and surveys to track participation. The link to these resources will subsequently be distributed via Twitter and Facebook prior to planned activities.
  • SPREP/Inform Data Portals for disseminating OSM data in a GIS-friendly format
  • Completed datasets will also be handed over to Pacific Community’ PCRAFI project for upload into the Pacific Risk Information System (PacRIS), and DataHub, UN Habitat and related partners
  • Map Campaigner to assist with monitoring progress of mapathons

Explain how you plan to share your stories

Please give examples of how you will use share your stories with others. This can include: how you will publicise your news, where you will collect media content, how you will use social media channels, and if you will reach out beyond your immediate network to share your stories. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

We plan to build our own social media presence via Twitter and Facebook as a local special interest volunteer group, as well as develop a standalone project website that can be linked to multiple local and regional geospatial interest groups. This will be the foundation of our awareness outreach when (intending to work/) working with local groups and communities. Our stories - written and visual - will incorporate our intended activities ranging from training participants, volunteers, partner organisations and groups, as well as local community representatives.

Available local and regional events will also be utilised as a platform to first publicise the work and activities under the project, extending beyond our immediate network. Such events include but are not limited to:

  • Local GIS and RS User Forum Meetings: a monthly meetup of local GIS users.
  • Pacific GIS and RS Newsletter
  • Pacific GIS and RS Intermediate and Annual Conference
  • FOSS4G SotM Oceania Conference

Additionally, we aim to strengthen partnerships with like minded local and regional groups to share our news, stories and information regarding activities, increasing awareness beyond the national level, and encouraging volunteer sign up. These groups include the Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Council, the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council, the Oceania OpenStreetMap Special Interest Group and so forth.


Successful applications will demonstrate one or more partnerships with a local data user. Priority will be given to applications for which the data has been requested by a partnering organisation, or where the partner organisation has expressed interest in collecting the data for a specific use or intervention. Example partners include local non-government organisations (NGOs), community based organisations (CBOs), local governments, companies, universities, schools, and other academic institutions.

Describe who will use your data

It is important that the data you generate during the project is useful, and that it will be used to advance humanitarian and/or development challenges locally. In this section, please include: if the data you will be collecting has been requested by a partnering organisation, if there is an established formal relationship with the partnering organisation, if there is an existing MoU between you and the partnering organisation, and how long have you been working with the partnering organisation. If your organisation or community is going to be the data user, please describe how you will use the data, and how it ties in with your organisation's work. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

There is a wide range of partners and stakeholders who would benefit from the generation of data from activities, as well as learning more about how to utilise OpenStreetMap. These partners are include USP, SPC, Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources (MLMR), Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and of course the local communities that are being mapped, as well as established local groups such as the Fiji GIS/RS User Group, Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council and so forth.

Currently there are two partner organisations who have requested for the collection of data:

  • UN Habitat: There is a formal relationship existing with the Resilience Officer and team with regards to coordinating efforts for mapping missing settlements. The collected data will feed into their current assessment of the resilience of local informal settlements towards climate change and disaster risk resilience. Additionally, there are multiple local government stakeholders of which the data will have a pool of immediate beneficiaries. Four tablets to assist with data collection will also be supplied for the duration of the project activities.
  • PCRAFI Project, SPC: We have established a formal relationship, with a request to support mapathon activities to generate and update open asset data, which includes buildings, roads, bridges, and related infrastructure for risk insurance. These datasets will be used for validation exercises. Four tablets to assist with data collection will also be supplied for the duration of the project activities.

As we also plan to include LGBTQ+ and women's groups by extending invitations of participation in our workshops and mapathon activities. Further scope can be explored to target their priority sites for future mapping activities.

Describe any other partnerships you plan to mobilise or establish for the purpose of the project

In this section, please describe any additional partners you might be working with. If there are no additional partners (beyond the data user) this must be stated here. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

We plan to mobilise partnerships with existing local geospatial groups such as the GIS/RS User Group, Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council, Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Council and OSGeo Oceania. These partnerships will solely be for extending and growing our local network of volunteers to participate in planned activities.

We will also establish our existing partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) to host mapathon events, and support students projects where appropriate. The venue will be provided for free.

We also plan to extend and mobilise a partnership with the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources and the Fiji National Disaster Management as potential data users, validators and disseminators via VanuaGIS.

Partners Org Type Contact Contribution Confirmed
University of the South Pacific University Aleen Prasad GIS Lab facility for planned mapathons, pool of volunteers to help with events Yes
Pacific Community (SPC) Regional NGO Eileen Turare PCRAFI Project has come back with interest in running a 2 day mapathon involving students. Yes
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) National Govt Vasiti Soko TBD No
UN Habitat/Local City Councils (Lami, Nadi, Sigatoka, Lautoka) Local NGO Kamsin Raju Coordinate with for validating of local informal settlements for disaster risk assessments Yes


Successful applications will include a developed strategy for the inclusion of women, girls, and marginalised groups in mapping activities. This includes the number of women, girls or marginalised groups you plan to engage, and the way in which you plan to interact with them.

How will you ensure that your project activities are inclusive?

Please describe how you will engage women and girls, or other marginalised communities in your mapping activities. Please include the number of women, girls or marginalised groups you plan to work with and how, and at which point in your activities you plan to engage them. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

We plan to involve organizations such as Rainbow Pride Foundation (work with LGBTQ communities), Rise Beyond the Reef (work with women and girls in remote communities for handicrafts) and Diva for equality (work with women, girls and marginalised groups) in our mapathon and socialisation workshops. Extending invitations to representatives who, in future, could determine areas of interest for our next focus. From NGO’s such as these, we aim to have at least 5 representatives present at either three of our planned activities.

Additionally, the majority of our project team is made up of women, this demonstrates a genuine commitment to inclusivity and participation.


Successful applications will show how communities intend to grow community engagement. This includes a practical approach on how many new mappers you aim to recruit and how they will be involved in community activities. Priority will be given to communities that also include a plan for ongoing engagement beyond the grant period. If this is not relevant to your project, please explain why.

Explain how you plan to expand your mapping community

In this section, please include: your approach to recruiting new mappers, how will you engage new mappers, how many new members you plan to recruit, and how will you retain community members throughout the duration of project and beyond. We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words.

  • Through our workshop and mapathon activities, we plan to recruit at least 50 new mappers, with an understanding that the majority of these mappers will be existing practitioners and university students. From this current pool of skilled mappers, will result in a cascade result where they are equipped to train their own communities on OS
  • With our volunteer team, we will work hard to create a welcoming environment that is inclusive and encouraging such as incorporating members’ feedback to future activities, ensuring marginalised groups are represented as well as women and youth.
  • Following our project plan, we aim to schedule events at a regular frequency to ensure we not only maintain engagement, but also retain volunteers
  • We will also encourage participation of the three aforementioned NGO’s (RPF, Diva for Equality and RBTR) to our existing training and workshops on OSM. Ensuring that we focus on the significance of location and mapping to the work they do in the community particularly with regards to disaster preparedness and resilience


Priority will be given to applications that collaborate with other OSM communities in the region. This can be country specific or regional and can include collaboration with Youth Mappers Chapters, or members of the HOT community to help with training, validation (as examples). For support in sourcing collaborators, email

Describe other OSM communities you are already working with

This may include Youth Mappers chapters, or members of OSMF (as examples). If you are not already collaborating with an OSM community, please state this and explain how you plan to work with other communities in your project in the following question.

We have been working closely with OSGeo Oceania (the Oceania local chapter of the OpenStreetMap Foundation), particularly in 2020, when the Fiji community led the organisation of the FOSS4G SotM Oceania conference. We're in close contact with the very active Australian OSM community, and we hope to find opportunities to share knowledge.

A specific collaboration could be working together with experienced validators and mappers to transfer skills and ensure we capture high quality data.

Members of the Australian OSM community are planning to hold mapathons related to our project, which could help strengthen relationships between the Fiji and Australia OSM communities. Once this project is established, this connection can be encouraged and explored further.

We have been talking to Violaine Doutreleau, who has been very involved in fostering the growth of the OSM community in French Polynesia. The FP OSM community is one of the most established in the Pacific Islands, and we can learn from their experience. Violaine has offered very helpful input and support for our project.

Describe other OSM communities you plan to approach, or establish relationships with, for the purpose of the project

We recommend your response be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words..

We're aware of the huge momentum in the Philippines OSM community, and we hope to establish a relationship with them as we believe we could benefit from growing stronger connections there.

We're planning to use Map Campaigner to help track our project on the HOT Tasking Manager, and we'll seek training and support from HOT in how best to use this.

Project plan and budget

Priority will be given to applications that collaborate with other OSM communities in the region. This can be country specific or regional and can include collaboration with Youth Mappers Chapters, or members of the HOT community to help with training, validation (as examples). For support in sourcing collaborators, email

Budget breakdown

Give your budget breakdown here. If you would like to present your budget in a tabular format, you can use this tool to convert your spreadsheet into a wikitable and paste the code below here

What do you plan to spend the money on? Unit being purchased Expected cost
(in US Dollars)
Total cost for budget item Why is it needed? (please give as much detail as possible)
1 Catering for Mapathons 3 $200 per event $600 This will allow us to run an entire day length of mapathon and training (combined) with lunch/snacks provided for up to 30 people per event.
2 Catering for Socialisation Workshop 3 $150 per event $450 This will allow us to run workshop events provided for up to 30 people with light refreshments provided. (One or two workshops will be incorporated with mapathon activities and funds can be alternatively utilised to support more attendees or other items listed in the budget)
3 Catering for field mapping events 3 $200 per event $600 Provide catering for at least 20 participants, and 2 project volunteers for 3 field surveys.
4 Purchasing of mobile data for local mapping 66 $5 per unit $330 To undertake field mapping activities, we require mobile data for participants to purchase to undertake validation. We estimate at least 20 participants per local mapping event, and 2 project volunteers.
5 Travel support 30 $10 per trip $300 This will facilitate travel support for at least 5 participants to each mapathon and training event (6 events total). An allocation of $10 USD per return journey. Costing is expected to fluctuate.
6 Project stationery and printing 9 $30 per event $270 This will allow us to purchase pens, marker, butchers paper for workshop and local community field mapping events activities, as well as printing resources and participation certificates. These activities will include group work/individual activities to enforce concepts which include object representation in mapping.
7 Volunteer Coordinator stipend 230 hours $10 per hour $2,300 There will be a large amount of time spent coordinating events, liaising and engaging with community members and stakeholders through various forms of communication including personal meetings, to ensure activities are carried out according to schedule of events. Technical work including building the project website will also be funded under this item.
8 1 TB External HDD 1 $50 $50 Storing and transferring datasets
9 Project website hosting and domain 1 $100 $100 Set up of project page with purchased domain name, and CMS builder for at least one year
Total $5,000.00

Project plan

Give your project plan here. If you would like to present your project plan in a tabular format, you can use this tool to convert your spreadsheet into a wikitable and paste the code below here

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
1 8 15 22 29 5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31 7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26 2 9 16 23
Key Activity 1 (Administration)
Activity 1.1 Coordinate and liase with project partners for upcoming activities
Activity 1.2 Project comms/outreach plan (social media, group channels, lists, and local events)
Activity 1.3 Purchasing of project stationery and related equipment
Activity 1.4 Develop procedure for release of funds for activities
Activity 1.5 Develop data model for data collection iteratively (templating attributes)
Key Activity 2 (Socialisation Workshops)
Activity 2.1 Promotion on workshop series at Fiji GIS/RS User Group and FGIMC
Activity 2.2 Invitations and communication of upcoming workshop series
Activity 2.3 Development of socialisation workshop materials
Activity 2.4 Workshop Series on Socialisation of OSM and Open Data for DRR
Activity 2.5 Report summary of Socialisation Workshops
Key Activity 3 (Mapathons)
Activity 3.1 Invitations and communication of upcoming mapathon event
Activity 3.2 Project and event setup for Mapathon Activities (volunteers meeting)
Activity 3.3 Mapathon Series
Activity 3.4 Report summary of mapathon activities
Key Activity 4 (Local Community Field Survey and Validation)
Activity 4.1 Invitations and communication of training for field survey and validation
Activity 4.2 Development of training materials
Activity 4.3 Consultation for local community mapping target areas (Greater Suva Area)
Activity 4.4 Local Community Field Survey and Validation Exercises (1, 2, 3)
Activity 4.5 Report summary of field survey and validation activities
Phase 5 (Closing)
Activity 1 Collation of data and activities summary reports
Activity 2 Finalising of finances (including acquittals) and reporting
Major activity


By submitting this form to Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, you certify the information contained in this application is correct, and that if you are awarded a grant, you will use it only for the purposes described above. You will provide written documentation and receipts for all of your expenses to Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team to demonstrate this. You understand that the decisions made by the HOT Microgrants committee are final.

  • Carrol Chan, @Carrol23
  • Nemaia Koto, @nemaiakoto
  • @John Bryant
  • Kamsin Raju
  • Salote Baleisuva
  • Siu Jione
  • Aleen Prasad


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here! Please note: We will take endorsements into consideration in the final review but credit will be given to the quality of the application as well as the endorsement (this is not a popularity contest). Endorsements will be checked by HOT’s community team prior to selection to ensure the integrity of the endorsement (ie. that applications are not only endorsed by members of the community that submitted the application)

HOT staff, voting members and board members are welcome to endorse, and give feedback to all proposals. However, those who are taking part in the selection process will not be endorsing or giving feedback due to conflict of interest.

Instructions for Endorsement

- Log in to the wiki if you are not already logged in.
- Scroll down to Endorsements and click 'Edit source'. 
- Add your reason for the endorsement followed by four tilde signs --~~~~ 
Note: The ~~~~ automatically inserts your name and the current date.

Below is an example an endorsement.

  • I fully endorse this project - strong idea and detailed project plan --Kateregga1 (talk) 13:26, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

  • Violaine Doutreleau (Violaine) : I totally endorse this project made by and with the people of Fiji and Oceania, developping Fiji's OSM community for better resilience in regards to natural disasters. Fiji was to host the last FOSS4G SOTM for whole Oceania, (could not be done because of Covid crisis). There is a very proactive ecosystem of actors to develop GIS and OSM knowledge in the place. I totally support this effort that wants to involve and build a local communitiy and develop OSM knowledge for institutional actors. A perfect match from my perspective for global sensitization and so inclusivity and technical use by GIS specialists. Wish you a fullfilling project!
  • Endorsed by Aharvey (talk) 01:15, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Endorsed by Jonah Sullivan jonahsullivan - This project will make a big difference to improve the relationship between local knowledge and crowd-sourcing efforts such as OSM. Hopefully more information and some nice people to talk to will help change minds.
  • Edoardo Neerhut (eneerhut): I have worked with a few of the individuals applying for this grant and have been continually impressed by their hard work, moral code, and depth of knowledge. It's exciting to see them coming together to increase the capacity of the Pacific mapping community to collect and work with open map data. I'm excited to see this project take off and hope to support it however I can.
  • Richard Oates (Richardewell): This Project would be a tremendous help in ensuring that better mapping data is available for Fiji and more capacity building is undertaken. We are currently working on the CommonSensing Project to help build disaster resilience in Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and this type of Project is exactly what our Project (and other projects like it) needs. I heartily endorse it.
  • Endorsed by Tim Duhamel: This project is well planned out and kickstarting an OSM community is an excellent application of the HOT microgrant.
  • Fully support this great work for to promote FOSS4G in Fiji! --Abdullahshorab (talk) 20:41, 2 February 2021 (UTC)