Humanitarian OSM Team/HOT Microgrants/Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Summit Grant 2020/Proposal/Community-Driven, Needs-Responsive Open Mapping in Rural Mongolia

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Community-Driven, Needs-Responsive Open Mapping in Rural Mongolia
This project will ensure the continuation of a young OSM community of rural mappers in 21 provinces of Mongolia through a series of community-led and needs-responsive mapathon events that will snow-ball to recruit new volunteer mappers. Rural community mappers in each 21 provinces will take turns to lead mapathon events in which data needs are prioritized by the leading community stakeholders will be collected with the help of other mappers across the country.
start-dateFebruary 1, 2021
end-dateFebruary 1, 2022
budget (USD)please add the amount you are requesting (USD)
organization (if applicable)•

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.

Rural communities across Mongolia face challenges that are common but also deal with issues that are unique to local communities. For example, climate events and natural disasters are becoming more frequent and extreme across the rural communities as Mongolia is disproportionately impacted by climate change. Traditional herding communities suffer great losses during harsh winters, droughts, wildfires, and dwindling water resources. Land conflict between different herding and agricultural communities are becoming more intense as natural resources are impacted by climate change. Left without viable livelihoods, migration to urban area is one of the few options, where poverty, poor living conditions and unemployment are common.

There are also differences among rural communities such as socio-economic conditions, the state of governance, geographic and climate characteristics that define the specific needs of each community differently. For example, eastern provinces experience high-speed winds and raging wildfires, whereas southern provinces face issues of sandstorms, drought, and impacts of large-scale mining such as depleting water resources.

Key tool resources such as availability of open, up-to-date geographic data, or even recent, quality satellite imagery that are needed to manage these shared as well as uniquely local challenges continue to be lacking, and high political turnovers of public offices have been detrimental to sustainable data management. Moreover, local capacity in geodata creation, use, and management has a lot of space to grow to efficiently prepare, plan and mitigate the impacts on the rural communities. Awareness on open mapping, or open data is poor, and local communities, therefore, do not utilize the tools and resources that are or could be available to them. For example, community mapping of water source pollution from mining activities could equip the locals with the tool to advocate for sustainable and rehabilitative practices.

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.

We recognize that rural communities across Mongolia are dealing with shared as well as unique challenges. The community priorities, we believe, should be defined and led by the local communities, who are without contest, experts of their area.

This is why, we would like to continue the activities promoting open mapping on OSM with the 21 province communities. In the past year, as part of our Mapathon program supported by Covid-19 Response Microgrant, we have already established a Community Mappers Program, where representatives from 21 provinces of Mongolia have been trained. They mapped health and essential services in support of the country’s Covid-19 response. We would like to continue to foster this rural community mappers with the goals to strengthen and grow the number of volunteer mappers, and community members.

We propose to organize a total of 21 mapathon events over a period of one year, one every 3 weeks. Community mappers from each province will lead one mapathon event, where they define the mapping need or priority based on discussion with community stakeholders. The total community of mappers will then support the leading local mappers. In addition, the leading community mappers will recruit 5-10 new volunteer members.

Community-driven, needs-based mapathons will not only ensure that mapathons events are meaningful to the rural communities, but also provide an opportunity to foster the sense of OSM community who work together to contribute to each other’s local efforts.

The current members of Community Mappers program from 21 provinces include people who work in government agencies working in sectors such as community development, environmental protection, disaster preparedness, and educators such as university professors and teachers. We believe that our current rural community mappers are already key stakeholders to promote open mapping, have a great potential to build capacity and become leaders in their own communities in open mapping to address local issues in rural Mongolia.

The project will not only engage, recruit and retain community volunteer mappers, but each mapathon will provide opportunity for our community mappers to lead a mapathon event through which a rural community effort is supported across Mongolia. We believe that this project will also encourage our rural community mappers to continue to independently organize mapathons when need and use the OSM data as a tool and resource for their local community development.

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.

Public Lab Mongolia runs HOTOSM Mapathon as one of our core, long-term programming. Our other programs such as air quality education program, also benefit from the mapathon program by making data available for the air quality advocacy groups and youth researchers.

In the past year, we have experimented with different ways to engage, train, and foster a community of volunteer OSM mappers. We have learnt good practices and working to continue to understand the geodata needs in communities across Mongolia.

We run the mapathon program with or without external funding up to date as it is our main program. With funding, we were able to scale our engagement and training with more communities, especially communities that do not have access to many GIS capacity or resources. Without funding, we continue our OSM mapathon by reaching out to organizations, groups and communities that are closer, do not require more resrouces, to raise awareness of OSM mapping, and promote the culture of open data.

We will continue to seek funding from other sources to ensure sustainability of our OSM mapathon activities. We are also working to build more partnerships with stakeholders who understand the importance of OSM mapping and willing to cost share.

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.

The project goals include the following:

We will engage, support, capacity-build our current rural community mappers in 21 provinces: We would like to continue to engage our rural community mappers through regular OSM mapathon events, through which more community building and training can happen.

We will recruit and train between 100-200 new volunteer mappers over the project period: Each mapathon will recruit 5-10 new volunteer mappers through the current rural mappers in 21 provinces. This way, we will also be building the number of community mappers in each province, and not in just one area or community.

Each OSM mapathon will support a local issue, defined and prioritized by rural community mappers: Each mapathon will be led by existing rural community mappers, and we will facilitate the organization of the mapathons. Each rural mapping community will have priorized the mapping needs for their community based on discussions with stakeholders. As our current rural community mappers are established members in their local communities, we believe the data from the mapathon events will be meaningful and useful in addressing the issues each community is facing.

We will build partnerships through our rural community mappers: By continued engagement and support to our current rural community mappers in the 21 provinces, we will work to establish partnerships with local stakeholders. We have already received a few requests from the provinces to train more community members in OSM mapping. For example, we have received request to collaborate with the Youth and Family Community Center in Zavkhan (one of the western provinces most isolated from the capital city). Another request to collaborate is from Selenge province (northcentral province) to map WASH facilities in their communities.

We will organize 21 mapathons, each with about 30 participants, and total of about 630 mappers over the project period of one year.

We intend to engage no less than 40% of women in our mapathon events.

We will support mapping initiatives from disadvantaged communities such as herders, women, and low-income communities: We believe that this proposed project will empower disadvantaged communities with the tools to carry out advocacy and engage in data-based decision-making discussions with stakeholders.

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.

Our vision in the next five years for the OSM community mappers in Mongolia includes the following:

We will have established, mature and skilled community of OSM mappers in Mongolia: Currently, OSM mapping community in Mongolia is still young and the skill level is basic. We would like to support and train our community mappers where they are able to contribute to data validation, train others in their own communities, and that they are comfortable and capable of organizing OSM mapathons, independent of Public Lab Mongolia.

We would like to see the data collected through OSM will be used to advance community development including disaster preparedness, environmental protection, and mitigation of climate change impacts. We aim to build capacities in rural Mongolian communities including stakeholders, and the public through the engagement and scale up of the current rural community mappers.

We would like to push the frontier of open data culture in the country through HOTOSM mapping. By engaging, raising awareness and training stakeholders such as government officials, and the general public in rural communities in 21 provinces, we would like to support the creation, use and contribution of open data through OSM.

We would like to see our OSM community growth in terms of skilled OSM community mappers in each 21 provinces. The local OSM community mappers will be the main advocates of open mapping, where Public Lab Mongolia will continue to support when needed.

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.

We have been and will continue to work with our community mappers on OSM, HOT tasking manager, and JOSM. Our mission is to promote the culture of open data. We will promote and use open-source, open-access tools that are available not only to us, as Public Lab Mongolia, but also to other communities across the country.

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.

Currently, we manage our outreach activities through email, website, and more importantly social media networks. We plan to work with our network of rural community mappers to scale up our awareness raising and engagement activities. Furthermore, the proposed project will also provide the opportunity to promote HOTOSM and identify the Mongolian community of mappers through merchandise such as mugs, t-shirts, stickers, and etc.,

In addition, we have been using a large, printed banner for when we carry out in-person OSM mapathon events. Our in-person OSM mapathon events provide opportunities to document and collect interesting photos and visuals that are used in social media and other outreach activities.

Regarding outreach beyond our network, the small-scale in-person OSM mapathons we organize with different organizations, and groups help raise awareness when they share posts and photos in their network as well. We plan to encourage our partners and collaborators to share mapathon activities, results, and experiences in their network. Sometimes, we work with larger organizations, such as embassies or international organizations, who have much larger and diverse network to do outreach to as well.


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.

The data collected on OSM through the rural mapathon events will be used by each of the rural community across the 21 provinces in Mongolia. Because we design this proposed project to be community-driven and needs-responsive, the data will have been collected out of an existing need for the rural communities participating in the project. For example, the current community mapping group in Selenge has expressed the need for WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) data and expressed their interest to collaborate with Public Lab Mongolia to train more community members in OSM mapping. So in that case, the mapathon event for Selenge province will focus on WASH data, and the users and the need for the data is clear from the beginning because our proposed project provides the opportunity for the rural communities to define, and prioritize the data needs for their local community. Public Lab Mongolia’s role in the project is to build capacity, facilitate project mapping activities, and foster OSM community building in Mongolia, while equipping rural community mappers to lead the mapathons in their own provinces. With the continued engagement through the 21 community mapping groups, we aim to establish partnerships with local organizations, governments, and community groups to collaborate on promoting OSM mapping activities that are responsive and targeted to the needs of local communities. The final users of the OSM data will be government agencies working to address environmental, social issues and natural disaster preparedness. Local community members can advocate for water resource protection by using the data collected.

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.

In our last OSM mapping project, we partnered with National Emergency Management Agency to support the Covid-19 response in Mongolia by mapping health and essential services. Within this collaboration, we worked with local NEMA offices in 21 provinces to carry out data validation of data collected through the rural OSM community mappers. We are exploring continued collaboration with NEMA moving forward. In addition, we will be exploring partnerships with local government, and community organizations in the 21 rural province communities through our current community mappers.


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.

Our project is very inclusive because we are working with communities in all 21 provinces. This includes economic, ethnic, and geographic minorities. In addition, we propose to work the rural community mappers, who will represent, define and prioritize issues and challenges that rural communities such as herders, women and other disadvantaged groups who do not have tools and resources in geodata. Furthermore, when we plan our mapping activities, when it is possible, we aim to maintain gender balance in participation. Based on the last year’s OSM mapping activities, we have engaged about 40% women and 60% men. We will continue to work so that women are equally represented in our activities.


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.

We plan to recruit 5-10 new OSM mappers with each mapathon, which will be led by each of the 21 rural community mappers. The recruitment of the new members will be done through our current rural community mappers, by expanding the OSM community through their professional network. For example, many of our current rural community mappers are working in government agencies, where they expressed interest in training others who are their colleagues, or people in different departments or agencies.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Summit

How did you participate in the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Summit?

Please describe how participated in the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap summit, either as an attendee, speaker or volunteer

Public Lab Mongolia participated in the HOTOSM Summit as a speaker. We presented about our OSM mapping effort, supported by the Covid-19 Response Microgrant, to support Mongolia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic by mapping health and essential services in 21 provinces of the country.  

Key takeaways

Please describe any highlights, takeaways, inspiration, or things that you learnt at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Summit 2020.

It was valuable to be a part of the HOTOSM Summit 2020 as we were inspired by the efforts other communities in other countries are doing. It was eye-opening to see the approaches used, and applications being developed elsewhere to promote open mapping. The main takeaway for us, was to learn from other open mapping communities, learn about their good practices, and define our goals for Mongolia’s open mapping community in the future. Furthermore, taking part in a global event, where like-minded individuals shared their work, building a support network and meeting others that we can reach out when needed was a great experience to part of.


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 plan to continue to work with and seek support from our current network and connections in the OSM community. For example, we are working with teams with advanced skills in geodata and have in-depth experience in OSM mapping in Nepal, Bangladesh and the United States. We plan to continue our collaboration with and through these communities. We will also stay connected with other OSM communities through the slack channel and seek specific support via HOTOSM or OSM teams.

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 are currently in touch with other OSM communities and HOTOSM team through email and slack channels. In addition, we are also working with geospatial teams in Nepal and Bangladesh on a multi-country project. Our colleagues in Nepal OSM community have supported our mapping efforts in Mongolia by doing data validation because our community is not yet advanced enough for data validation tasks. We have been in touch with HOTOSM community for tips and support on technical issues, or ideas on getting quality satellite imagery, especially in rural areas in the country. We plan to meet and network with more communities and professionals to build capacity within our organization and within our OSM Mongolia community.

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

Activity Description Quantity Quantity/Person, Month, Litre/ Unit Rate Total Remarks
Stipend (including all of the state taxes-26%) Project Manager 1 12 $142 $1,704 Organizing mapathons/Manaiging the rural mappers
# of participants # of mapathons Unit Rate Total
Main activity: Mapathon Events Internet data credit for the participants 40 21 $2 $960 The most of the mapathons will be orginzed virtually and will provide them internet data credit.
Mapathon event lunch coupon 30 21 $3 $1,890 community mapathon events will provide lunch coupons for participants
Postal service 40 1 $1 $80 sending certificate and merchandise
Printing 40 1 $1 $40 Printing cost of the certificate
OSM merchandise 40 1 $8 $320 Promoting OSM among the rural mappers
TOTAL $4,994

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

Activty/Month Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
1 Project preparation x
1.1 Meetings with current rural community mappers and project launch (first week) x
1.2 Facilitate community data prioritization, mapping needs for each rural community x
1.3 Update training materials x
1.4 Prepare OSM mapping competition guideline x
2 OSM mapathons x x x x x x x x x x x x x
2.1 Provide OSM mapping training and support at each mapathon event x x x x x x x x x x x x x
2.2 Organize and facilitate 21 OSM mapathons with each rural community mapper leads x x x x x x x x x x x x x
2.2 Provide technical support for volunteer mappers x x x x x x x x x x x x x
3 Blog post on data collected, use for data, and OSM experience from each mapping community in 21 provinces following the mapathon events, social media posts and newsletters x x x x x x x x x x x x x
4 Data validation x x x
5 Organize and carry out data validation for data collected for each mapathon with relevant stakeholder through the current rural community mappers x x x
6 End-of-project x x
6.1 Organize post project survey x x
6.2 Community meeting on next activity planning x x x
6.3 Award best OSM mappers at the end of the project duration based on OSM contribution x


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.

Erdenetsogt Sumiyasuren (username same as full name)


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 --Semower (talk) 15:14, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I, Enkhtungalag, fully endorse this project. I believe this project will make important steps in building the OSM community across Mongolia to improve livesEC (talk) 04:22, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I Ralph Aytoun endorse this project. I worked with Erdenetsogt on the COVID-19 Microgrant project as validator and can confirm that he held the Mapathons in the stated provinces and was able to complete most of the projects at a reasonable standard --RAytoun (talk) 20:11, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I, Dana Gallaty, endorse this project. After working with Eredenetsogt during the Summit and reviewing his project here, I'm confident he and his team will be able to carry out the project as described above successfully. Danagallaty (talk) 07:57, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I, Munkhzul Gantumur, endorse this project. Having reviewed the proposal, I trust that Public Lab Mongolia will successfully carry out this project building on their current, ongoing efforts to foster inclusive, community-driven open mapping. Zula G (talk) 07:38, 17 January 2021 (UTC)