Humanitarian OSM Team/Open Mapping Hub - Asia Pacific/Booster Grants

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Booster Grant - Asia Pacific Hub

The Open Mapping Hub - Asia Pacific Hub is excited to announce the “Booster Grants” to meet the hub's vision to “create a sustainable OSM ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific region” and to “develop the hub as a regional public good” by supporting the work of OSM groups in the region that have demonstrated continued commitment towards the betterment of OSM in their home countries.

Booster Grant

What is a Booster Grant?

Booster Grant, as its name suggests, intends to boost ongoing mapping and community building activities of OSM groups in the Asia-Pacific region. With the Booster Grant, the hub aims to support local communities that are already carrying significant mapping and community building work.

Purpose of a Booster Grant

Many local OSM communities across Asia-Pacific are actively involved in mapping and community engagement work. Throughout the last decade, groups across the region have contributed significantly to introduce and advance mapping in their homes. For instance: Mapping of an indigenous group: Chepang Basti in Nepal, Unmapped Tarlac in the Philippines, and mapping of flood affected areas in Bangladesh.

In recognition of these exemplary efforts, the Booster Grant will serve as a supplement to existing resources and increase mapping activities and foster more community engagement. Additionally, the Booster Grant also aims to ensure local communities have the opportunity to set their priorities and hold the ownership of their activities by encouraging autonomous and collaborative decision-making.

Who will receive it & how will they use it?

The first rounds of Booster Grant will be awarded to OSM communities from three priority countries: Nepal, Bangladesh, and Philippines. These communities have demonstrated continuous dedication to strengthen the OSM movement in their countries, and have numerous active mapping projects. In the National Dialogues held in June-September 2021, these three OSM communities went through discussions to decide on their priorities and activities to strengthen the OSM movement in their respective countries. The hub will now provide the Booster Grant to these three communities to support the priorities and activities decided on the National Dialogues.

However, we anticipate supporting and providing Booster Grants to more OSM communities throughout the next year. Since the Booster Grant is a new idea, the structure and criteria for the Booster Grants will continue to evolve, and we will update the communities as we make any progress. If any communities have interest in learning more about the Booster Grants, or believe you are ready for the grant, please reach out to us at openmappinghub.ap@hotosm.org.

How does it work?

Identification of legally registered institution

Hub’s Booster Grants model requires the OSM community to identify a legally registered local institution to administer the fund. The institution can then charge upto 10% of the fund to cover its administrative cost, whereas 90% of the fund goes to the community for mapping and community building activities in a transparent manner

How is the legal organization chosen?

In the weeks following the National Dialogues session, the communities went through internal discussions to identify a legally registered organization that would be best suited to carry out the fund administration.

Status

Kathmandu Living Labs from Nepal, and SmartCities from Philippines have been identified to serve as the legal organisations that administer the fund. The OSM communities in their respective countries were consulted for approval, and since no further contestation was received, these two organizations have been selected. The OSM Bangladesh community is currently having internal discussions to identify a legally registered organisation.

Formation of facilitating team

The Hub also encourages the community to form a small facilitating team consisting of three to seven members of the community to coordinate with the community, the institution administering the fund, and the hub. In order to ensure diversity and representation, we request 40% of the committee to be comprised of women.

Role of the facilitating team

The core idea behind the facilitating team is to ensure that the local community holds ownership of their activities. In order to depart from the traditional funding mechanism used by contemporary humanitarian aid agencies where the funders set the criteria and priorities, the hub considers it critical to have a diverse and knowledgeable group of people serve as a coordinating committee that will ensure the people within the community work together towards a common impactful goal. Since funders can often be detached from the ground realities, it is important to us that communities who work on the ground hold the power to decide how the funds should be allocated for the utmost impact. Therefore, with this understanding, the facilitating team will contribute to the following responsibilities:

  • Identify priorities in consultation with communities and create a mechanism to define selection for community projects
  • Transparently coordinate with local OSM community about updates in activities and funding
  • Coordinate with legal organization in administering the release of funding for the community
  • Ensure that the money is spent in the most beneficial and transparent way for the community
  • Develop ideas to use the Booster Grant as a seed to elevate OSM movement in their respective countries

Status

In the National Dialogue sessions, all three communities OSM Bangladesh, Nepal, and Philippines have identified members to serve as the facilitating committee.