Humanitarian OSM Team/Open Mapping Hub Eastern and Southern Africa/Open Mapping Grants 2021

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Open Mapping Grants 2021 Open Mapping Impact Grants Open Mapping Community Action Grants Open Mapping Community Mobilization Grants



Please note: For the first quarter of 2022, the hub will be open to receiving applications on a rolling basis. If you have already applied for an Open Mapping Grant, and intend to re-submit an application you have already received feedback on, please update your proposals here on the OSM Wiki, accordingly. Then, please send an email to esahub (at) to confirm resubmission.

The Open Mapping Hub Eastern and Southern Africa Grants Program

Information Pack

HOT’s vision is to engage one million volunteers globally to map an area home to one billion people. By prioritising local mapping organisations and communities, facilitating knowledge exchanges, distributing funding, and providing training and support, we are focussing efforts to work with local organisations and communities to drive high quality, ethical, local data use cases.

The Open Mapping Hub - Eastern and Southern Africa will engage Open Mapping Organisations and Communities in the region to facilitate exchange of ideas and expertise across 22 countries and provide financial and technical support to massively scale local edits on OpenStreetMap. Priority will be given to innovative projects that contribute towards improved map data quality, ethical collection, use of map data, have a vision for community growth, generate open knowledge or tools , identify local partners and collaborators and help communities with disaster response efforts.

Grant Categories

Open Mapping Community Action Grants: $10,000 - $ 20,000 grants will be available for Open Mapping Organisations and Communities in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe to grow to grow local edits on OpenStreetMap while addressing an identified problem statement from their country. These grants seek to promote collaboration within OSM groups at a national level while providing the necessary resources to promote sustainability. These include training, open knowledge sharing and assistance with the acquisition of devices and legal entity status for groups.

Open Mapping Impact Grants: $30,000 - $45,000 grants will be available for Open Mapping Organisations and Communities in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Uganda. Macrogrants are envisioned to bring together a consortium of OSM contributors (data creators) and OSM data users. These grants seek to support large scale local edits and increased collaboration among OSM data contributors and data users. The consortium will work together to set a specific idea and create a proposal for a project that addresses an identified problem statement from their country. The consortium can include but is not limited to OSM communities, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), local Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and non-profit organisations.

Open Mapping Community Mobilization Grants These are $200 monthly grants available to Open Mapping Communities and Organisations in Angola, Burundi, Comoros, eSwatini, Egypt, Lesotho, Mauritius, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Tanzania to hold monthly events such as mapathons, GIS training, mapping parties, and community meet-ups aimed at increasing local skills and knowledge on OpenStreetMap Mapping and remote validation.

Thematic Areas

Projects that focus on the following themes will be prioritized:

  • Disaster and Climate Resilience: Anticipatory action/ risk reduction, response and building resilience to climate related events
  • Public Health: Access to health services, vaccination campaigns, outbreak preparedness and surveillance
  • Gender Equality: Equal rights, equal participation, and improved understanding of gendered issues through digital inclusion
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities: Urban dwellings & infrastructure including access to basic services, waste mgmt, transport, resilience
  • Migration and Safe Displacement: Supporting those forced from home including IDPs, refugees, asylum seekers and access to services in camp and urban settings

Granting Approach

The ESA hub will take on a collaborative approach to grantmaking. We will be holding country-specific dialogues with Open Mapping Organisations and Organisations to understand:

  • The history and goals of communities and organisations and how we can collaborate
  • The capacity of communities and organisations to implement projects
  • The current spectrum of partners and opportunities for greater participation
  • Data needs and challenges in contributing to and using OpenStreetMap for organisations and communities.

We will then work with applicants as they develop proposals that align with both our audacious goals and their priorities and capabilities.

Eligibility Criteria

To be Eligible for the Open Mapping Hub - Eastern and Southern Africa grants, an organisation or community must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must be one of the following organisations:
    1. OpenStreetMap communities
    2. Community Based Organisations (CBOs)
    3. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
    4. National or Local Non profit organisations (NGOs)
    5. Local or Municipal or City Government
    6. Social Enterprises
  2. Applicants do not need to be currently affiliated with HOT, but projects must contribute broadly to HOT’s mission of creating community-led open map data for humanitarian response, socio-economic development to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. Applying organizations do not need to be legally registered; however, they will need to collaborate with a legally registered organization. The legally registered organisation will receive funds on behalf of the non-registered organisation. Priority will be given to legally registered organizations/communities and/or organisations/communities working in collaboration with a legally registered organization that can take on financial responsibility, although this is not required.
  4. HOT staff members, board members, individual applicants, voting members who are part of the review process are not eligible.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are largely determined on a grant-by-grant basis, and could include, but are not limited to equipment and technical resources, fixed administrative/operational costs towards internet connectivity or working space rental. If funding permits, costs of pursuing legal registration may also be eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is expected of me if I receive an Open Mapping Hub Grant? Organisations and communities that receive an Open Mapping Grant will be responsible for completing the following activities. This will enable the ESA Hub to measure the success of the Open Mapping Grants program and improve it going forward.

  1. Provide inception, mid-term and end of project reports to the hub Community Manager. Standard templates will be provided and report deadlines will be clearly communicated. Provide photos, videos, and a blog that clearly demonstrates your achievements, challenges, lessons learned and open knowledge generated as a result of the grant money provided.
  2. Provide clear expense documentation for all items and services purchased with grant funds, join monthly meetings to provide updates on progress, and remain transparent with HOT on any challenges or issues with your project and its timelines.

We expect grant recipients to be compliant with government recommendations and regulations in their country of operation and continue to comply if (and when) recommendations and regulations are modified throughout the duration of this grant.

What happens post-funding?

Grants will be prioritized for organisations and communities who will continue their mapping activities after the project ends. Please consider how your Grant will support the longer term sustainability of your mapping activities carefully whilst preparing your application.

Why is the Open Mapping hub developing its granting programme over the next four years?

The Hub seeks to expand on the success of the various grant programmes run by HOT over the past five years as part of a new commitment to support the evolution of local open mapping ecosystems in priority countries and the strengthening of impact on local issues, challenges and opportunities through open geographical data and open mapping.

Where does funding come from?

This Grants program is made possible thanks to Audacious Project Funding.

Who will review the proposals?

Proposals will be reviewed by the Open Mapping Hub - Eastern and Southern Africa Staff and Community members from the region.

How many grants will be made?

We will be awarding at least one grant per year in each of the 22 countries.

What is the selection criteria?

Applications will be reviewed, shortlisted and finalised based on the following criteria:

  • Project Partners: The Open Mapping Hub looks for organisations and communities that have clearly identified key stakeholders and a coherent plan on how to engage with them. Preference will be given to groups who identify local data users who will use the data/maps they produce.
  • Community Maturity: The Open Mapping Hub looks for organisations and communities that have demonstrated a commitment to open mapping through past activities. Communities should have some previous experience using OpenStreetMap. While communities do not need to be large in number, smaller mapping organisations and communities should demonstrate a clear plan for growing their organisation and community and sustaining it in the long-term with the assistance of the grant.
  • Accurate Budget: Budgets should contain accurate and detailed plans for how the grant money will be utilized and should justify the total grant amount being requested. Proposed purchases should be clearly aligned to the impact and strategy mentioned above.
  • Realistic Project Plan: Project plans should be realistic, with enough detail to understand the approach you plan to take when implementing your project. When do grants start and end?

The initial disbursement of funds is expected to take place in November 2021. Projects are expected to be completed within 6 - 9 months.

What is a Country Dialogue?

In each country, there exists several groups of mappers, an OSM community, mapping organisations or associations. These groups are referred to as data creators. There are a number of other organizations whose operations and activities can be accelerated with access to geographic information and data. These are referred to as data users. Country dialogues will bring together data creators and data users to discuss the most pressing data needs for data users and forge a way forward in relation to creating data and addressing specific data needs.

To express your interest in any of these grants, please complete this form.

What if I have more questions?

Please email