Collaboration is Key: Engaging communities and governments with Open Cities Africa
Friday, 11:00 AM – 20 min
In the last decade, we’ve seen an exponential increase in data from satellites, drones, mobile devices, and smart sensors used to understand urban flooding and other hazards in Africa. At the same time, we have the enormous potential of human capital, with most developing countries seeing a growing proportion of youth and women entering the tech space. With community-driven data collection, such as OSM community mapping campaigns, any citizen can start using this technology for change.
Disaster risk management and urban planning require geodata for informed decision-making, but roadblocks persist as we attempt to fill Africa’s “digital map gap.” It remains difficult to collect, access, and use urban planning data. Traditional methods for data curation make it unmanageable to collaborate across agencies and organizations.
We often talk about the competing expectations of the people participating in this space, but community, government, and science don’t need to be at odds. Open Cities Africa engages city governments and partner communities to collect the data necessary to meet growing urban resilience challenges. In this session, we will demonstrate how the Open Cities collaborative approach has led to impactful and sustainable community mapping efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa. This includes early engagement with government, online cross-continental forums and course-style trainings, in-person regional workshops led by experts from the OSM community, and consistent inclusion of government and community members in the technical mapping workflow.