Tuning In to Local Needs: How OpenStreetMap Enhances USAID's Development Programming

Room: Auditorium 2

Friday, 11:30
Duration: 20 minutes (plus Q&A)


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  • Rory Nealon

This talk will introduce the USAID/GeoCenter’s Mapping for Resilience initiative and update the OpenStreetMap community on its objectives to connect open-geospatial data with USAID programming. It will cover how USAID has supported the OpenStreetMap community in the past and its plans for the future. Further, the talk will highlight the program’s successes and challenges.


Mapping for Resilience emerged from USAID’s need for new and updated geospatial information. The seeds of the program started in 2012 when the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA, now the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance), requested an updated map of Kathmandu to assist with their Nepal Earthquake Contingency Plan. The GeoCenter partnered with U.S. State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit, the World Bank and the George Washington University, to host a mapathon to generate the needed information

Since this first activity Mapping for Resilience, including the YouthMappers program, has supported USAID across the domains and geographies it operates in. This not only includes the humanitarian sector but also food security, agriculture, WASH, global health, youth, digital development and many others. The presentation will cover these past engagements as well as plans for the program’s future.