Fostering mutually beneficial partnerships with OSM local groups

Room: Auditorium 1

Saturday, 17:00
Duration: 60 minutes (plus Q&A)

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  • Martin Noblecourt

The OpenStreetMap Sustainability Exchange, which started in 2022, brings together 10 OSM communities from 3 continents to share knowledge and adapt successful ideas to enhance sustainability. CartONG and HOT co-facilitate the exchange, currently working on a Position Paper, which aims to guide organizations, governments, and donors on how to improve partnerships with OSM community organizations. It also helps local communities advocate for better support from partners and encourages discussions on power dynamics within the humanitarian and mapping sectors. The paper, based on the experiences of the 10 communities and conversations with the ecosystem, will be released at SOTM world, serving as an advocacy tool for all participants.

Since 2022, the OpenStreetMap Sustainabiliy Exchange gathers 10 OSM communities from 3 continents to exchange knowledge and adapt ideas and concepts tried by community groups in other regions to improve their sustainability. Co-facilitated by CartONG and HOT, the Exchange is currently working on a Position Paper on how partners, funders, institutions could and should engage with OSM community organisations. The Position Paper will be useful: for organizations (NGOs, donors, governments, etc.) to understand how to improve their partnership models with communities; for local communities to advocate towards said partners on how they can better encourage their sustainability and impact; and finally to foster discussions on how to challenge the power dynamics at play in the humanitarian sector and the open mapping community and support strong and autonomous local entities. Building on the experiences of the 10 communities, a wider engagement with the OSM ecosystem in 2024, and also CartONG’s recent work "Changing the outlook: for a local approach to data" (, the Position Paper will be released at SOTM world. The goal of this session will be to present how the collaboration and sources behind the paper, to discuss its findings and propositions, and to make it available as an advocacy tool to all participants.