Open Cities Africa Final Report

Through the Open Cities program, municipal governments work with local universities, NGOs, and community members to collect detailed geographic data for a more resilient future. In 2017, OpenDRI received funding through the European Union’s Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRF) program to take the Open Cities model and tailor it to Africa. The ADRF-funded Open Cities Africa is a program of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, in collaboration with the World Bank Africa Urban, Resilience and Land Unit. ADRF funding supported activities carried out between June 2018 and December 2019 in nine cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Funding from various sources has supported the expanded Open Cities program in more cities across the region.

The Open Cities Africa final report documents the successes, challenges, and lessons learned under the ADRF-funded program.

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Planning an Open Cities Mapping Project

Coauthored with The Humanitarian Open StreetMap Team and with input from all Open Cities partners, this guide offers a comprehensive understanding of the design and implementation of an Open Cities mapping project for both practitioners in the field and those interested in a higher-level understanding of the process. The guide's content is based on experience in implementing the initial Open Cities projects in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka as well as on previous mapping project experience. Where relevant, it provides relevant examples from those projects in the text and full case studies at the end of guide.

  • Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Open Cities Project and a gentle introduction to some of the concepts and technologies involved.
  • Chapter 2, "Project Design and Preparation," covers how a project design process begins: by identifying partners, clarifying a project's objectives and scope, assembling a team of managers and mappers, and assessing the necessary resources for mapping.
  • Chapter 3, "Getting Started," then describes the steps after the initial planning stage: how to locate an appropriate workspace, assess equipment costs, and prepare staff training.
  • Chapter 4, "Implementation and Supervision," takes a practical look at data collection techniques from both the organizational and technical perspectives. It also addresses common challenges and mechanisms for quality control and reporting.
  • Finally, Chapter 5 examines the lessons learned from previous Open Cities projects and considers future improvements to the overall project design.

Though this original work is a product of GFDRR and OpenDRI in partnership with HOT, to keep this guide up-to-date and truly open source a live online version of the document can be viewed on GitHub. It is hosted on GitHub under a public domain license. We welcome contributions of new content and case studies submitted as pull requests or issues.

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