OpenDRI brings the philosophies and practices of the global open data movement to the challenges of reducing vulnerability and building resilience to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change across the globe.

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Open Data Day event: Understanding Disaster Risk with Open Data

“Disaster risk” is not a narrow domain reserved for climate experts and seismologists. Open data of all kinds – even datasets not conventionally seen as disaster-related – can help governments, humanitarian organizations and citizens prepare for and reduce disaster risk.  On Saturday, March 6, join the Labs and OpenDRI team of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for an Open Data Day webinar on the value of open data for understanding disaster risk. Learn how to: Define disaster risk in the context of climate and natural hazards.Identify disaster risks in your country or city.Collect, share and use open risk data. For more information about the GFDRR Labs and OpenDRI teams, please visit the OpenDRI website or reach out to opendri@gfdrr.org.  Cet événement inclura des services d’interprétation en français. PRESENTATION SLIDES HERE

Tout le monde a un rôle à jouer : comment les différents acteurs contribuent à accroître la résilience urbaine au Cameroun

Auteurs : Bontje Zangerling, Vivien Deparday, Michel Tchotsoua, Mira Gupta, et Tamilwai Kolowa Article original à World Bank Blogs. (English) Photo: Michel Tchotsoua Comme de nombreux centres urbains en Afrique, la ville de Ngaoundéré, au Cameroun, a connu un accroissement rapide de sa population, qui est passée d’environ 180 000 habitants en 2005 à près de 290 000 en 2020.  Largement non planifiée, cette croissance urbaine s’est souvent traduite par l’occupation de zones exposées aux inondations et aux chutes de pierres, notamment par les migrants ruraux. De telles catastrophes font régulièrement des ravages au sein de la population et, entraînent une exposition accrue aux maladies, aux pénuries alimentaires ainsi qu’une vulnérabilité financière.  Ce lien entre une croissance urbaine rapide et non planifiée et une exposition accrue aux risques naturels est particulièrement problématique pour les gouvernements locaux, qui manquent de données pour élaborer des réponses politiques précises et efficaces. Comment faire face à un problème sans pouvoir le mesurer ?  Au cours des deux dernières années, les contributions d’un large éventail d’acteurs ont permis d’accroître la disponibilité des données et de produire un Atlas des risques. Ce dernier est désormais utilisé par la communauté urbaine de Ngaoundéré (CUN) pour informer la gestion et la planification urbaines. Combler le déficit d’information En 2018, Ngaoundéré a été sélectionnée comme l’une des 12 villes prenant part à l’initiative Open Cities Africa, lancée par le Fonds mondial de prévention des catastrophes et de relèvement (GFDRR). Son objectif ? Appuyer la collecte d’informations sur les risques à travers l’engagement des citoyens et favoriser le développement d’outils pour la prise de décision locale. À Ngaoundéré, cette approche a permis à l’équipe de cartographier plus de 300 km² de zone urbaine, en combinant les contributions des résidents locaux avec des données de la municipalité, et de nouvelles images de drones. Ce travail est actuellement disponible en ligne, via l’Atlas des risques et dans OpenStreetMap. L’initiative a été coordonnée avec le Projet des villes inclusives et résilientes du Cameroun (PDVIR), financé par la Banque mondiale et mis en œuvre par le ministère de l’Habitat et du Développement Urbain. Photo: Mohamadou Arabo L’engagement local permet à la communauté de se sentir concerner et d’agir en s’appropriant les actions locales Dès le début, le projet Open Cities Ngaoundéré a donné la priorité à l’engagement des différents acteurs locaux. Son principal exécutant, l’Association pour la cartographie de la gestion des ressources (ACAGER), a consulté 30 groupes locaux, dont les ministères, les organisations de la société civile et des associations communautaires opérant dans des zones à risque. Les membres des communautés, qui n’avaient jamais été impliqués dans la gestion urbaine, sont désormais plus conscients des défis. De plus, ils s’approprient et assument la responsabilité des actions déployées dans les zones où ils travaillent et vivent. Nous avons pu leur montrer le nombre de maisons dans chaque quartier, celles qui sont à risque et leur expliquer les mesures qui peuvent être prises. Les communautés organisent maintenant des « Jeudi Propre » : des rassemblements hebdomadaires pour ramasser les ordures, afin d’éviter que les systèmes de drainage ne se bouchent. Elles ont également demandé que des drones soient utilisés pour surveiller régulièrement les nouvelles constructions dans les zones inondables.  Comment les étudiants ont revitalisé la collecte de données municipales ? En menant des enquêtes auprès des ménages et en sensibilisant les habitants à la  cartographie, les étudiants de l’université de Ngaoundéré ont constitué la pièce maîtresse du dispositif de collecte de données géospatiales. Ce travail a permis de renforcer leurs compétences techniques et leur a donné l’occasion de contribuer concrètement aux efforts de développement de la communauté. Le recours aux étudiants a été particulièrement efficace, du fait de leur connaissance de la langue locale, le fulfuldé, et des normes sociales et culturelles  des ménages. Les contributions de ces jeunes cartographes ne sont pas passées inaperçues aux yeux des fonctionnaires locaux. Photo: Gaëlle Nodjignemal Goltobs. Ahmad Barngawi Mohammad, le responsable de l’urbanisme, de l’architecture et des permis de construire à la CUN, nous a dit avoir été impressionné par l’engagement des jeunes. Alors que pendant très longtemps le projet n’avait pas réussi à rassembler ces données, il constate que maintenant le projet prend de l’ampleur grâce à son approche facile et accessible à tous. De meilleures données pour une prise de décision ciblée Les données actualisées ont aidé les autorités locales à démontrer les difficultés rencontrées à Ngaoundéré, et à plaider avec succès auprès du gouvernement central afin qu’il investisse dans l’atténuation des risques, en ajustant par exemple les voies d’eau pour améliorer le ruissellement des eaux de pluie. La CUN envisage également d’utiliser ces données à des fins plus larges, telles que le développement d’un système de recettes pour gérer les impôts fonciers. Photo: Gabriel Amougou S’appuyant sur le succès rencontré à Ngaoundéré, un projet similaire de cartographie des zones à risque a été lancé dans la capitale Yaoundé. Le Département d’État américain a également soutenu la cartographie participative à Douala, à travers son programme  Secondary Cities. Il ne fait aucun doute que le succès du projet Open Cities Ngaoundéré tient à son approche collaborative qui a su mettre en valeur et impliquer de nombreux acteurs : lorsqu’il s’agit de gestion et de résilience urbaines, tout le monde a un rôle à jouer. Note : Open Cities Africa (a) est financé par l’Union européenne à travers le programme ACP-UE Africa Disaster Financing et géré par l’équipe GPURL Afrique.

Everybody has a role: How stakeholders are contributing to increase urban resilience in Cameroon

By Bontje Zangerling, Vivien Deparday, Michel Tchotsoua, Mira Gupta, and Tamilwai Kolowa This article was originally published on World Bank Blogs. (Français) New housing construction at risk of rock falls in Ngaoundéré. Photo: Michel Tchotsoua Like many urban areas in Africa, the city of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon has seen a rapid increase in its population, from roughly 180,000 in 2005 to almost 290,000 in 2020. This urban growth has been largely unplanned, with rural migrants often occupying areas within flood plains or along mountain slopes, vulnerable to flooding and rock falls. Such disasters regularly wreak havoc on citizens’ lives and lead to increased exposure to disease, food shortages, and financial vulnerabilities. This nexus of rapid, unplanned urban growth and increased exposure to natural hazards is especially problematic for local governments who lack data to formulate accurate and efficient policy responses. How do you address a problem you cannot measure? Over the last two years, inputs from a diverse range of stakeholders have increased the availability of data and led to the production of a tangible Risk Atlas, which the Ngaoundéré City Council (NCC) is now using to inform urban management and planning. Closing the information gap In 2018, Ngaoundéré was selected as one of 12 cities to participate in Open Cities Africa, an initiative of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) that supports the collection of open-source risk information through citizen engagement and the development of data products to support local decision-making. In Ngaoundéré, this approach allowed the team to map over 300 km² of urban area combining inputs from local residents,  with data from the municipality and new drone imagery. All this is now available online through the Risk Atlas and in OpenStreetMap. The initiative was coordinated with the World Bank-financed Cameroon Inclusive and Resilient Cities Project (CIRCP) that is being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINHDU). Community members providing feedback on draft maps. Photo: Mohamadou Arabo Local engagement leads to community ownership The Open Cities Ngaoundéré project prioritized stakeholder engagement from the beginning.  Its lead implementer, the Association for Resource Management Mapping (ACAGER), consulted with 30 local groups, including government departments, civil society organizations and community associations operating in risk-prone areas. Community members who had never been engaged in urban management are now more aware of the challenges and take ownership and responsibility for actions that affect the areas where they work and live. We were able to show them the number of houses in each neighborhood, which ones were at risk and explain what actions can be taken. Communities now organize weekly “Jeudi Propre” (Clean Thursday) gatherings to pick up trash, to prevent drainage systems from clogging, and they have requested that drone flights be used to regularly monitor new construction in flood-prone areas.   How students revived municipal data collection At the heart of the geospatial data collection were students from the University of Ngaoundéré, who carried out household surveys and facilitated the mapping with residents. This role strengthened their technical skills and provided them with a hands-on opportunity to contribute to community development efforts. The use of students was especially effective because they spoke the local language, Fulfuldé, and understood the social and cultural norms around approaching households. Community members providing feedback on draft mapA student conducting household surveys. Photo: Gaëlle Nodjignemal Goltobs. Photo: Mohamadou Arabo The contributions of these young mappers did not go unnoticed by local government officials. Ahmad Barngawi Mohammad, the Urban Planning, Architecture and Building Permit Manager at the NCC told us that the commitment of the young people was the thing that impressed him most. While for a very long time the project couldn’t gather this data, today, the project is gaining momentum thanks to its easy and accessible approach. Better data for targeted decision-making The updated data has helped local authorities demonstrate the challenges in Ngaoundéré and successfully advocate for central government funding to invest in risk mitigation, for instance in adjusting waterways to improve stormwater runoff. The NCC is also exploring the use of the data for broader purposes, such as the development of an own-source revenue system to manage property taxes. As a result of improved data, the NCC mobilized funding to upgrade its drainage infrastructure. Photo: Gabriel Amougou Based on the success in Ngaoundéré, a similar project to map risk-prone areas was launched in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé. The U.S. Department of State also supported participatory mapping in Douala, through its Secondary Cities program. The accomplishments of the Open Cities Ngaoundéré project can be attributed to its collaborative approach that recognized the value of numerous stakeholders: when it comes to urban management and resilience, everybody has a role. Many local stakeholders benefited from Open Cities Africa activities in Ngaoundéré. Note: Open Cities Africa is financed by the EU-funded ACP-EU Africa Disaster Financing Program.

GFDRR supports data for resilience at Open Data Day 2021

Every year, the global open data community gathers for hundreds of local events for the annual Open Data Day, organized by Open Knowledge Foundation. Groups host hackathons, workshops, webinars and more to show the benefits of open data in their local community, and to encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. The next Open Data Day is Saturday, March 6th, 2021. GFDRR is pleased to announce its support for Open Data Day mini-grants to provide funding for local events—online or in-person—showcasing open data in their communities. The deadline to submit your mini-grant application is midday GMT on Friday, February 5th, 2021. Apply today! Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource students look at a map of the location of dumpsites around their campus at Open Data Day 2020. Image from the Open Data Day 2020 Report. The GFDRR Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) will be supporting the Environmental Data track of mini-grants focused on data for resilience. Environmental Data events use open data to illustrate the urgency of the climate emergency and spur people into action to take a stand or make changes in their lives to help the world become more environmentally sustainable. Last year’s events were impressive; highlights include a youth-led effort to map waste dumping sites in Malawi and an interactive exploration of climate change public data platforms in Costa Rica, among many more. If you need inspiration for your event using data for resilience, useful resources from the GFDRR Labs include: OpenDRI, Open Cities Project, ThinkHazard, Open Data for Resilience Index and the Risk Data Library.  If you have started planning your Open Data Day event already, please add it to the global map on the Open Data Day website using this form. Need more information? If you have any questions, you can reach out to the Open Knowledge Foundation team by emailing opendataday@okfn.org or on Twitter via @OKFN. There’s also the Open Data Day Google Group where you can connect with others interested in taking part, share ideas for your event or ask for help.

projects

Open Cities Africa

Carried out in 11 cities in Sub-Saharan Africa to engage local government, civil society, and the private sector to develop the information infrastructures necessary to meet 21st century urban resilience challenges. The project is implemented through a unique partnership between GFDRR and the World Bank, city governments across the continent, and a partner community comprised of regional scientific and technology organizations, development partners, and technology companies. WEBSITE COUNTERPARTSCITIES opencitiesproject.org National and Provincial Ministries, Municipal Offices and Local Development Committees ACCRA, Ghana ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo KAMPALA, Uganda KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo MONROVIA, Liberia NGAOUNDÉRÉ, Cameroon NIAMEY, Niger POINTE-NOIRE, Republic of Congo SAINT-LOUIS, Senegal SEYCHELLES ZANZIBAR CITY, Tanzania Overview As urban populations and vulnerability grow, managing urban growth in a way that fosters cities’ resilience to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change becomes a greater challenge that requires detailed, up-to-date geographic data of the built environment. Addressing this challenge requires innovative, open, and dynamic data collection and mapping processes that support management of urban growth and disaster risk. Success is often contingent on local capacities and networks to maintain and utilize risk information, enabling policy environments to support effective data management and sharing, and targeted tools that can help translate data into meaningful action. Building on the success of the global Open Data for Resilience Initiative, its work on Open Cities projects in South Asia, and GFDRR’s Code for Resilience, Open Cities Africa is carried out in 11 cities in Sub-Saharan Africa to engage local government, civil society, and the private sector to develop the information infrastructures necessary to meet 21st century urban resilience challenges. Following an application process, a small team of mappers, technologists, designers, and risk experts in each of the selected cities receive funding, targeted training, technical support, and mentorship throughout the year of work to: i) create and/or compile open spatial data on the built environment, critical infrastructure, and natural hazards; ii) develop targeted systems and tools to assist key stakeholders to utilize risk information; and iii) support local capacity-building and institutional development necessary for designing and implementing evidence-driven urban resilience interventions. Phases of Implementation 1. Plan and Assess In the first phase, Open Cities teams establish what data already exists and its openness, relevance and value. Project target area and data to collect are finalized. This phase is also when teams identify project partners and stakeholders to ensure that efforts are a participatory process. At the Open Cities Kick Off Meeting, teams meet with Open Cities leadership and the other Open Cities teams in their cohort and receive training on project components. 2. Map In this second phase, teams roll out the findings and data capture strategy developed in the first phase to address critical data gaps relevant to their specific Problem Statements. On the ground, teams coordinate field data collection according to the approach developed and agreed upon in consultation with project stakeholders. Depending on needs, tools for data collection may include smartphones or tablets, drones for the collection of high resolution imagery, or handheld GPS. As the project team is training team members to collect data for the project, efforts are made to develop, and/or strengthen the local OpenStreetMap community within the selected city working in partnership with local stakeholders. Project teams may hold trainings, mapathons, or community town halls in coordination with a local university, NGO or government counterparts. 3. Design In this third phase of the project, teams use the data collected in the Map Phase to design a tool or product to communicate the data to their stakeholders to support decision-making. Products vary widely depending on city context and may include a database and visualization tool, an atlas, a map series, or a mobile application. 4. Develop and Present In the final phase of the project, teams develop their tools/products and share results with targeted end user populations and other relevant stakeholders. Once final products are shared, teams work with project mentors and Open Cities Africa leadership to establish a sustainability plan and to explore opportunities for expansion or extension. This could include convening meetings with the World Bank, government counterparts, or the nongovernmental organization and donor communities. It may also include the development of concept notes, proposals or additional user research. Learn More More information about the project and team activities can be found on the Open Cities Africa site.

Niger

In Niger, the World Bank is supporting the Government reduce the vulnerability of populations at risk of flooding, while taking into account the requirements of community development and capacity building of national structures both at central and local level. DATA SHARING PLATFORM http://risques-niger.org   COUNTERPART PGCR-DU (Projet de Gestion des Risques de Catastrophes et de Développement Urbain – Disaster Risk Management and Urban Development Project) NUMBER OF GEONODE LAYERS39 Understanding Niger’s Risks Despite its semi-arid climate, Niger is regularly stricken by floods that destroy housing, infrastructure and croplands everywhere in the country. While flood damages usually occur in the vicinity of permanent water bodies such as the Niger and Komadougou rivers, more and more damages and casualties have been reported as linked to intense precipitations and runoff in urban areas. Despite the recurrent losses, little is known about the number of people who are living in flood-prone areas or the value of properties at risk. Furthermore, the vast majority of stations in the meteorological and hydrological collection network does not have the ability to transmit data in real-time and therefore cannot be fully exploited in emergency situations. Collecting Data With the support of the World Bank, the PGRC-DU is supporting the Nigerien Ministry of water and sanitation to retrofit the hydrometric station network with new water level gauges with real-time data transmission capability. The new gauges will make hydrometric data collection more efficient and more reliable while allowing for a faster detection of flood risk. At the same time, the PGRC-DU is funding the collection of critical socio-economic information and building characteristics in all areas of Niamey (the capital of Niger) that are deemed vulnerable to floods. UAVs are being used to acquire high-resolution images of potentially flooded areas that would help better identify buildings characteristics and develop a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) with 10cm vertical resolution, which will help better predict water movement in the area. Sharing Data The collected hydrometric data will be available to selected users in an online portal, along with various other data sets from regional and global sources. Part of the data collected in Niamey is expected to contribute to the OpenStreetMap project. The rest of the data will be analyzed and converted into vulnerability maps and reports available to the public. Using Data It is expected that the network of real-time hydrometric stations will be used to feed a flood warning system that will provide authorities a better estimate of flood risk at any given time. The acquired DTM is being used to develop computer models that can simulate flood propagation in the city of Niamey and evaluate the effects of existing of planned flood protection infrastructures. Finally, the collected socio-economic data combined with flood simulations will provide decision-makers an accurate estimation of flood risk in terms of exposed populations and expected economic damages.

Uganda

In Uganda, the World Bank is supporting the Government to develop improved access to drought risk related information and quicken the decision of scaling up disaster risk financing (DRF) mechanisms COUNTERPART National Emergency Coordination and Operations Center (NECOC) Project Overview In the context of the third Northern Uganda Social Action Fund Project (NUSAF III), the World Bank is supporting the Government of Uganda to develop improved access to drought risk related information and quicken the decision of scaling up disaster risk financing (DRF) mechanisms. The OpenDRI team is providing technical assistance to Uganda’s National Emergency Coordination and Operations Center (NECOC) in determining requirements for collecting, storing and analyzing satellite data used for monitoring drought conditions. Understanding Uganda’s Risk In recent years Uganda has been impacted by drought, with more than 10% of the population being at risk. The northern sub-region of Karamoja is one of the most severely hit, with a consequent increase in food insecurity. Currently the Government of Uganda (GoU) faces challenges in the collection and analysis of information upon which they can base a decision to respond and mitigate such risk. Without transparent, objective and timely data, times in mobilizing and financing responses can be delayed. Collecting Data The World Bank is supporting GoU to strengthen its disaster risk management strategy and response mechanisms. The current engagement looks to develop a more systematic, robust system for collecting, storing and analyzing drought risk related information to enable GoU to make more timely decisions. By retrieving satellite data systematically, NECOC will be able to analyze current crop and vegetation conditions with historic information, and quickly detect early warning signs of drought. Uganda has a vibrant OpenStreetMap community, which has been mapping the country since 2010. A pilot community mapping project funded by GFDRR with support from the Government of Belgium, is being conducted in the city of Kampala. Sharing Data The OpenDRI team provides support and advice to GoU in developing best practices for sharing and managing risk related information. Interoperability of data sources produced by various ministries and non-government organizations is critical to ensure timely access to data by NECOC and conduct effective drought risk analysis. A geospatial data sharing platform will be deployed by GoU to facilitate exchange of such critical information and adoption of data standards. Using Data A technical committee, composed of experts from the government and partner organizations, has agreed to use a satellite derived indicator known as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as the primary dataset to inform decisions for triggering the disaster risk financing mechanism. Initially the system will be exclusively dedicated to monitoring drought risk in the northern sub-region of Karamoja. In the following years, it is expected to expand operations and cover other regions exposed to drought risk, integrating additional data sources which will become accessible thanks to improved data collection strategies and sharing mechanisms.

Zanzibar

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGoZ) with the support of the World Bank has been developing evidence-based and innovative solutions to better plan, mitigate, and prepare for natural disasters. Zanzibar is part of the Southwest Indian Ocean Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (SWIO RAFI) which seeks to address high vulnerability of the Southwest Indian Ocean Island States to disaster losses from catastrophes such as cyclones, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. These threats are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, a growing population and increased economic impacts. DATA SHARING PLATFORM PROJECT PAGE ZAN SEA FACEBOOK PAGE http://zansea-geonode.org www.zanzibarmapping.org https://www.facebook.com/zansea/   Understanding Zanzibar’s Risk Zanzibar’s disaster events are mainly related to rainfall, and both severe flooding and droughts have been experienced. Sharing Data Island Map: OpenStreetMap Data collected through SWIO RAFI activities will be shared on a GeoNode. The ZanSea GeoNode currently contains 42 maps and 102 layers of geospatial data for Zanzibar. Collecting Data The Zanzibar mapping initiative is creating a high resolution map of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, over 2300 square km, using low-cost drones instead of satellite images or manned planes. The Zanzibar Commission for Lands will use the maps for better planning, land tenure and environmental monitoring. Data is being collected in collaboration with the RGoZ. Using Data Data collected can be used for risk assessment and planning activities.

Pacific Islands: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) is a joint initiative of SOPAC/SPC, World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank with the financial support of the Government of Japan, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, and technical support from AIR Worldwide, New Zealand GNS Science, Geoscience Australia, Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), OpenGeo and GFDRR Labs. DATA SHARING PLATFORM http://pcrafi.spc.int/beta/ NUMBER OF LAYERS 522 Understanding Risks in Pacific Island Countries The Pacific Island Countries are highly exposed to the adverse effects of climate change and natural hazards, which can result in disasters affecting their economic, human, and physical environment and impacting their long-term development agenda. Since 1950, natural disasters have affected approximately 9.2 million people in the Pacific Region, causing 9,811 reported deaths. Sharing Data throughout the Pacific Islands Launched in December 2011, the Pacific Risk Information System enhances management and sharing of geospatial data within the Pacific community. The system enables the creation of a dynamic online community around risk data by piloting the integration of social web features with geospatial data management. Exposure, hazard, and risk maps for 15 Pacific Countries were produced as part of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) 2 and are accessible through this platform as powerful visual tools for informing decision-makers, facilitating communication and education on disaster risk management. Thumbnail Image by Samoa Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sri Lanka

The Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka (DMC) with the support of the World Bank has been developing the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) to support evidence-based methods to better plan for, mitigate, and respond to natural disasters. COUNTERPART Disaster Management Centre, Ministry of Disaster Management NUMBER OF BUILDINGS MAPPED 130,564 with 8 attributes each ROADS MAPPED >1000 km   Understanding Sri Lanka’s Risks Since 2000, flood and drought events have cumulatively affected more than 13 million people across Sri Lanka. Regular flooding, drought, and landslides are natural hazards that threaten the long-term growth and development of the country. In Sri Lanka, nearly $500 million in unplanned expenditures resulting from flooding in 2010 and 2011 has strained government budgets and required reallocation from other planned development priorities. The impacts of these events are growing due to increased development and climate change, both of which put more assets at risk. Sharing Data To enable better disaster risk modeling, the Government of Sri Lanka partnered with GFDRR, UNDP and OCHA on the development of an OpenDRI program in November 2012. This branch of the initiative focused on the South Asia Region and was dubbed the Open Cities project. A component of the OpenDRI Open Cities mission in Sri Lanka was to collate data around hazards and exposure and prepare them to be uploaded into a GeoNode which serves as a disaster risk information platform. Working with the DMC, the National Survey Department, Department of the Census and Statistics, Nation Building Research Organization, Information and Communication Technology Agency, Department of Irrigation, several universities and the international partners, the OpenDRI team supported DMC with the aggregation of data that had been stored in static PDFs, old paper maps and several databases onto the GeoNode. The data on the GeoNode is currently available to authorized users in the OpenDRI network, in preparation for launch. This transitional state is typical for open data projects, as the partnership reviews data with the parties and affirms that it is ready for release to the open public. Some layers may restrict access only to authorized users. Collecting Data The project has also built technical capacity and awareness in Sri Lanka through training sessions on open data and crowdsourced mapping in Batticaloa city and Gampaha District. As a result of the Open Data for Resilience Initiative, government and academic volunteers have mapped over 130,000 buildings and 1000 kilometers of roadways on the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap database. This enables the country to plan ahead and be prepared for future disaster and climate risks. It also helps planning during disaster responses: the data was used to assess flooding impacts in real time and direct government resources during the May 2016 floods in Gampaha district.

resources

At OpenDRI we are committed to increasing information that can empower individuals and their governments to reduce risk to natural hazards and climate change in their communities. We’ve compiled a database of relevant resources to share what we have learned through our own projects and from the work of others.

view all resources