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.


My Experience as a Student Mapper for Open Cities Accra

Field narrative by Chris Eshun, third-year Geomatic Engineering student and YouthMappers Training Coordinator at University of Mines and Technology.[1] Co-authored by Eli Sabblah, Project Coordinator at Mobile Web Ghana, David Luswata, Technical Advisor at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), and Grace Doherty, Geospatial Consultant at OpenDRI. Open Cities Accra is supporting detailed mapping in Alogboshie community and its environs to improve resilience to natural disasters, especially flooding. Alogboshie, a suburb of Accra, is known to be one of the most flood-prone areas in Ghana’s capital city. Located along the Odaw River, Alogboshie is one of the four focus communities for the World Bank’s Greater Accra Climate Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project.[2] Protecting Alogboshie will require an integrated approach that addresses drainage improvements, flood forecasting, solid waste management, improved urban planning and support to communities. Geospatial data collection at Alogboshie has been a key activity for understanding flood risk and informing this integrated approach. The Open Cities Accra team – led by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), Mobile Web Ghana and OpenStreetMap Ghana (OSM Ghana) – began remote and field mapping of Alogboshie in the summer of 2018. Student mappers in the field collect data using mobile survey apps Mappers at the World Bank Mapathon in Washington, DC remotely trace buildings for the area of Alajo in Greater Accra, Ghana OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a freely accessible and editable map of the world, which means anyone can contribute to it and participate in a collaborative mapping workflow. But few gain the chance to see the other side of the collaborative mapping process: when field mappers take to the streets to survey critical infrastructure and hazard-prone sites. We asked Chris Eshun, one of the mappers who worked on the Open Cities Accra project, to offer readers a first hand look at what it’s like to be part of a community mapping team in Ghana. This is what he had to share.     Anyone can contribute to OpenStreetMap. But few gain the chance to see the other side of the collaborative mapping process: when field mappers take to the streets. It was early August when Open Cities Accra convened mappers at the Mobile Web Ghana office for our first briefing and intensive training sessions. Our field team was diverse, with some experts in OSM and data collection and others completely new to the world of mapping. On the first day of training, they brought new mappers on par with the rest so we could all effectively help in mapping the area. We were taken through lessons in the aims and objectives of the project and the software – GIS and other tools – required to contribute to OSM. Day 2 involved the remote mapping of Alogboshie. We used Java OpenStreetMap editor (JOSM) to map the areas of interest to the project, and mobile applications such as MAPS.ME, OSMTracker, OSMAnd, OpenMapKit, and OpenDataKit were also introduced to us. The Data Model required for the project was discussed and how the tools we had learnt about were going to play a major role in the data collection. Capacity building and training session On the third day, we were given the opportunity to test our skills in field data collection. This exercise was to help us familiarize ourselves with the data collection process. The mappers were dispatched in teams to collect geospatial data. The exercise was very useful in getting feedback and comments on ways to make the field data collection effective and efficient. On Day 4, we were divided into various teams and sent to Alogboshie, the main area of focus for the Open Cities Accra Project. The various teams had different sections to work in, using OpenDataKit and OpenMapKit for the data collection of details such as building materials, building levels, house address and other data required for the project. On the last day of training we went back to the field again to develop strategies for all the teams involved to be used during the actual data collection exercise. During this exercise, the mappers were divided into two main teams, the data collection team and the data cleaning team. The data collection team was responsible for getting data from the field and the data cleaning team had to check and validate the data to reduce errors and mistakes. The data being collected would go a long way to make the area resilient to floods and other natural disasters. I realized the essence of data cleaning during this exercise especially because I was selected to be part of the data cleaning team. My team noticed quite a few errors in the data collected by members of the data collection team. These included wrong spelling of certain keywords and the repetition of entry of some data. The detection of all this was our duty and we came to the realization of how important it was to the general success of the project during this exercise. After the training for the participants, work began and the various teams were tasked to do their individual work. The data collection team did their work with enthusiasm and from time to time those of us working in the data cleaning team also got data from the field to rectify and clean. Mappers taking instructions from the field supervisor, Enock Nyamador The mappers had been taken through a lesson on how to interact with the people in the community therefore we were very much prepared to communicate the purpose of our exercise. A few of the mappers encountered some community members who weren’t too welcoming of us. Some of them asked questions especially because there had been some demolition works in the community not too long before our visit which affected some community members. The demolition works affected houses within 50-metre distance on either sides of the railway line because there was going to be a reconstruction of the railway line. However, the mappers explained to them what the Open Cities project is about and the fact that the data being collected would go a long way to make the area resilient to floods and other natural disasters. Participating in the Open Cities Project has given me knowledge and skills in how I can use OpenStreetMap and other open source software to help solve similar problems that plague the community I am in. It has also given me more ideas on activities and projects that our YouthMappers Chapter in the University of Mines and Technology can undertake. For more information about the Open Cities Accra project, follow our progress at and   [1] Chris is Training Coordinator for UMaT YouthMappers Chapter, an active member of OpenStreetMap Ghana and the current President of the Geomatic Engineering Students Association. [2] The Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development together with local governments within Greater Accra Region including Accra Metropolitan Assembly are jointly leading the preparation of GARID project, which is supported through the World Bank. Open Cities Africa is financed by the EU-funded ACP-EU Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

Tackling Coastal Flooding in Monrovia Slums: Understanding through partnerships, one community at a time

By Carter Draper, Project Coordinator at Open Cities Monrovia, David Luswata, Technical Advisor at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Grace Doherty, Geospatial Consultant at OpenDRI, and Swati Sachdeva, Urban Specialist Consultant at the World Bank. In the informal settlements of Liberia’s largest city, Open Cities Africa is introducing a dynamic open data workflow to support urban planning and protect residents from flood. Section of Doe Community flooded year round Monrovia is home to a growing population of 1.3 million inhabitants. Flanked on either side by the Atlantic Ocean and mangrove-filled Mesurado and Saint Paul rivers, the capital city has few options for expansion. Two out of three Monrovians reside in the unplanned and slum communities in lowlands and swamps along the Stockton Creek and Du River banks, including Slipway, Doe Community, Saye Town, Logan Town, Clara and Via Towns, and the famed West Point. Population growth, combined with internal migration from a 14 year long civil war, has led to the rapid expansion of informal settlements in high-risk zones of Monrovia. Today their placement in low-elevation coastal areas and swampy flood-prone land has become a dangerous factor for residents’ health and employment. In some slum communities, heavy rainfall and low elevations mean year-round flooding. A community’s approach to mobility Almost 90 percent of the population is living at risk of flooding from the sea, river system, swampland and clogged drains. During the flood period, kids are unable to leave homes to attend school nor is there a space to sit nor play, while the men have to walk through unhygienic floods in search of food. Families, particularly children and women, are hit by cases of malaria, diarrhea, and cholera – all worsened by these waters. Waste and sanitation services are limited, furthering these threats. Few shared toilets exist in the communities, leaving more than 80 percent of residents to practice open defecation in locations exposed to flood. There are no sources of clean drinking water and extremely restricted mobility restricts waste collection and emergency access. During one of our community engagements, Madam Mariah K. Abu, Chairlady of Doe Community Women Association, described her family’s four days displacement from their home due to high water levels. Attempts to resettle vulnerable communities are complicated by the fact that most residents’ income sources are found in these and neighboring wards: most working in petty trade, temporary odd jobs, street vending, sand mining, port-related employment, small-scale industries, and subsistence fishing. Several donor-funded projects have been geared towards these slum communities in an attempt to address these diverse issues. However, most of these mapping activities over the years, including during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, were primarily focused on building footprints, and final products were kept in a silo, even from the communities from where they were collected. “We believe this project is taking an innovative approach to ensure [slum dwellers] will have access to our own information to help us drive and dictate our development that will benefit every resident.” Addressing this challenge requires innovative, open, and dynamic data collection and mapping processes to support the management of urban growth and disaster risk. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is excited to team up with tech hub iLab Liberia and OSM Liberia – the local community of OSM contributors in Liberia – to introduce the Open Cities Monrovia project: generating data to help unplanned settlements and slum communities be more resilient to flooding and other natural disasters. The Open Cities participatory mapping aligns with GFDRR’s Resilient Cities Program through a unique partnership between the World Bank and city governments to enhance upcoming or ongoing World Bank supported projects in Monrovia, thereby creating and releasing open spatial data about the built environment, critical infrastructure, and natural hazards. The project will assist key stakeholders like the Liberia National Red Cross Society, City Corporation, and National Disaster Management Agency to utilize risk data towards addressing natural disaster risk in Monrovia through evidence-driven urban resilience interventions. The exercise is inclusive and is based on the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team open data model. Data collected will update OpenStreetMap (OSM) and will be publicly available for repurposing. Remote mapping and field surveying are implemented in tandem to validate data from above and on the ground A Dynamic Community Mapping Approach Informed by the engagements of our stakeholders and local leadership, the Open Cities Monrovia Project developed an integrated data model for field data collection. Our data model references OSM tagging and incorporates eight map features representing multi-sectoral interests in infrastructure, water and sanitation, education, health, finance, and DRM. Field Mappers undergo data collection training and field exercises Twenty core mappers entered the field to collect and validate data on the state of key infrastructure. A variety of open source tools were incorporated into the process, including OpenDataKit, OpenMapKit, and Mapillary for field data collection and remote mapping, validation in OpenStreetMap, and integrated editing tools OSM Task Manager, JOSM, POSM.    Stakeholders attended trainings and field visits, representing Liberia Water and Sewer Coporation (LWSC), Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geoinformation Services, and Youth in Technology and Arts Network (YOTAN), a Liberian civil society organization. YOTAN provided a drone to capture up-to-date, high-resolution images of our target communities, which facilitated successful remote mapping of buildings footprint. Using a community mapping approach, we have mapped over two thousand buildings, hundreds of water, drainage, and solid waste lines, and dozens of key service facilities. Meanwhile our historic flood points dataset extends across the entire Clara Town and Doe Community. Community-Driven Data Sharing We’ve been seeing increasing requests for interventions that can make communities more resilient to natural disasters. In one of our meetings in Doe Community, the Community Youth Leader, Abraham Sheriff, indicated to us that the entire community is without any health facility nor a public school. Doe Community leadership has reserved a plot of wetland as a contribution to any initiative that will bring in a school, health facility or community youth center project. Meeting with community leadership during a stakeholder engagement exercise Going forward, mapped data will be used to create map products for these communities, and for disaster management and response by stakeholders in government and civil society. Stakeholders have expressed their interest in offline atlas maps accessible by local leadership and residents and interactive digital maps to be shared across LISGIS, Monrovia City Corporation, the Disaster Risk Management Agency of Liberia, and universities. These products will contain comprehensive data on target community flood history, the height of flood waters, water points, solid waste activities, economic facilities, drain networks and much more. As urbanization is on the increase accompanied by diverse challenges, government and development actors need open and accurate data for decision-making  and response, which the Open Cities Monrovia is designed to provide. As the President of Liberia’s Slum Dwellers Association, Mr. Bestman Toe put it during a World Bank Delegation visit to the project targets communities, “ We have lived here for many years, and these slum communities have produced some of our leaders, including the current President of Liberia. While our advocacy around improving the living conditions in these communities have not yielded any substantial impact, we believe this project is taking an innovative approach to ensure whatever information gathered will not only be in the hands of the development partners, but we will have access to our own information to help us drive and dictate our development that will benefit every resident”. The Open Cities Monrovia project approach not only brings data back in the hands of the communities, but involves these communities as key stakeholders. The data collected on buildings, economic, health, education, financial activities, flood history, waste management, will be published as open data for all donors, stakeholders, and research to access and repurpose, an approach that sinks at the heart of our target communities! Follow Open Cities Monrovia’s progress at Interested in learning more about the benefits of collaborative mapping for development and disaster risk reduction? Join us on Wednesday, November 14th at the World Bank mapathon as World Bank and partners discuss innovative new workflows for communicating and reducing risk. Register today and follow us on Twitter @GFDRR for the latest updates from #WBMapathon. Open Cities Africa is financed by the EU-funded ACP-EU Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.  

The Rise of Local Mapping Communities

By Vivien Deparday, World Bank Disaster Risk Management Specialist, Jocelyn West, Disaster Risk Management Consultant, and Mira Gupta, Consultant. Members of the mapping community in Kinshasa, DR Congo plan the collection of field data for the Kisenso neighborhood. (Courtesy of OpenDRI) There is a unique space where you can encounter everyone from developers of self-driving cars in Silicon Valley to city planners in Niamey to humanitarian workers in Kathmandu Valley: the global OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. It comprises a geographically and experientially diverse network of people who contribute to OSM, a free and editable map of the world that is often called the “Wikipedia of maps.” ​ What is perhaps most special about this community is its level playing field. Anyone passionate about collaborative mapping can have a voice from anywhere in the world. In the past few years, there has been a meteoric rise of locally organized mapping communities in developing countries working to improve the map in service of sustainable development activities. The next opportunity to see the OSM community in action will be the November 14th mapathon hosted by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)’s Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI). Mapathons bring together volunteers to improve the maps of some of the world’s most vulnerable areas, not only easing the way for emergency responders when disaster strikes, but also helping cities and communities plan and build more resiliently for the future. GFDRR’s engagement with local OSM communities The 2010 Haiti earthquake served as a wake-up call about the need for access to better quality information for reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change impacts. In the years since, OpenDRI has turned to the OSM platform as an important way to bring people together to create open data, learn new skills, and support the human networks that eventually become key actors for resilience. We can gather people in a room around something exciting, like a mapathon, and start a conversation about sharing information for the benefit of everyone. Changes in the mapped areas in OpenStreetMap for Kampala, Uganda, from 2016 to 2018. (Courtesy of OpenDRI and OSM) Any data, technology, or tool is only as valuable as the way and the extent to which people use it, and that’s why building sustainable mapping communities is so critical for this work. Even as we engage governments to promote the use of open data and open source tools, OpenDRI also strives to nurture local communities of OSM users and developers from universities, NGOs, and innovation hubs. To that end, OpenDRI supports local OSM communities and conferences like “State of the Map” whenever possible, particularly by funding scholarships for attendees who would not otherwise get to attend, learn, and share knowledge. Participatory mapping in Asia and Africa OpenDRI started its work with OSM by supporting the growth of local mapping communities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, including through the Open Cities Project. Many of these communities were quick on their feet to respond to the devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. More than 6,000 volunteers helped add data to the OSM platform, mapping up to 80 percent of affected zones, an effort which continues to provide invaluable information to emergency response and preparedness efforts.In the years since, OSM communities across Asia have come together to exchange knowledge and build connections at a series of open source mapping conferences. The fourth “State of the Map Asia” conference will take place in Bangalore, India, this month. In Africa, the stakes for OSM are even higher, because it is often the only digital map available for many locations. Recent years have brought a rise of participatory mapping communities across Africa, which now total more than 30 active local OSM groups. Africa’s first-ever “State of the Map” conference was held in Kampala, Uganda in 2017. Building on that momentum, OpenDRI recently launched the Open Cities Africa project, currently supporting the development of teams in 11 cities across Africa. These teams are taking the lead in collecting data remotely and on-the-ground through participatory mapping, thus building mapping capacity in their local OSM communities. They are also collaborating with World Bank teams to use the new OSM data to help address a range of development challenges, from urban flooding in Kinshasa to coastal risk management in Senegal. Drawing on our experiences in Asia, we are incorporating novel approaches in our engagement in Africa, including online learning, gender integration, disruptive technologies, and design research. More than 150 people participated in the SotM Africa conference in 2017. (Courtesy of SotM Africa) What’s next for local OSM communities? Local OSM communities are hopeful that the future will see a larger and more diverse population of mappers worldwide – this will be key to improving the “Wikipedia of maps” even further. As technology giants join the global OSM community, we are now exploring how new machine learning mapping techniques might complement and amplify the work of local OSM communities. Over the past seven years, the OpenDRI team has been hard at work to create local communities around open-source mapping as part of our drive to promote open data for resilience, and that effort will continue. To discover the OSM community for yourself and learn more about the benefits of using geospatial data for addressing the world’s most critical development challenges, join us on Wednesday, November 14 for the OpenDRI mapathon at the World Bank.  Register today!   This piece was originally published on the World Bank Sustainable Cities blog.

City planning and community mapping: Gathering people and data in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo

By Julien Cour, Director, IMMERGIS Cameroon, Anne Marie Tiani, Participatory mapping, IMMERGIS Cameroon, and Grace Doherty, Geospatial Consultant, OpenDRI. On October 22nd in Pointe Noire, Congo, 300 persons from the Mboukou and Tchiniambi 1 neighbourhoods gathered to validate the results of a participatory mapping campaign. Community mapping has proved, once more, to be a fantastic way to gather people and data around environmental, social and public health issues. In Pointe Noire, community mapping is used by Open Cities Africa to collect data, raise awareness and put people at the centre of city planning and infrastructure projects. Local association meeting during the Pointe Noire community mapping campaign Pointe Noire is built on a flat, coastal swampland; thus, the entire city faces flood issues after most heavy rains. But the most threatened areas are precarious and over-populated districts such as Mboukou and Tchiniambi 1. These two districts are faced with recurrent floods, soil erosion, waste management issues, underground water and river pollution as well as public health issues, including malaria and water-related diseases. In Tchiniambi 1, people are desperate; floods are so frequent that each heavy rain threatens to trap people inside their houses, isolating them from rest of the town, limiting their access to work, markets and schools. Last year, two kids drowned on their way to school, worried that they would, once again, miss the school exams. Infrastructure and development projects, such as the World Bank’s Urban Development and Poor Neighborhood Upgrading Project (DURQuaP), are being implemented to tackle these issues, but they lack the necessary maps and data, such as altitude contours or updated infrastructure data, to ensure their success. The lack of tools for sharing information among existing projects was identified by the city council and project leaders as preventing the necessary coordination between the different projects. Drone image showing rivers and unauthorized garbage dumps in Tchiniambi 1 during the dry season Local cartographers sharing findings during field surveys Open Cities Pointe-Noire collaborates with DURQuaP and local stakeholders to building the information infrastructures needed to improve urban planning in the two districts and across the city. By engaging with local population and decision makers, we aim to put the population and local decision-makers at the centre of urban planning. Our team trains mappers from the town council, local university students, and members of local NGOs and the community to collect and update the OpenStreetMap (OSM) database. Armed with satellite imagery and field surveys, teams of mappers collect critical information at their desks and in their neighborhoods to contribute to the cartographic datasets necessary for understanding risk in Pointe Noire. Training of local cartographers, the involvement of local leaders and associations in the community mapping workflow has allowed us to collect up to 22 parameters related to floods, heath issues, waste and socioeconomic infrastructures allowing to prioritize and better plan infrastructure works in the two districts. Example of a map drawn and validated by community members  As we look to the future, we aim to cultivate a durable, sustainable OSM community that will continue the efforts to map the city infrastructure, environmental and social issues. At the beginning of the Open Cities project, the OSM community in Pointe Noire was composed of less than ten local contributors. By training local students, members of the civil society and agents from the City council Geomatic Services we are hoping to raise the contributors to about 30 people. This blog is the first in a series. Next, learn how Open Cities Pointe Noire has engaged with the private sector to sustain the OSM community’s incredible momentum in the city. You can follow our progress and that of other cities at Interested in learning more about the benefits of collaborative mapping for development and disaster risk reduction? Join us on Wednesday, November 14th at the World Bank mapathon as World Bank and partners discuss innovative new workflows for communicating and reducing risk. Register today and follow us on Twitter @GFDRR for the latest updates from #WBMapathon. Open Cities Africa is financed by the EU-funded ACP-EU Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.


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 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 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.


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   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.


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.


The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGoZ) with the support of the World Bank has been developing the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) with the aim of supporting 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 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 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.


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.

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