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.


Uganda Bureau of Statistics engages in open mapping for resilience with the OpenStreetMap community

  Statistics House – Home of Ugandan statistical services By Rupert Allan, Country Manager at HOT OSM Uganda. Other authors: Chris Jung, Senior DRM Consultant at OpenDRI. Statistics. Sounds boring, right? But Uganda Bureau of Statistics have teamed up with Uganda’s OpenStreetMap national organisation, MapUganda, to become part of the digital revolution. Over the past months, UBOS staff have been learning the tools of OpenStreetMap, updating their data, bringing it into their workflows, and partnering with other branches of government to understand and assemble risk information which has never been available before. This is a milestone in the evolution of open data collaboration between Uganda’s government and the OSM community, represented by MapUganda and HOT Uganda. The mission of OpenDRI’s Uganda Open Mapping for Resilience project in this resource-poor area is to create a comprehensive digital map which is open and accessible around the world – and to encourage staff in institutions at the national level to learn and use OpenStreetMap in their everyday work. This could potentially lead to Uganda becoming the first country in the world to conduct its national census (coming up in 2020) through OpenStreetMap. Our project focuses on data sharing and easing the burdens of collecting mass data at this level. Data collectors in UBOS are used to trekking through the counties and villages of the country with bundles of paper maps and GPS devices, inputting information by pen onto printed sheets. The costs of the printouts and thousands of GPS devices are huge. And the slow process often means that ground realities change mid-census. Training sessions at ‘UBOS’ Today, OpenStreetMap is serving as a solution to these issues. Since January 2018, MapUganda and HOT have been the UBOS office, training 11 core members of the institution to bring their data into OSM for manipulation. Through an intensive two-day workshop followed by eight weeks of mentoring and lessons, the GIS and ICT teams are realising how tools like QGIS, JOSM and mobile tools can change the landscape of their workload. Bernard Justus Muhwezi, UBOS GIS Manager, explaining the intricacies of UBOS mapping. Don’t forget: this is the country in which victorian explorers Speke and Burton finally discovered the source of the Nile after a years-long search. Uganda has a deep history of maps and intrepid exploring. Today, the digital OpenStreetMap can help penetrate into rural and city areas to note water points, to survey for bad water supply, health centres, and cholera history, like John Snow did on foot back in the 1860s in London. Partners GeoGecko talk about drone/UAV surveying and its OSM uses Another part of this project involves UAV/drone imagery gathering and community surveying on the ground. Kampala has a large refugee population which is swelling its bursting informal settlements. Services are scant and risk of outbreaks and flooding are high. UBOS is the agency mandated to provide that data which can inform risk reduction decisions within these communities and among government. Urban areas change quickly, and dynamic technical tools and techniques help to keep up with this better than some of the traditional methods. A second workshop with similar goals was held in March 2018 at Kampala City hall for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), with participation from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Department of Disaster, Preparedness, and Relief, the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, the National Planning Authority, and the Ministry of ICT. Photo – multi-agency government training on OSM tools and community practices UBOS has the mandate for collecting and maintaining baseline data, but their work is guided by these various government stakeholders and then shared for analysis, program design, and service delivery.   Ggaba After MapUganda/HOT OpenStreetMap trainings and careful workshopping, the consortium worked with partners at KCCA and OPM to select the lakeside area of Ggaba in southern Kampala for a field pilot project. Ggaba has a history of fire, disease, and flood incidents. It is frequently inundated and has been a difficult and overcrowded parish for the city to manage for many years. This has accelerated in recent times, with new migrants coming to Ggaba for economic opportunity and access to city services. KCCA requested better baseline geospatial information to guide their urban planning teams and ensure that new development is not increasing disaster exposure. Even ‘permanent’ areas of this quarter of the Ugandan capital Kampala are closely arranged, and often prone to fire. Cooking is mainly done on wood and charcoal, usually under grass or wooden roofs. HOT Tasking Manager was deployed, alongside the fabled 120,000-strong global volunteer community, to ‘remote-map’ the area. A Salesforce volunteer team, joining HOT from the USA (and globally), weighed-in, and within a few days, every building and visible road had been traced on OSM. HOT Tasking Manager – Remote-Mapping by global OSM volunteers After careful and deliberate coordination with our partners, we organised a training in the very heart of the community. The aim was to use local community members side-by-side with trainees from local and government authorities we had been collaborating with to map this precarious part of the city. Training UBOS, KCCA, OPM, and local community representatives in data collection and management for risk analysis and open sharing. The ethos of the project is to empower the community and augment detailed intelligence of local public geospatial features, as well as to provide a case-study of comparative and combinative technologies. This can make for better understanding Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in the Ugandan urban context. It is vital that local communities get involved for their own knowledge and ownership of their community’s data. Training local authority staff to collect and process data is at the core of the Uganda Open Mapping agenda, and peer-learning not only provides inclusivity, but a valuable exchange of knowledge between international experience and community members. Local Parish Data Collectors and government professionals join forces.             Data collectors operating on the WhatsAppteam channel using ‘local technology’ to report backpositions and activities to coordinators. Workshopping with locals in Ggaba reveals different explanations about why it floods, and in the cramped space of the swamp edges, why they often experience several disasters at once. Ggaba is overcrowded and low-lying. Typhoid and cholera are on everybody’s radar when the torrential tropical rain falls. Still standing… Many of the community are regularly displaced onto higher ground. Some remain, to live days or weeks wading their way around their daily activities in water mixed with effluent and other urban waste. When the all too regular floods subside, the risk of malaria does not subside with it. The water left standing serves as breeding-ground to millions of mosquito larvae. Insufficient waste disposal does not help the situation. As we continue progress with UBOS, KCCA, OPM and other partners into the next phase, we are grateful to be working with the best in the country andlook forward to a world of open data and sharing at high level, which can allow immediate and pre-emptive action for the people inhabiting this generous yet overburdened country. To learn more, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and the HOT blog. This project is supervised under Open Cities Africa and financed by the Building Resilience through Innovation and Open Data in Sub-Saharan Africa Program. 

Tool Design for Urban Resilience at the Open Cities Africa Second Regional Meeting

Cities across sub-Saharan Africa are facing dangerous and expensive hazard events. Kampala, Uganda has seen a rapid influx of internal migrants into exposed flood plains of Lake Victoria; meanwhile, precipitation runoff causes regular flooding in low-lying neighborhoods of Kinshasa, DRC. In the Liberian capital of Monrovia, coastal erosion threatens the lives and livelihoods of families in unplanned coastal settlements. In August, teams of African policy-makers and geoscience experts met to conceptualize tools to better communicate and mitigate these risks. The convention of 45 delegates marks the second regional meeting of Open Cities Africa, a program engaging local government, civil society, and the private sector to develop the information infrastructures necessary to meet 21st century urban resilience challenges. Consortia of local government and innovation teams from 11 cities across the continent came to Tanzania to learn from each other and attend a packed 7 days of open source software and urban governance conferences in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Drone imagery from Zanzibar Mapping Initiative. After a summer of stakeholder meetings and data collection in their respective urban areas, a running theme of the August meeting was user-focused data products; how can Open Cities teams learn from their stakeholders to develop information tools that are relevant, accessible, and useful for governments and vulnerable communities? The Open Cities Africa meeting featured a series of intensive workshops on user-centered design to help answer this question. In these workshops, teams were tasked with designing a user-informed prototype of a risk data communication tool for their cities. Through development of user “personas” and rapid ideation exercises, city teams came out of these workshops with innovative new open data prototypes: from atlases of exposure and risk to city-wide early warning mobile phone applications. Teams continued to engage with these topics at the Free and Open Source for Geospatial (FOSS4G) and Understanding Risk Tanzania (URTZ) conferences through sessions on geospatial governance, inclusion, diversity, capacity building and civic engagement. The Open Cities Brazzaville team debates the scope and features of their prototype for a multi-media weather warning system. The Open Cities Saint-Louis team role plays an interaction between data producer and data user for their prototype: a geoportal for urban flood data. City teams were encouraged to think outside the box through rapid ideation and flexible prototype materials. Pictured: Open Cities Seychelles’ data tool prototype: a fire tracking app for the city’s fire department. City teams have begun extensive data collection and mapping of vulnerable sites since the first regional meeting, so data processing was another timely topic for Tanzania. In the Open Cities technical clinics, delegates met with experts from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), Mapillary, and OpenDRI to gain advanced training and instruction in validation, quality assessment and quality control, drones and other UAVs, and data collection tools. At FOSS4G and the HOT Summit (blog), delegates attended sessions on innovative open source tools, advanced OpenStreetMap tools training, and machine learning in open mapping. Delegates were eager to learn how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), such as drones, could enhance data collection techniques at the municipal level. The jam-packed week was bookended with a final workshop for developers from each of the Open Cities teams. In Zanzibar City, Mapbox hosted an extended weekend web mapping training for Open Cities Africa and the Zanzibar Mapping Initiative (ZMI), led by Marena Brinkhurst and Jinal Foflia (blog). Open Cities Africa and ZMI developers gather around MapBox engineer Jinal Foflia to learn an advanced feature in MapBox Studio.   Here, Open Cities developers were trained in techniques for using Mapbox’s Javascript tools for creating web maps and geovisualizations. In a short two days, Open Cities and ZMI trainees were able to create fully functional prototype web maps of Zanzibar’s schools, cultural heritage sites, before/after imagery, land use and other rich datasets from the ZanSDI and ZanSEA open data portals. One team put these skills to the test for the Open Cities Saint-Louis project, applying newly learned techniques for 3D building visualization to vulnerable infrastructure along the Saint-Louis, Senegal coast. As Open Cities Africa teams progress in their projects, the trainings in Tanzania will serve to advance the development of user-centered open source tools to communicate and reduce urban risk across cities of Africa. Stay tuned with city teams’ progress on 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.  

How can Bangladesh increase its resilience to disasters through data sharing?

Schools across Bangladesh are highly vulnerable to floods, cyclones, and earthquakes. How can the country mitigate and respond to the risks of these natural hazards? By using the GeoDASH platform – a geospatial data sharing platform – the Directorate of Primary Education of Bangladesh has assessed 35,000 schools with respect to the type of infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, access to roads, and overall capacity during natural disasters. The GeoDASH platform is a reliable and extensive geographic and information (geospatial) data network. These data are Geographic Information System (GIS) and other geolocation services-based information to represent objects or locations on a globally referenceable platform to enable mapping. For example, locations of road network data can be merged with the flood risk map to get a single map for identifying vulnerable road communication in flood-prone areas. This type of data will allow the Government of Bangladesh, communities, and the private sector to create, share and use disaster risk and climate change information to inform risk-sensitive decision making. Previously, there was no active collaboration for location mapping and collecting data among government organizations and institutions in Bangladesh. The respective agencies primarily stored geospatial data on non-networked computers or locally networked servers, and often it would not be available after certain years due to the absence of data management. So how can Bangladesh get access to reliable and extensive geospatial data? One possible answer might be to develop a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) and visualization platform to facilitate government and external partners to make better, geospatially informed policy and programmatic decisions. This is the rationale for GEODASH, supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The data platform was launched in 2014 as a web-based application for collating, storing, and sharing geospatial data. It is based on the free and open source software GeoNode. The World Bank, supported by GFDRR, conducted monthly working group sessions with multiple government agencies to establish a catalog of existing datasets as well as a data sharing protocol through GeoDASH. The next challenge was the sustainability and security of the platform. The working group highlighted broader government support for sustainability and data security. In December 2015, ownership of GeoDASH was transferred from GFDRR to the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), which now hosts the platform. Currently, 47 government, international/non-government organizations are registered on the GeoDASH platform and share many interesting data. For example, Department of Disaster Management has shared the cyclone-induced storm surge inundation depth layer which could be used for creating cyclone risk maps with vulnerable infrastructure (e.g., primary schools). These risk mapping efforts will inform larger investments in resilience and help to invest in cyclone shelters cum primary schools with access to roads. The Way Forward GeoDASH is being used as the base platform and primary tool for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. With this policy, GeoDASH is expected to institutionalize geospatial data sharing in all relevant Bangladesh government agencies. This will encourage greater openness of non-sensitive data to all, and support broader open data policy reform to benefit the people of Bangladesh.   Authors: Debashish Paul Shuvra; Md. Ahasanul Hoque; Mohammed Abu Hamid. This piece was originally published on the World Bank End Poverty in South Asia blog.

Understanding Niamey’s flood risk through open source mapping, drones, and modeling

For thousands of years, the Niger River has been the lifeblood for not only Niger, but also its neighboring countries in the Niger River Basin. Yet, even as many Nigeriens depend on the mighty waterway for food, water, and livelihoods, the Niger River also poses a severe flood risk to the West African country during the rainy season. In the third quarter of 2017, widespread flooding due to heavy rains claimed the lives of over 50 people and displaced nearly 200,000. Lying on the banks of the Niger River, the Nigerien capital Niamey is especially vulnerable to flood risk. Poorly planned development in the city, which has contributed to land degradation and soil erosion, has only exacerbated the risk. To make matters even worse, many parts of Niamey, which has seen its population balloon to over one million people, lack proper drainage infrastructure. A drone image of Niamey. Photo: Aziz Kountché, Drone Africa Services Against this backdrop, the government of Niger, in partnership with the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), has been stepping up its efforts to systematically gather data and information on Niamey’s exposure and vulnerability to flood risk. The hope here is that this will pave the way for the government of Niger to better plan and prioritize investments in the capital’s flood preparedness. The initiative started in 2017 when a local team of volunteers, comprised mostly of university students and young professionals from Niger’s OpenStreetMap community, used an open source mobile application to build a database of people and assets exposed to flood risk in Niamey. The team, thus far, has collected over 15,000 data points on households and infrastructure in the city. A Nigerien startup, Drone Africa Service, has since been training government counterparts and members of the OpenStreetMap community to use drones to acquire high-resolution images of areas where the exposed people and assets are located. Along with other partners, the startup has been analyzing the images, combined with the database, to model the flood risk to the most vulnerable communities in Niamey. The model will ultimately be shared on the Nigerien government’s online risk data portal. A drone being used to map flood vulnerability in Niamey. Photo: Aziz Kountché, Director, Drone Africa Services “I am proud that a good number of students and professionals have participated in our trainings,” said Fatiman Alher, moderator and trainer for Niger’s OpenStreetMap community. “I have the vision of Nigeriens and Africans contributing… to create an open access cartography of their environment.” Through a combination of open street mapping, drones, and modeling, Nigeriens are taking the lead in building Niamey’s preparedness for the next flood. In doing so, they are also setting an example of leveraging technology and innovation for resilience elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Check out this video to learn more. GFDRR and World Bank support for these efforts has been provided through the “Building Resilience through Innovation and Open Data in Sub-Saharan Africa” program, an initiative funded by the Belgian government which has been piloted in four African countries: Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania and Uganda. In Niger, activities under the program are closely aligned with the World Bank’s Niger Disaster Risk Management and Urban Development Project, as well as the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative.   Authors: Vivien Deparday; Lorenzo Piccio. Also available in: Français This piece was originally published on the World Bank Nasikiliza blog.


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.

view all resources