How Afghanistan uses GeoNode to build resilience

Very little information on hazards and risk was available in Afghanistan a few years ago. A team set out to produce information essential to disaster risk management. They developed innovations on top of a standard GeoNode for visualization & cost-benefit analysis, enabling Afghanistan’s planning to incorporate disaster considerations.

MapMoz takes first steps community mapping Mozambique’s vulnerable urban areas

Like many sub-Saharan African capital cities, Mozambique’s capital Maputo has all the marks of a city whose rate of growth surpasses the ability of its urban systems to cope and respond. The tell-tale symptoms include: ever-expanding suburbs of mostly residential and micro-scale commercial uses and insufficient infrastructure; increasing traffic congestion and incapable public transport systems;… Read more »

‘Malawi Mappers’ Mobilize to Improve Open Geospatial Data

Author: Christine Mhone is the GIS Projects Leader at mHub, Malawi’s first technology and innovation hub. She was nominated by mHub to represent Malawi at the first State of the Map Africa conference in Kampala, Uganda in 2017. Christine has continued to lead the Malawi Mappers community in adding data to OpenStreetMap. Christine can be… Read more »


The PGRC-DU is developing state-of-the-art tools to identify flooding hot-spots and evaluate the added value of flood mitigation measures. These tools will lead to better knowledge of flood-exposed assets and people in the city of Niamey.

Addressing Flood Vulnerability in Niamey, Niger, West Africa

Authors: Dr. Ousmane Seidou is an associate professor of water resources engineering at the University of Ottawa, and an adjunct professor at the United Nations University, Centre for Water, Environmental and Health (UNU-INWEH). He is involved in research, teaching and capacity development activities related to water resources management, hydrological risk and adaptation to climate variability… Read more »

InaSAFE and OpenDRI at State of the Map Africa

In July 2017, the InaSAFE team had the opportunity to present another training course to DRR practitioners. The training integrates various disciplines, such as the creation and use of open data sets (in particular OpenStreetMap), fundamental GIS skills (through the use of QGIS) and skills in using InaSAFE. The course was presented in English and French at Makerere University in Kampala and was attended by thirty DRR practitioners from government agencies and universities in Niger, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and Uganda.

Building Mapping Expertise in Vietnam

Last month, during a day-long workshop at Can Tho University’s Dragon Institute, the OpenDRI team introduced OpenStreetMap (OSM) to students and to Can Tho city government officials. The session was kept informal, focusing on mapping familiar terrain: the university campus.

Mapping the Comoros Archipelago

The objective of the OpenDRI project in the Comoros is twofold: first, fill data gaps by building assets using OpenStreetMap (OSM) tools; and second, develop an online data-sharing platform to centralize and share risk data in the country.

What can you do with a high-resolution population map?

Population density is one of the most important statistics for development efforts across many sectors, and since early 2016 the World Bank has been collaborating with Facebook on evaluating a new source of high-resolution population data that sheds light on previously unmapped populations.

InaSAFE Training in Salima, Malawi

To meet the needs of the Government of Malawi, GFDRR asked Kartoza to conduct a three-day training on InaSAFE in Salima. With a total of 14 participants in attendance, there were staff from different government departments including the Department of Disaster Affairs, Surveys department, UNIMA-Polytechnic, Physical planning, and Department of Land Resources.

Code for Resilience Problem Statement Workshop

In June of 2016 the OpenDRI Sri Lanka team held a Code for Resilience problem statement workshop at the Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka with more than 25 representatives from government, media and the private sector in Sri Lanka.


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.

Understanding Risk and Finance Conference

The Understanding Risk and Finance Conference (URf), held on November 17–20, 2015, at the African Union
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, convened 450 disaster risk management experts and practitioners to discuss and
share knowledge on how to mitigate the socioeconomic, fiscal, financial, and physical impacts of disasters in
African nations.


The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGoZ) seeks to address high vulnerability to disaster losses from cyclones, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis with the support of the World Bank Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) and Southwest Indian Ocean Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (SWIO RAFI).

Surveying Sri Lanka’s Gampaha District

The Gampaha District is an urban and agricultural district located on the Western coast of Sri Lanka just north of Colombo in the Attanagalu Oya River basin. This area is very prone to flooding with important human, material, and financial damages.

Sri Lanka

The Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka (DMC) has been working with OpenDRI to support evidence-based methods to better plan for, mitigate, and respond to natural disasters.


Afghanistan launched, an open data sharing platform for DRM in 2017.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is already a heavy user of open-source software tools; hence, their understanding of the benefits of open data in the geospatial context is significant.

Saint Lucia

GeoNode will also be used for a new Land Use Management digital information system in Saint Lucia.


The Open Data for Resilience Initiative supports the Cariska GeoNode for data sharing in Jamaica.


OpenDRI works with Serbia on enhancing open data and using data for disaster preparedness.


The Seychelles are one of the five Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) member states implementing an Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) under the South West Indian Ocean Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (SWIO RAFI).


An open data sharing platform is in preparation in Mauritius, data review is currently ongoing.


An open data sharing platform is in preparation in Madagascar, data review is currently ongoing.


Mapping is on going in Bangladesh and open data sharing platform has been created for the country. It is soon to be launched officially.


The Open Data for Resilience Initiative supports the DisasterInfo GeoNode for disaster risk management data sharing and use in Pakistan.


The World Bank and GFDRR started working in partnership with the Government of Nepal in 2012. The aim was to better understand seismic risk in order to build resilience in the education and health infrastructure of Kathmandu Valley.


Guyana’s data sharing GeoNode is supported by the Open Data for Resilience Initiative.


OpenDRI supports the development of open data practices in Grenada.


A GeoNode deployment for sharing existing data launched in November 2012 and a full OpenDRI platform implementation took place in 2013.


The OpenDRI team engaged directly with civil society and other international organizations to better understand Colombia’s challenges and their potential to improve resilience to disasters.


The World Bank has provided technical support to Belize’s GeoNode installation, spatial data management related activities, and data/metadata quality assurance and control.


In Bolivia, OpenDRI applies the concepts of the global open data movement to the challenges of reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change.

Kyrgyz Republic

Key stakeholders like the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MoES), have identified the critical need to improve the mechanism for collection, management, and dissemination of disaster risk data in Kyrgyzstan.


Mozambique’s national disaster management agency, The Instituto Nacional de Gestão das Calamidades (INGC), in collaboration with the World Bank and the GFDRR, has developed a sustainable OpenDRI work plan currently under implementation.


The Government of Malawi (GoM) 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 and particularly for the damaging floods that occur yearly.


The World Bank Group is offering support to further advance disaster resilience in the country by launching the Armenia National Disaster Risk Management Program. The OpenDRI team is just starting to support programs in Armenia.

Disaster Risk Management in Armenia

The Government of Armenia has recently received US$1.75 million for 2.5 years to improve disaster risk information, enhance disaster risk reduction, strengthen disaster preparedness, and improve understanding of fiscal disaster risks and risk financing options.

Project NOAH launches New DRRM Online Platform

Project NOAH officially launched its new disaster risk reduction and management online platform on 11 December 2015. New innovations and features were added to the platform to enhance the existing disaster information and management system. The information and improved tools included in the platform can be used in terms of planning against and preparing for disasters…

More voices mean smarter cities

Creating mechanisms for participation in urban planning can be as traditional as institutionalizing town meetings on zoning issues or as innovative as deploying digital platforms for community mapping. For instance, a number of initiatives, such as the Open Cities Project, illustrate the ways in which citizens can help contribute information to the policymaking process.

Open Cities draws on inputs from a range of groups to “create usable information through community mapping techniques, to build applications and tools that inform decision making, and to develop the networks of trust and social capital necessary for these efforts to become sustainable.” The project informs World Bank investment planning on addressing urban challenges and disaster risk in pilot cities in South Asia.

Harnessing the Power of the Crowd – Reflections Six Months after the Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal

Through the Open Data for Resilience project, The World Bank, GFDRR, and other partners are supporting efforts to map areas at risk before a disaster strikes.

•In the six months following the April 2015 earthquake, OpenStreetMap data for Nepal was accessed by more than 3,300 users using a GFDRR platform that tailored the data for response and recovery.

•Urban areas around the world, including cities in Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi and Bangladesh, are a major focus of mapping efforts.

Paying it forward in a digital age: A global community committed to a mapped world

​​When I first heard about OpenStreetMap (OSM) – the so called Wikipedia of maps, built by volunteers around the world – I was skeptical of its ability to scale, usability in decision making, and ultimate longevity among new ideas conceived in the digital age. Years later, having working on many disaster risk management initiatives across the globe, I can say that I am a passionate advocate for the power of this community. And I continue to be struck by the power of one small initiative like OSM that brings together people across cultures and countries to save lives. It is more than a technology or a dataset, it’s a global community of individuals committed to making a difference.

People may be surprised to find that the maps we take for granted in metropolitan areas of the developed world may be completely absent, vastly out of date, or pay-per-view in the developing world. Imagine an urban area without a transportation network, government agencies without access to the location of their assets (schools, health facilities, etc), or even a map without village names. This is the reality for many of the countries most vulnerable to disaster risk. Now, imagine this urban area facing an unprecedented crisis brought by flooding, an earthquake, a pandemic – think about the challenges of planning a response.

World Bank Using UAVs for Disaster Risk Reduction in Tanzania

An innovative World Bank team in Tanzania is exploring the use of UAVs for disaster risk reduction efforts. Spearheaded by colleague Edward Anderson, the team recently partnered with friends at Drone Adventures to capture very high-resolution images of flood-prone areas in the country’s capital. This imagery is now being used to generate Digital Terrain Models to develop more reliable flood-inundation models at… Read more »

Community Mapping For Flood Resilience Kick Off Workshop

The kick-off workshop was held on March 26th at the Buni Innovation Hub, at the Commission for Science and Technology. Panel: Innovating Urban Flooding Primer: Addressing the Urban Flood Challenge—Innovations and Opportunities Rekha Menon, Program Leader, World Bank Prof. Robert Kiunsi, Dean of the School of Real Estate Studies (SRES), Ardhi University Julia Letara, Town… Read more »

Planning An Open Cities Mapping Project

This Open Cities guide documents lessons learned from work in South Asia, providing an overview of the design and implementation of a community mapping program. To keep this guide up-to-date and truly open source, the online version of the document is hosted on GitHub welcoming comments and contributions.

MAPA-HANDA: Customizing InaSAFE for Philippine Context

Understanding the importance of decentralizing DRRM for a more relevant DRRM planning, Philippine’s National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the NationaI Youth Commission (NYC), and the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) initiated MAPA-HANDA, a joint effort to develop online modules on mapping for local DRRM planning.

4 Years On, Looking Back at OpenStreetMap Response to the Haiti Earthquake

In 2014, Robert Soden reflected on the progress The World Bank and GFDRR made by becoming involved in the world of crowd sourced mapping. Now with a fully fledged program that leads dozens of projects worldwide and a host of strong partnerships, it is powerful to step back into his article and see where we’ve been and where OpenDRI has the potential to go.

IT community competes in Disaster Management software development

Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, is prone to natural disasters such as floods and fires. The World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction & Recovery and the Jakarta Disaster Management Agency held a competition to gather ideas on how information technology can be used in disaster situations.

To Save Lives and Livelihoods, Start By Understanding Disaster Risk

In 1999, the state of Odisha, India, was hit by the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, causing nearly 10,000 fatalities and US$5 billion in damages. For the next decade, the government of Odisha and partners worked to identify and mitigate cyclone risk. When the similarly intense Cyclone Phailin struck Odisha in October 2013, the region counted 99.6% fewer deaths.

We cannot prevent a monsoon or cyclone from striking ­­– and as population growth, urbanization, and climate change are on the rise, the frequency and impact of natural disasters will increase. But with innovation, collaboration and a better understanding of risk, we can build communities that are more resilient to natural hazards.

Open Cities in Kathmandu: Health Centers Critical Health Sector Infrastructure

As detailed in the context of Kathmandu, one aspect of the the Open Cities Project engagement is the collection of asset and exposure data in urban areas in order to create a robust asset inventory. The Open Cities Project collects data through open and participatory methods in partnership with local government agencies, universities, technical communities, and the private sector. Open Cities Kathmandu has to date mapped over 100,000 buildings and collected exposure data for 2256 educational and 350 health facilities within Kathmandu Valley.

Open Cities in Kathmandu: Educational Facilities Critical Educational Sector Infrastructure

As detailed in the context of Kathmandu, one aspect of the the Open Cities Project engagement is the collection of asset and exposure data in urban areas in order to create a robust asset inventory. The Open Cities Project collects data through open and participatory methods in partnership with local government agencies, universities, technical communities, and the private sector. Open Cities Kathmandu has to date mapped over 100,000 buildings and collected exposure data for 2256 educational and 350 health facilities within Kathmandu Valley.

Helping Build Resilient Communities

Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004, the Government of Indonesia began compiling a comprehensive approach to disaster risk management (DRM). The World Bank has helped through several small interventions, such as preparing the software program InaSafe and supporting the building of ‘safe’ schools, which have had wide-ranging impact and incorporate disaster risk management in overall development planning.

TechRepublic highlights OpenDRI’s “excellent new field guide”

In a TechRepublic article, Alex Howard gives the Open Data for Resilience Initiative Field Guide a shout out while discussing how releasing open data supports the United States federal government’s goal of improving community resilience against climate change and primes the pump for meaningful reuse by tech giants.

Webinar: Data for Post-Disaster Decision-Making in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

We are kicking off our Caribbean Open Data for Resilience (OpenDRI) Webinar Series on Wednesday, March 26 at 2:30 pm ET! This webinar, Data for Post-Disaster Decision-Making in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, will focus on the Rapid Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) conducted in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the rapid disaster impact needs assessment conducted in Saint Lucia following the heavy rains that occurred on December 25, 2013.

Building climate and disaster resilience through open data and innovation

Type: Meeting or Conference Organizer: Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the (GFDRR); World Bank, the (WB) Date: 20-21 Mar 2014 Location: United States of America (Washington D.C.) Venue: World Bank This two-day workshop will bring together key leaders from business, government, international development, academia and civil society to explore how we can work… Read more »

Insights in DRM – A Case for Open Data

Here is the debut publication of “Insights in DRM – A Practitioner’s Perspective on Disaster Risk Management in Latin America and the Caribbean”. The first issue, Open Data for Resilience (OpenDRI) in the Caribbean, focuses on the use of spatial data in decision making to reduce disaster risk.

Building Urban Resilience in East Asia: Principles, Tools, and Practice

This handbook is a resource for enhancing disaster resilience in urban areas. It summarizes the guiding principles, tools, and practices in key economic sectors that can facilitate incorporation of resilience concepts into the decisions about infrastructure investments and general urban management that are integral to reducing disaster and climate risks.

Bank Climate Change Portal Helps Visualize World Climate, Expands Access to Data

How much will temperatures rise in 30, 40, or 50 years? How could changing weather affect rain-fed crops in the Horn of Africa, or winter flooding and summer droughts in Uzbekistan? And what should countries do to prepare for more intense droughts and storms?

These are the kinds of questions the World Bank hopes to answer with a new initiative to expand access to climate data and spark innovation in the fight against climate change around the world.