Nurturing the Next Generation of Urban Resilience and Geospatial Experts — Tanzania

OpenMap Development Tanzania
3 min readAug 9, 2022

By Aisha Hamisi

Through the Resilience Academy Program, 140 University Students in Tanzania are being Trained to Collect Geospatial Data to Support Strategic Urban Planning in Five Municipalities over the next Six Weeks!

Students practice using mobile mapping applications during the training

OpenMap Development Tanzania has been partnering with the Tanzania Resilience Academy to design and implement the summer industrial training program with three universities: The University of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University and the Sokoine University of Agriculture. The training aims to provide students with digital geospatial skills while they participate in the implementation of various World Bank-funded urban resilience projects. View previous engagements here

Unlike previous industrial training, which were primarily focused on Dar es Salaam and Morogoro urban, this year, we are implementing projects in seven municipalities/regions: Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Mtwara, Sumbawanga, Kigoma, Kahama, and Tanga. From July to September 2022, students will spend 8 weeks in the field collecting data for three projects: drainage mapping services, baseline assessment for solid waste management and littering, and opportunity assessment for urban greening.

Students learning how to use custom-made measuring sticks and the ODK app to map train segments

Why is this important?
The program will equip and expose students to open mapping techniques, open geospatial tools, and the significance of geospatial digital data in urban development and urban resilience strategic plans. We expect students to gain, but are not limited to, the following skills by the end of the program:

  • Using and accessing digital geospatial tools for mapping and visualization such as QGIS, ODK, and OpenStreetMap data
  • Improved understanding of the connection between geospatial datasets and urban planning or infrastructure development
  • Techniques in conducting household surveys and interaction with local communities and leaders during the implementation of projects
  • Field survey technical skills i.e drainage mapping and the use of high accuracy GNSS receivers and RTK in understanding drainage elevation
  • Understanding the broad concept of free and open/low-cost geospatial tools for data collection and mapping

The skills listed above will assist students in understanding the complexity of urban resilience projects and how the challenge necessitates multidisciplinary approaches to ensure that solutions are sustainable and informed decisions are made based on data. As the demand for geospatial experts grows, the program intends to increase youth employability opportunities after graduation.

“The training on drain infrastructure mapping and data collection equips us with knowledge and skills that are potentially useful for achieving sustainable urban development — The more you learn, the more knowledge you get to solve the emerging challenges.” by Innocent James, Student at Sokoine University

Furthermore, community members and local residents will be involved by pairing them with student mappers to collect accurate data and information on specific areas as they are familiar with their surroundings — This methodology was adapted from the Ramani Huria project a community mapping project for urban resilience in Dar es Salaam.

By the end of the program, students will have a sense of the actual working environment, as well as practical knowledge and skills, which will motivate, develop, and build their confidence. Data collected in this program implementation will aid in informed solid waste management plans, understanding of drainage infrastructure and elevation for flood modeling, and assessing opportunities and suitability of urban greening, sustainable urban drainage systems, and open space development. The World Bank will publish the collected data under open licenses, and it will then be uploaded to the Resilience Academy Climate Risk Database for users to access.



OpenMap Development Tanzania

Open-source tech & geodata for managing & solving community's socio-economic and humanitarian challenges