The Growth of OSM Communities in Tanzania Through Community Microgrants

By Hawa Adinani

SMCoSE YouthMappers, one of the grant recipients. Image; Ambangile Mwambungu

The growth of OSM communities in Tanzania is taking shape as most organizations, institutions, and communities in general, are recognizing the importance of using and contributing to OSM data. To support the growth of OSM communities in Tanzania, OpenMap Development Tanzania with her partner the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) awarded microgrants to seven OSM communities in Tanzania — See the supported communities here.

The grants provided are supporting these communities to leverage the use of OSM and mapping to help solve different community challenges by facilitating training/workshops, purchasing tools and equipment, supporting staff, and other logistics. Most communities work in peripheral regions with a minimal understanding and use of open mapping technologies like OpenStreetMap.

The first phase of project implementation ended with great successes and lessons learned from these communities. The general success of the microgrants so far include the following:

  • Connecting OSM communities in Tanzania and encouraging collaboration in various tasks and opportunities. The grant provided an opportunity for local OSM communities in Tanzania to work together; a good example is Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania, giving training to LAVISEHA on how communities can use ODK to report the cases of GBV for rescue.
  • Creating awareness about OSM and other communities through participating and presenting in conferences and events such as the State of the Map Africa, Community webinars, etc.
  • Over 16000 buildings were mapped and 380 km of roads were uploaded to OSM by grantees
  • Supporting the growth of youth mappers chapters — Three grant recipients are youth mappers who are using the grants to solidify the chapter and get exposure to projects while also applying for other funding to expand their projects

Lessons Learned

  • Microgrants should prioritize youth and community-based organizations to support them in taking leadership roles and gaining experience in running projects while using data to solve community challenges.

Next Steps



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

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OpenMap Development Tanzania

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