State of the Map Africa 2021

Planning with us, not for us: Community informal settlement mapping
11-19, 13:35–14:35 (UTC), Room 2
Language: English

A lack of spatial data covering built and natural environments in informal settlements is a serious issue when it comes to advocacy for and planning of settlement upgrades, provision of services and community resilience programmes (amongst other things). This panel session brings together experts by experience to discuss in what ways community-led, participatory mapping can address this barrier to action through the provision of high quality and relevant data as well as the challenges that they have experienced.

The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), in collaboration with the Humanitarian Open Mapping Community Working Group (CWG), propose this panel discussion to explore how communities living in informal settlements and open mapping communities in Africa are collaborating to generate and use spatial data that can lead to local impact.

Quote from Floriam Marembo from SDFN:

“From Namibia's perspective, we can testify that OSM is important, especially as a source of spatial data. We have realized that mapping is key to knowing and understanding infrastructure. Through OSM we map not only to have access to spatial data but also to make it accessible and available. Quality data may just be what we need as inhabitants of informal settlements to create platforms of discussion on upgrading.”

The session will likely include short case study presentations from panelists (tbc), followed by a curated discussion on the successes, challenges and lessons learnt experienced by communities leveraging geospatial data (including OpenStreetMap) to try to solve priority issues for inhabitants of informal settlements, as well as exploring the importance of partnerships and coalitions in this process.

The purpose of the session is to: share and amplify knowledge around mapping of informal settlements by local community groups; highlight the importance of community leadership in this process; and to understand the role that OpenStreetMap data and communities can play in support of positive social change for people living in informal settlements.

Our panel of experts for the session are:

Florian Marembo, graduate of the University of Namibia and a student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, founder and director of Marembo Charity Foundation, member of Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia and OSM facilitator.

Lucy Fondo, a trained Community Participatory Mapper with Map Kibera in Kenya. She has been a Mapper since its inception in 2009 and is currently a HOT Data Quality Intern.

Alessandra Figueiredo, a civil engineering student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and part of the UrbeLatAm project.

The session will be hosted and moderated by Anni Beukes, currently a Junior Researcher at the Bonn International Graduate School for Development Research, a past Fellow of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and Visiting Fellow at the Neubauer Collegium, both at the University of Chicago.

This panel session is co-designed and organised by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) [1] and the Humanitarian Open Mapping Community Working Group (CWG) [2].

The lead organisers are Florian Marembo (from SDFN) and Pete Masters (from the CWG).