[HOT] Updates from Strategic Board Meeting

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team hotosm at gmail.com
Tue May 8 13:18:30 BST 2012

Dear HOTties,

As you know, the Board of Directors of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
had its first strategic planning meeting ever this week. We all agree that
it is an exciting time for HOT, and we look forward to the future.
 Meridian will be providing us meeting notes and other documents in the
next two weeks, which we share as soon as they are available. However, we
wanted to share some of the conclusions from the meeting with you

One of the clearest needs we identified was for HOT to do some more
strategic fundraising. To begin working in more places, we need to have a
stable base to allow more training and internships, to ensure that HOT will
have someone available. Having more stable resources for hardware and
hosting are a part of this as well. While HOT is and will be primarily a
volunteer organization, fieldwork necessitates paying people, since few can
volunteer for months at a time. We acknowledge the need to approach the
issues of fundraising and hiring carefully.

We also felt that the membership needs to have more input into HOT. As
directors, we are elected to represent the organization, but that is a once
a year event, and we want to see the members of the team engage in more
feedback throughout the year. To help out with this, we'd like to improve
our definition of what it means to be a member of the team.

Ideas around membership that we discussed were:

* Members have priority in applying to go on HOT missions, if the skillsets
of a member and non-member are equal in the application.
* Members should be able to vote on key issues for HOT.
* Members receive something that identifies them as part of HOT. (Something
such as a badge, stickers or other swag). Ideas welcome.

Meanwhile, we have decided to appoint an "Executive Director" for HOT. The
exact responsibilities of this role will be defined over the coming months,
but we see it as an important part of bringing structure and order to our
organisation, which will help us to attract funding. It was unanimously
agreed that Kate Chapman should stand as Acting Executive Director over the
next six months. During this time, Kate will begin defining the role, with
feedback from the membership, community, board and advisors. She will also
begin the fundraising process. After six months, we will re-evaluate if we
are in a position to hire a permanent Executive Director (through an open
hiring process, as our HR policy dictates), or to extend the acting
position another three months. Having an Executive Director is a chicken
and egg problem, as we need money to hire someone permanently, but we also
need an ED in order to obtain that money.

Also, Nicolas Chavent will serve as Acting Project Director. HOT will be
continuing to work in Haiti and Indonesia, as well as beginning work soon
in Senegal. To ensure the stability of the organization, someone needs to
focus on the execution of these projects. This does not mean Nicolas will
be performing all the projects and there will be opportunities for
internships and field missions. This position is also for a six month term,
although we hope to engage someone permanently, again, through an open
hiring process.

Kate and Nicolas will be receiving a stipend during this time, to provide
them with the stable income they need. The Board would like to acknowledge
the huge difficulties they have both faced over the past year, balancing
funded project work, with the operations and strategic work of HOT. This
has been a de facto full time job for them both, but not always with a
secure income. The Board unanimously agreed that it would be more fair to
offer them this stipend for a set time frame. We think that, at this time,
the organization needs these key personnel to focus on core tasks, which
have previously been unfunded.

We are in an amazing time for HOT. The potential to make an event bigger
difference to the availability of geographic data for both disaster
planning and response is huge. Continuing to institutionalize OpenStreetMap
among responders and disaster risk reduction specialists can make a
difference and hopefully save lives. The strategy meeting sponsored by the
Woodrow Wilson Center provided us with an exceptional opportunity to better
understand and frame the challenges in growing our organization, and in
building its capacity to do good. We are enthusiastic about working
together with you, the members of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, to
make our potentially great future a reality.

>From the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Board
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