[HOT] What I want from HOT (was: Re: Let's make the most of this)

maning sambale emmanuel.sambale at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 10:11:55 UTC 2015

Dear everyone,

Let me kickstart this.  First, no, I’m not running for the board, but
here’s what I want HOT to aspire for in the future.

As many have said, we’ve come a long way since we started with the
Haiti earthquake response.  We have better tools, more capable people,
better systems/organization and worldwide recognition.  For many areas
in the developing world, we are the default map.  This is especially
true for us in the Philippines where and more and more users are
utilizing our map across a diverse type of organization
(international, national agencies, local government).  Having said
that, I also see a lot of improvements we can look into within HOT and
the larger OSM community.  Below are “wishlist” for the HOT community
to consider.  Note that this is my own perspective having been
involved in several humanitarian mapping work(both as a remote mapper
and deployments on the ground)  in my own country.  This is not in the
order of priority.

* From data consumers to data contributors.
Many international organizations are using our data, but, I often
wonder do they contribute back?  I know a couple of organizations are
doing this (IFRC/ICRC/ARC/BRC, MSF, MapAction to name a few).  I think
we should consciously encourage these consumers to give back.  We are
not just a source of free geospatial data, we are a community and they
are part of it.

* Building local community capacity.
We are very good at responding to crisis.  For a very short period, we
can provide highly accurate data (street and building level detail) to
any area in the world, but at the end of every response, have we
considered how will the local community (if there is one) curate and
continue maintaining the data?  I think for every activation we
respond to, we should always consider building local capacity.  Some
countries might not have any local community, but in areas where there
is, we should strive to engage with them no matter how small this
community maybe. Because ultimately, it will be local community who
will maintain what we kickstarted.

* Focus more on preparedness over response.
MissingMaps, MapLesotho, HOT-Id (and other HOT technical assistance)
are doing this already. And I think this is what we should be do more.
For areas in the Philippines where we integrate
participatory/community-driven mapping for disaster risk reduction,
the simple exercise of mapping is a powerful tool to increase
awareness on the local hazards and to engage local stakeholders
(affected communities, DRR managers, local governments) in a
discussion for better preparedness and response.  We’ve witnessed
instances where pre-mapping as part of the DRR activities allowed
better response during a typhoon last year.

* Better tools under challenging environment.
As I said above, we have better tools now. But offline/very limited
connectivity remains a big concern for most of the areas we are
responding to.  Better and simple tools under this condition should be
what we should aim for.

* Regional exchange and “mentoring”.
I’ve learned a lot when collaborating with other mapping groups under
a similar context.  Fo example, we had several exchanges with
OSM-Indonesia (through HOT’s project), being in a similar hazard
context and, in a way, a closely-related culture, I find it that many
of the techniques they have developed are applicable to our own
condition.  Would it be possible for HOT to facilitate this?  For
example, can MapKibera lead regional mentoring in Africa? Or OSM-Haiti
within its region?  Oftentimes, mentoring is from the “North” to the
“South” or from “West” to “East”.  This is also very valuable but lets
also consider that there maybe local community experiences which can
be shared within the region having the same socio-cultural context
that can be more effective and adapted to the local condition.

Hoping the Board and the HOT community can work on some these wishes.

On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 7:27 AM, Joseph Reeves <iknowjoseph at gmail.com> wrote:
> tl;dr People are always asking for more of a say in HOT. Let's do that now!
> Dear all,
> The proposed (accepted?) extension to the nomination process has taken most
> of us by surprise. Let's use it as an opportunity.
> The original nomination deadline is due to close in less than an hour. With
> this extended we have some possibilities. Most obviously, Severin, Nicolas,
> Jaakko & Pierre, will you be able to write a proposal for your Board
> election before the new deadline? Reading why someone else thinks you're
> great is, well, great, but I'd rather hear your views.
> In fact, I think this is really important before the new deadline. By
> writing your views about HOT, the role of the Board and why you want to be
> on it, you give others the opportunity to engage with you and your views.
> You give others the opportunity to put themselves or others forward. We've
> got the word "Open" in our organisation name; please don't keep your
> thoughts from us.
> I do admit, however, that the deadline extension is a bit of a nuisance if
> you were planning to sneak in at the last minute, not say anything to the
> membership and then let the nomination process close behind you. I'm sure
> nobody was planning that.
> Members, volunteers, interested parties:
> if you were thinking of running for the Board, there's still time. Read what
> others have written and see if you agree. Tell us what you think of the
> organisation. How does the Board fit in there? Why do you want to be on the
> Board and not a Working Group? What could you do as a board Member that you
> couldn't do as a a community manager or mapping coordinator?
> If you weren't thinking of running for the Board, please tell us what you
> think anyway. At times in the past we've had great outcries that the
> Membership has not been listened to. At this great opportunity, however,
> it's depressing that not more people are speaking; the usual verbose email
> senders, myself included, have been saying more than anyone else.
> You don't have to tell us much. Brief is good. Put in a tl;dr if you like.
> This is the most important time for sharing your views.
> I'd be interested in, for example, what do you think HOT is? How do the
> volunteers, Members and Board fit that view? What needs to change? Where
> will we be in a year? 5 years? 10 years? How do we need to get there?
> Tell us what you think, please.
> Thanks, Joseph
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