[Osmf-talk] OSM Uganda Local Chapter application

Craig Allan allan at iafrica.com
Wed Nov 25 14:13:29 UTC 2020

Hello All

As an African I strongly support building OSM in Africa. In this regard 
I am aware that the Uganda OSM organisation has been doing a lot of good 
work, but the current Uganda application for LC approval includes a 
constitution that is a bit worrying.

The constitution they provide seems intended for a business entity 
rather than a voluntary organisation, staffing itself with lots of 
"Executives".  At first I thought this might be because Uganda borrowed 
text from a corporate constitution and forgot to adapt it, but on 
further reading I find a disturbing clue in the clauses on financial 
provisions in Article 19. The first two cited sources of income for the 
organisation are:

/1. Executing projects with a geospatial component for Ugandan companies 
and other local NGOs//
//2. Subcontracting for (International) NGOs/

Listing trading activities as the first and second sources of income 
would seem to say that the proceeds of trading activities are regarded 
as the primary and secondary financial sources.

 From the above, I am worried that we are being asked to bless a 
commercial consulting entity with our brand reputation and trademarks.  
The very extensive formalised secretariat seems to support this concern. 
While Local Committees do need to raise funds, I think that OSMF should 
be cautious about any LC crossing the line between non-profit and 
commercial.   If the applicants are indeed working to start a business 
or a major non-profit entity, I truly wish them well in their 
endeavours, but it should not be tightly linked to OSMF.

There are other issues, but I have enough concerns already to make a 

I do not support the current version of the Uganda LC application.

To continue the very good work being done in Uganda so I recommend that 
Uganda re-submit a revised version as soon as possible.
The amended proposal should be more closely aligned to the way that 
small non-profit organisations are structured and operate.  I do 
understand that some NGOs do become quite large and complex, but I don't 
see signs of a Uganda LC following that kind of path to scale for at 
least several years.
Here are some suggested changes:

1. Lose all the "Executive" titles and roles. Four named office bearers 
- Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary, Treasurer - is normal and adequate. In 
addition perhaps four to six board members who can hold portfolios like 
Membership, Publicity, Technical, Training etc.
2. Motivate the unusual "Patron" post. Why have this "Father" role?  Is 
the Chair inadequately respected?  Is it a local tradition? I don't 
3. Assume that for a few years, or more, the LC will have zero or few 
paid employees.
4. Accept that most operational posts should (and will) be filled with 
OSM mapper volunteers and structure accordingly.
5. Omit the job descriptions (Article 14) of the secretariat in the 
constitution. The JDs are unrealistic for a volunteer workforce and the 
barrier to amending them is far too steep.  JDs should be amended by a 
Board resolution.
6. Re-write to make the organisation concentrate more on being visibly 
democratic and membership focused.
7. Include a Conflict of Interest line that says that no board member or 
ordinary member shall personally  benefit from funds raised by the LC, 
other than to receive compensation for approved LC related out-of-pocket 
8. Include another Conflict of Interest line that says a paid staff 
member may be a member, but may not vote in any meeting or stand for 
election to the Board.
9. Omit the 25% overhead rate on donations from the constitution. The 
overhead rate will normally be negotiated with each donor and has 
nothing to do with the founding statement of the organisation.
10. Lose any hint or requirement that members be physically present at 
any AGM - Uganda is a big place with poor transport so virtual Annual 
General Meetings are preferred.
11. The quorum for an AGM is stated as 2/3 of *Board* members.  No 
ordinary members are required for an AGM quorum. This is presumably a 
12. The quorum for a General Meeting is 2/3 of the members who are 
present. This is presumably a mistake. Perhaps 2/3 of all the Board members?
13. The constitution can only be amended by vote of 2/3 of members. 
Ambiguous.  Is that members present at the meeting or paid-up members 
registered with the LC?

Thank you and best wishes
Craig Allan
OSM: cRaIgalLAn


On 2020/11/22 21:51, Joost Schouppe wrote:
> Hi,
> Sorry, I messed up the link! (thanks Pete and John for pointing it out)
> The URL should have just been the same as the text: 
> https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Local_Chapters/Applications/Uganda 
> <https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Local_Chapters/Applications/Uganda>
> On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 8:11 PM Joost Schouppe [OSMF secretary] 
> <secretary at osmfoundation.org <mailto:secretary at osmfoundation.org>> wrote:
>     Hi,
>     You may be aware that *OpenStreetMap Uganda* has applied to become
>     an official Local Chapter of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. As part
>     of the application process, we would like to ask you, the OSMF
>     membership, how you feel about this. Do you support this
>     application? Do you have any questions, comments or concerns?
>     You can find all the information about this Local Chapter
>     application on the OSMF website:
>     <https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Local_Chapters/Applications/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo>https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Local_Chapters/Applications/Uganda<https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Local_Chapters/Applications/Slovakia>
>     We will close this round of discussion two weeks from now (7 Dec
>     2020).
>     You can reply here or send a message to /board (at) osmfoundation.org/
>     I am looking forward to hearing your responses.
>     Thank you to the OSM Uganda team for this submission.
>     Joost Schouppe
>     /Secretary/
>     /OpenStreetMap Foundation/
>     Name & Registered Office:
>     /OpenStreetMap Foundation
>     /
>     /St John’s Innovation Centre/
>     /Cowley Road/
>     /Cambridge/
>     /CB4 0WS/
>     /United Kingdom/
>     /A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales
>     Registration No. 05912761/
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk

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