[Osmf-talk] Microgrants conflict of interest: an apology

Donal Hunt donal.hunt at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 13:32:32 UTC 2021

Thank you for the transparency and clear calls for action in future grant


On Tue 2 Feb 2021, 12:33 Mikel Maron, <mikel.maron at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> (This email was intended to go out in October, but slipped through the
> cracks).
> The selections presented by the Microgrants Committee to the Board was
> unanimously approved in bulk by the Board in our June 2020 meeting. That
> was a mistake. By voting in bulk, we overlooked conflicts of interest
> covered by our policy [1].
> Our former Board member Joost is on the board of OSM Belgium which was
> awarded the Belgium Road Completion microgrant [2]. He had made clear that
> he was close to the project, suggested by his compatriot Jonathan Beliën.
> Joost had worked on the first concept back in 2016, and remained interested
> in the project. He refrained from participating in discussions on the
> topic. At the time of voting, he didn’t realize there was a possible
> conflict of interest.
> Mikel and his wife Erica are both cofounders and on the board of the Map
> Kibera Trust, which was awarded the Water and Sanitation mapping in
> Nairobi’s informal settlements microgrant [3]. Mikel did not work on, nor
> was tracking, this proposal. When voting, it was his oversight to not
> declare and abstain.
> Had Joost and Mikel abstained from the vote, the outcome would not have
> changed.
> Joost and Mikel individually, and as resolved at the September 2020 Board
> Meeting [4] the board as a whole, want to apologize for this mistake.
> To make sure this doesn’t happen again, in the likely event of a future
> Microgrants run:
> * We will no longer vote in bulk if there are projects with possible CoI.
> * We are going to ask applicants to explicitly state any relationships
> they may have with members of the Microgrant Committee and the Board,
> reducing work on the already busy Micrgrants Committee and OSMF Board.
> - Mikel & Joost & the OSMF Board
> [1] https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Conflict_of_Interest_Policy
> [2]
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Microgrants/Microgrants_2020/Proposal/Road_Completion_project
> [3]
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Microgrants/Microgrants_2020/Proposal/Water_and_Sanitation_mapping_in_Nairobi%27s_informal_settlements
> [4]
> https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Board/Minutes/2020-09#Conflicts_of_Interest_disclosure
> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
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