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About this Fellowship

HOT is seeking an Applied Research Fellow (recent graduates, Masters and PhD candidates preferred) to undertake a project in a HOT country location from June-August 2019. HOT has formulated this research opportunity as a way to support our country teams in evaluating the impact of, building the evidence base for, and continuously improving their work. Projects are intended to be co-developed with HOT in such a way that fills an applied knowledge and evidence gap within HOT and provides meaningful experience, contributing to research goals of the Fellow.

Research Topic/Country Options (Please select one when applying)


HOT has supported the development of open data and the OpenStreetMap ecosystem in Uganda since 2015. OpenStreetMap became integral to the massive refugee response related to the crises in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo in 2017-19. We now need to assess the use and impact of open data across the response, looking at how data is being used by NGOs and government agencies toward the Refugee Response Plan (RRP) and Uganda’s long term development.

HOT has trained more than a dozen partners in use of OpenStreetMap in Uganda - this project will focus on following up on that training via qualitative and quantitative methods e.g. interviews, gathering information on what innovative uses have emerged & what humanitarian outcomes have improved as a result.

The purpose for this impact evaluation is to better understand the extent to which OSM data and Open Source tools like have been incorporated in the trained government and NGO planning and strategizing workflows, how OSM data and tools have improved community and national resilience, and how OSM data and tools have impacted the Refugee Response Coordination and planning in Uganda.

Project Background


In both Tanzania and Liberia, HOT has worked to build open geospatial data that supports delivery of basic services, such as effective solid waste management. This research project will develop a case study on how OpenStreetMap data supports this, focusing on effective solid waste management using better data and mapping. In Dar es Salaam, research will focus on the collaboration with GreenWaste Pro (& Yoshimi), and how that’s been instrumental in supporting private sector execution and improvement of their business model - leading to much more waste being collected and disposed properly, at the end of the day. In Liberia (Ganta, Zwedru, and Gbarnga) a combination of service, household and solid waste mapping has been used to inform the three different methods and business models in all three cities we’ve worked in.

Project Background


HOT has worked in Tanzania since 2014 under the Ramani Huria project, focusing on building urban resilience through open data and public-private partnerships. In Tanzania, we have several research options focused on urban resilience and on the growing technology innovation ecosystem in Dar es Salaam:

  • Assets and threats in Dar es Salaam: How to bridge the divide between high level stakeholders and local communities; looking at the effectiveness of establishing a Flood Decision Support System.
  • Innovation Ecosystem Map: Identifying and documenting innovations that have the potential to create social impact in education, health, and WASH; working closely with HOT’s local staff and partners at Open Map Development Tanzania (OMDTZ).
  • Locally-built drones: How is local tech, local knowledge, and a dose of creativity being used to build “do-it-yourself” drones? We’re looking for help writing up the process and documenting what’s working around control software, use of OpenDroneMap, OpenAerialMap.
  • Soil composition of Dar es Salaam

General Background on HOT in Tanzania


As part of the USAID Women Connect Challenge, HOT is supporting Crowd2Map, a mapping community working put rural communities of Tanzania on the map to prevent and respond to gender based violence, particularly Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). As part of the Women Connect Challenge, Crowd2Map has been training women to use technology and simple mapping tools, such as Maps.Me, to put their community on the map.

As part of this program, HOT is looking to better understand:

  • What is the larger technology landscape within Tanzania, and how are women either included or excluded from technology access and usage? What are the positive and negative implications of women using technology?
  • What is the connection between mapping & FGM in Tanzania? Are women finding out about mapping which increases their awareness of FGM, or are women engaged already in FGM advocacy and response and then finding out about mapping and using it in their work?
  • What are the larger benefits of connecting women to technology (on society, on women’s confidence levels, etc.)

General Background on Crowd2Map


  • Desire to structure a research project around one of these options
  • Enrolled in a related degree program with a faculty advisor OR able to structure an independent research project with the support of a research institution
  • Able to travel and work in a HOT country location from June-August 2019 (dates negotiable)
  • Prior demonstrated research and analysis experience with examples of final (ideally published) reports or outputs
  • Ability to seek co-funding for travel and living expenses
  • Outstanding written and spoken English
  • Prior involvement in HOT a plus
  • Letter of support from a faculty mentor/advisor if shortlisted


This is an unpaid position aimed at developing meaningful experience for the Research Fellow and actionable outputs for HOT. HOT will provide co-funding in the support of a partial travel/living stipend to be determined based on the needs of the Fellow and available funding. Research fellows are expected to seek funding from their university, research institution, or apply for grants to support their ability to undertake the project.