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News — 14 May, 2012

Update from HOT's Strategic Planning Meeting

Two weeks ago through a micro-grant from the Wilson Center; the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team board of directors, the Meridian Institute and staff from the Wilson Center met in Washington D.C. The goal of these two days of meetings was to develop a strategic plan for HOT to continue to grow in the next 3-5 years.

Two weeks ago through a micro-grant from the Wilson Center; the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team board of directors, the Meridian Institute and staff from the Wilson Center met in Washington D.C. The goal of these two days of meetings was to develop a strategic plan for HOT to continue to grow in the next 3-5 years.

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.

To move forward on these goals we have decided to appoint an Executive Director. It was unanimously agreed that Kate Chapman should stand as Acting Executive Director over the next six months. The exact responsibilities of this role will be defined by Kate with input from the board, advisors, members and OpenStreetMap community. Kate has is a founding member fo the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and has been focused solely on HOT over the past year.

While HOT beings expanding and moving forward there is also a need to make sure our projects continue to be executed well. Nicolas Chavent has been appointed Acting Project Director for six months to enure stability in our current work as well expand. Nicolas has been solely focused on HOT for the past two years, much of that work has been voluntary. Nicolas has lead HOT's work in Haiti since March, 2010, his field experience and dedication will be invaluable to the stability of HOT's project work.

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.

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. In the week we will be receiving a more full report from Meridian, disseminating it to our membership and community. This is to continue the discussion on how we will move forward. 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