Collaborating with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, on OpenStreetMap

Posted by:
Nate Smith
Date posted:
Jun, 9 2017

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has recently signed a cooperation agreement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN's Migration Agency. This new collaboration will strengthen the way the HOT community supports organizations committed to respecting the rights and well-being of migrants. Through the collaboration, both organizations will support each other in times of need with readily accessible up-to-date data on urban and rural infrastructure and services available. Building partnerships with a focus on data and expertise sharing like this with IOM enables the wider humanitarian community to see a wider impact of OpenStreetMap.

Sharing data, tools, and expertise to multiply impact

Putting data in the hands of our humanitarian partners enables them to achieve the impact they have planned. IOM works around the world supporting the rights and well-being of refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and migrants. The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), an IOM mechanism to track and monitor forced displacement situations, collects and shares relevant data and information on a regular basis alongside many of HOT’s current partners. This close collaboration between HOT and IOM, particularly in relation to the DTM, will bring significant impact and improved synergy through better use of data and will provide insight to strengthen preparedness and response work to address the needs of vulnerable populations.

Look for three ways in the coming months where our two organizations will work together: 

  1. Planning pre-disaster or other preparedness baseline mapping projects. In areas where IOM works, preparedness mapping facilitates the support they provide to migrants and internally displaced communities.
  2. Connecting with local OSM communities. IOM and HOT work in many areas of the world together and our goal is to connect local OSM communities to IOM to support their work. 
  3. Starting a dialogue to strengthen collaboration. IOM and HOT will begin sharing ideas how OpenStreetMap and open source tools can support migrants and forcibly displaced communities. 

As a part of the HOT community, you can support the partnership by:

  • Following updates via HOT Newsletter or social media to know the latest about this project and others. Look for mapping tasks related to IOM where you can directly join in on the work;
  • Holding a mapathon or teach others about mapping to support refugees and migrants;
  • Donating to HOT to support mapping work through this collaboration.

We're very glad to be collaborating closer with IOM. Join us in the work!

Photo credit: IOM / Muse Mohammed