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News — 06 July, 2017

Bringing Remote Mapping to the Field

Following the preliminary results of both mapathons in Gulu, Northern Uganda, Istanbul and Kampala (World Refugee Day), HOT, and other community volunteers deployed information tools in refugee settlements and hosting communities, testing the feasibility of training refugees to directly collect and provide real-time up to date information (in addition to the data provided remotely through the above mapathons) to the NGOs and humanitarian agencies operating in the area. Specifically, WASH facilities were targeted and refugees trained to assess them by using OSM tools, in order to report the physical location, operating conditions, access and usage, as well as information translation on the map, to NGOs and agencies.  


A refugee community leader and NGO staff collecting data with OSM Tools

As a result of the data collected in the field, combined with the information gathered at the mapathons, HOT in Uganda is providing strategic information management products to UNHCR, Government and implementing partners, such as the density of WASH-related needs, based on an algorithm that compares the existing distribution of WASH facilities, the density of populated shelters and access.


An illustration of best practises for WASH Facilities in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Yumbe District.

As a testament to the importance of these efforts, HOT presented preliminary results at a high level UNHCR meeting, together with local partner organisations in Uganda, such as MSF and Catholic Relief Services. Additional mapathons will be conducted in July 2017, to support the planning of new settlement extensions, and provide NGOs and refugees with other data and mapping needs. In addition to supporting NGOs and refugees with data collection and mapping within the settlements, HOT will also map services and infrastructure in the hosting communities surrounding the settlements.


HOT developing a layer of WASH-related needs, highlighting cluster areas of high density of unmet needs




Gift of the United States Government - Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration - US Department of State