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News — 17 January, 2018

Funds for community-led projects to improve resilience to disasters and crises: the 2018 HOT Microgrants program

2018 Microgrants Program  

Part of HOT’s mission is to enable anyone, anywhere to map their community. OpenStreetMap (OSM) community leaders worldwide are achieving amazing results on zero or near-zero budgets, mapping their local communities, cities, and countries. Many lack the basics to be able to scale their work, such as buying reliable equipment and funding to pay for mapathon costs. In 2017, HOT provided Microgrants to 9 OSM communities, and Device Grants to a further 7 communities. These grants enabled OSM communities to grow, providing the basics they needed to scale their work and transform their countries through creating maps. Read more about the 2017 Microgrants here.


In 2018, HOT will continue to support OSM communities worldwide through Microgrants and Device Grants. Data readiness is critical to speed and quality of response to natural disasters or sudden onset crises, and data driven response decisions can have a huge impact on reducing number of lives lost or impacted when a disaster or crisis strikes. In response to the devastating impact of disasters worldwide in 2017, this year’s Microgrants program will focus on communities that are actively using OpenStreetMap as a tool to prepare for, respond to, or reduce risks of disaster. Our goal is to provide opportunities for local leaders to build and strengthen their OSM communities’ ability to respond and contribute to global HOT responses through locally led projects that increase skills, capacity and experience.


Grants will be awarded based on what leaders tell us they need in order to carry out projects that broadly contribute to our mission to reduce the impact of disaster and crises through providing up to date map data. Microgrants are intended as a springboard to help communities grow, and will be provided to communities who are looking to scale their local community ongoing. HOT community support is provided before, during and after the Microgrant period.


The Microgrants program would not be possible without the generous donations received from community members and corporate partners during the 2017 #mapthedifference fundraising campaign. If you’re interested to donate to the microgrants campaign, please email



January 2018: Program development

February 2018: Program Launch and Call for Proposals

March 2018: Proposal review and decisions

April 2018: First round of funding disbursed

July 2018: Mid-term reports due and second round of funding disbursed

November 2018: Final reports due and program close


Frequently Asked Questions

* Who is eligible?

Open mapping-focused organizations and individuals in places vulnerable to disasters or sudden onset crises in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America/Caribbean and Africa. Priority will be given to legally registered organizations or leaders working in collaboration with a legally registered organization that can take on fiscal responsibility, although this is not required. Applicants do not need to be currently affiliated with HOT, however projects must contribute broadly to our mission of creating community led open map data to build resilience in places vulnerable to disasters and crises. Co-funding is not a requirement, although applicants with small amounts of co-funding will be given priority. HOT staff members are not eligible.


* What costs are eligible?

Eligible costs are largely determined on a grant-by-grant basis, and could include, but are not limited to, equipment such as GPS devices, phones, laptops and other technical resources to transportation and internet connectivity and meeting/working space rental. Additional eligible costs could include field or technical leadership/management training for key community leaders. If funding permits, costs of pursuing legal registration may also be eligible.


* Where does funding come from?

The global community came together through the 2017 #mapthedifference campaign to provide the funding and was joined by several corporate sponsors who share the vision of building OSM from the ground up locally.


* Who decides?

Applications will be evaluated and funding decisions made by a panel with representation from HOT senior staff, Board of Directors, HOT voting membership, donor organizations, and external advisors.

* How many grants will be made?

Microgrant amounts range from $2000 - $5000 USD. Applicants may apply for a grant of any amount in that range that enables a successful OSM focused project or local organization. HOT's objective is to provide 4-5 grants in 2018.


* In what form are grants made?

Grants will be made primarily in cash in order to support local economies and local decision-making. If additional in-kind resources are made available from donors (such as equipment or training courses) these may be provided in addition to cash grants.


* When do grants start and end?

Projects are expected to be carried out by the end of 2018.


* How do I apply?

Application details will be announced in the HOT newsletter, mailing list, and website in February 2018.


* How do I get more information?



OSM Niger - 2017 Micrograntees




Asian University for Women, Bangladesh


Crowd2Map Tanzania


OSM Zambia


Mozdevz, Mozambique