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News — 19 June, 2020

Four regions, five years, 94 countries, one billion people

In 2019, the HOT community developed a Strategic Plan, which stated an audacious goal: to map an area home to one billion people in OpenStreetMap. But one key question remained: where?

In order to answer this question, we assessed global disaster risk and poverty (both multidimensional and extreme) globally. We selected countries that met or exceeded one of these criteria, indicating that they face significant risk of disaster and/or high poverty levels:

  • Disaster risk “high” or “very high” (World Risk Index)

  • Multidimensional Poverty Index of 0.09 or higher (UNDP)

  • Multidimensionally poor population size of 4 million or more (UNDP)*

  • Extreme poverty levels of 25% or more (World Bank under USD 1.90/day)

This resulted in a list of 94 countries where we will focus our work as a global community over the next five years. For more details on the activities to be conducted, please see here.

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List of countries

The total population of all these countries is far more than one billion people, so HOT’s focus will be mapping the highest risk and especially vulnerable locations within countries, not always on mapping entire countries. Each year, teams working across HOT’s regional hubs will review the countries on their list to ensure our focus remains on meeting the greatest data needs from government and NGO partners. We’ll also take into account the legality and ethics of promoting citizen-led data collection at the national and sub-national levels. This means this list is likely to change; adapting to meet current humanitarian data needs and account for evolving local regulations.

Because HOT is a network, our community (in the broad sense - both individual contributors and humanitarian/development partner organizations) can help us to identify areas with the greatest unmet data needs in the coming five years. As always, because our mission extends worldwide, community members are encouraged to start or contribute to projects in any location even beyond the initial 94 priority countries if the project supports HOT’s mission.

* Countries such as Mexico and Peru were also included as priorities, as although they do not have high multidimensional poverty index, they have either a high absolute number in pockets of multidimensional poverty (over 4,000,000 people) or high percentage of population in extreme poverty (over 25% under US$1.90/day).