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News — 17 April, 2020

Rapid Response Microgrants: COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting communities across the globe in many shapes and forms.

Update: We have been thrilled to announce a first round and a second round of Rapid Response Micrograntees.

At HOT, we’re focusing on supporting vulnerable communities living in areas where existing crises may be intensified by the outbreak. For example, displaced people living in refugee camps or informal settlements, and those with additional vulnerability (e.g. places with a high incidence of TB or HIV/AIDS) could be at greater risk if they are not formally recognized as a high-risk community.

Living in unmapped areas could mean that these communities are left out of COVID-19 assistance programs. Right now, it is of the utmost importance that response mechanisms can be effectively planned and disseminated to ensure everyone has access to appropriate health and social care.

As part of our response, HOT is launching Rapid Response Microgrants: COVID-19. For these Rapid Response Microgrants, funds are designated specifically for remote-based activities that focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Successful projects will:

  • have a lifespan of 1-6 months

  • demonstrate collaboration with a local data user

  • include a logical project and budget breakdown (up to $5K of funding is available per microgrant)

Microgrants will be awarded to 4-8 OSM communities in Low and Middle Income Countries, to enable vulnerable communities to be supported during the pandemic, and foster growth of OSM communities in those areas.

In order to be eligible projects need to:

  • Directly support, contribute, or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Include indoor activities. HOT’s priority is community safety. During a global pandemic, where individuals are being encouraged by governments to stay indoors and implement social distancing, we believe that indoor activities are most appropriate. We define indoor activities as solo activities that do not include face-to-face interactions (for example, hosting an in-person mapathon would not be considered an indoor activity, whereas hosting a remote mapathon would be). However, outdoor activities will be considered if a) Government regulations allow it; and b) activities can be completed without any in person interaction. In this instance, we expect activities to be conducted at a very local level with no travel and within feasible walking distance of mappers homes

  • Demonstrate they are working in collaboration with a local data user

  • Projects do not need to be currently affiliated with HOT, but they must contribute broadly to the HOT mission of using open map data for humanitarian response and socio-economic development

  • HOT staff members and board members are not eligible to apply

Our Rapid Response Microgrant Programme has been possible thanks to our donors, which include Facebook, and several other of HOT’s corporate sponsors who share the vision of building OSM from the ground up locally.

Applications are now open! Our selection process is rolling, and submissions reviewed monthly for the foreseeable future. However, we recommend that proposals are submitted as quickly as possible as priority will be given to projects that are submitted early.