Finalist: Mapping for Niger

The project will create a Volunteer Technical Community (VTC) by training and mobilizing Nigerien students in ‘collaborative open source humanitarian mapping’ to increase inclusive information sharing in crisis preparedness, international solidarity and citizen agency through targeted digital capacity building and outreach. The VTC will then engage key humanitarian actors in Niger to contribute to OpenStreetMap, a free online mapping tool. This initiative will train motivated youth in an employable skill, encourage volunteerism, and promote the active use of social media for positive outcomes.

Members of the Geography Club of the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey

Members of the Geography Club of the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey


  • Heleen Annemans

    When reading Orsolya’s proposal I find several elements which are really to be encouraged. As a development worker for the Belgian Cooperation in Niamey, I can confirm the need of these geography students to profound their practical skills. The project I work for partly focuses on construction of wells, vaccination pass etc. in rural environments. It is important to geo-reference and map the existing resources and villages before we can choose where to construct. It is however not easy to find experienced GIS experts in Niamey. Besides this, our project worked together with Master students of the geography department during to course of last year. We noticed as well that their practical and research skills should be boosted in order to get the results we asked for.
    As for the social media component, I think this is a very smart move to incorporate these skills, which are indisposible in our increasing ‘webworld’.
    Thank you for this well written, well thought proposal. I wish you all the best!

  • Ruaridh Davies

    Hello people in charge of the grant! I clicked on ‘recommend’ but nothing happened, so hopefully this message will show that I support this awesome project!

  • Wow, this is a great idea! I work on a project with youth in Niger, and a key issue we see is that they often lack a platform for expression as well as employable skills. This idea is a great way of contributing to both, and in a way that also supports local development. Congrats on a great initiative and good luck!!

  • Marc Van Houteghem

    This project is clearly well thought of and deserves a lot of credit for several reasons.
    First of all, the core of the whole project, which serves as a foundation for other added elements which are equally well-thought-of, is solid enough to support a whole project. The power of social media can not be ignored anymore, of which examples are to be found in abundance, in every aspect of life (Arabic spring, popular music videos, …). Using this knowledge and apply it to mapping for third-world countries is a brilliant idea. Furthermore, using the concept of transferable skills a more than powerful tool to make locals enthousiastic and by employing new skills and traing others, this results in a self-sustainable project. After all, the best way to get to know and get really submerged in a subject, is to share and teach it! I can relate to this, as a graduated engineer in technical physics, having taught the subject for several years. In this way I can also very much relate to the great idea of using the local university, and the intimate relationship with the existing community. A university is a very much unique working environment, allowing to be the ideal venue for teaching, learning and raising awareness, without losing the very much needed critical view on things. That the initiator of this project clearly has this latter factor covered, is obvious from the awareness about the present challenges, as are described.
    I would like to conclude by saying that this a very good project, that simply deserves the support that it needs.

  • Hi,

    I write this supporting message in quality of the Project Director of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).
    OpenStreetMap is a web project to create a free and open map of the entire world, built entirely from volunteers surveying with GPS, digitizing aerial imagery, and collecting and liberating existing public sources of geographic data. The information in OpenStreetMap can fill in the gaps in base map data to assist in humanitarian and development work for which free, collaborative maps are uniquely valuable. This is why HOT has been created in 2010, in order to promote this open approach and provide useful data for humanitarian and development stakeholders. Here is our website and its About to know more.
    We had the opportunity to work recently with Orsolya Jenei whom we greatly appreciated both her technical, social and management skills as well as her personal qualities and commitment in volunteerism.
    We also want to point out that the approach she details for her project totally fits with the one we are used to implement in various parts of the world, based on a mix of partnership with Academics and capacity building of a local community of volunteers.
    Last, we would support Orselya’s project by providing her and the future OSM community in Niger the technical and strategic remote support of the HOT community of volunteers, to help them adapt the mapping tools and documentation we create to the local context, map areas of interest based on imagery, or provide technical advices or feedbacks.

    I hope GlobalVoices will decide to fund her project, that I am sure would become a success


    Nicolas Chavent

  • This is a really smart initiative! I am a Nigerien and live and work here with youth for an NGO called Search for Common Ground. Your project addresses some key issues that we see, which are the need for new skills for youth, and youth having a voice. I think this is a great project for youth and a great project for Niger. Best of luck to you!

  • […] Mapping for Niger [en] [Mapeamento para o Rio Níger, em inglês] […]

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