The Open Cities Accra project is a World Bank sponsored project that seeks to make Alogboshie and its environs resilient to natural disasters like flooding, through the creation and curation of geospatial data, community engagement and engaging government agencies and other organizations. The project is being implemented in Ghana by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), Mobile Web Ghana, and OSM Ghana.
As part of the project, we have engaged members of staff of some government agencies who are major stakeholders of this project. We had in attendance representatives of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Land Use, and Spatial Planning Authority, Forestry Commission etc. These representatives of various government agencies were taken through lessons on how to contribute to OpenStreetMap using ID editor and JOSM. We also had a data assessment session which involved assessing the available data at these various government institutions and also finding out which kind of data they would want to be collected. At the end of the event, most of the attendees expressed their profound gratitude to us and asked that we have an extended training session next time.
The project requires both remote mapping and field data collection. Therefore we floated an application form online for interested people to apply to be part of the project by volunteering as mappers. We had 97 people applying by the time the applications were closed. These people were invited over to Mobile Web Ghana for a short interview to assess their skills, determination, and availability. After this exercise, 30 of the applicants were chosen to take part in the Open Cities Accra volunteer-mappers training. The task ahead for them is one that requires a high level of skill in the operation of some mobile phone applications that are used in contributing to OpenStreetMap. Because of this, the volunteers were taken through an intensive 5-day training program to prepare them for the rigorous work ahead.
David Luswata (HOT), Enock Seth Nyamador (OSM Ghana) and Steve Donkor (OSM Ghana) are the trainers who took the volunteers through the following lessons throughout the 5 days:
- Mapping with the OSM ID editor
- Mapping with JOSM
- Remote mapping on OSM Task Manager
- Open Data Kit
- Open Map kit
- Introduction to GIS
As already mentioned, the project will include field data collection in Alogboshie, a suburb of Accra. Hence, the volunteers were taken to the field and trained in field data collection as well. Subsequently, all these mappers will be involved in field mapping, data collection and data validation of Alogboshie and its environs.
Find pictures of the training session and field data collection below: