Digital maps help fighting Covid in Mali
Nathalie Sidibe is one of the founders of OpenStreetMap Mali, a youth organisation which started in 2014 to promote digital mapping, open resources and open data for the development and resilient communities building. OpenStreetMap Mali made an online map where people in Mali can find Covid programmes in their area. For the source, the map uses IATI data published by aid organisations working in Mali.
Nathalie presented the website last month in an international IATI conference, held online. “When Covid-19 started in Mali, donations of materials and money were pouring in from everywhere and the people wanted to have a look at these funds which came regularly, so we organized some awareness sessions and information sessions on the funds obtained, thanks to the data relating to COVID-19 available in IATI.” That map is online here.
“People can see on the map where Covid programmes are, and comment on the activity, and add photos and videos. In some cases the project exists on paper but doesn’t seem to exist in reality, so feedback from locals is useful. And the government of Mali has used the map to find out where more help is needed to fight the Covid crisis.”
OpenStreetMap Mali shows with this website that the IATI publications that aid organisations produce, can benefit not just their own or their donor’s purposes, but also locals and others. Nathalie says IATI was her only option to base this map on. “I’m not sure how we would have made the same impact in terms of transparency of Covid-19 if we didn’t have IATI data.”
If you publish data on Covid-19, make sure you follow the special guidelines for Covid activities. This way, you may even help organisations like OpenStreetMap Mali in their work on the ground. Next quarter, we will have a look at Covid data ourselves. Make sure yours is in there!