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Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania

by Tanzania Development Trust
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania
Crowdsourced Mapping to Prevent FGM in Tanzania

We were delighted to receive a scholarship to attend and present at the recent Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and State of the Map conferences.  These are global annual events where people come together to share knowledge about everything to do with OpenStreetMap, and we learnt a lot!

We spoke about Crowd2Map at an introductory session about OpenStreetMap - our section is here, and also gave a lightning talk - video here.

There were a huge number of very interesting talks, if you are interested there is more information here.

One of the things we were most interested in is how machine learning is going to help speed up the mapping process.  Microsoft have just released building location data for Tanzania and Facebook road data, both of which can be potentially incorporated into our mapping process to improve speed and accuracy.

As there is an FGM cutting season expected in December we are keen to look at anything that can help.

We are also planning another training event for all the Youthmappers and Community mappers to share good practice on how mapping can help Tanzania achieve the SDGs. 

So thank you again for your generosity!

Many thanks


New mappers
New mappers

We are delighted to announce that Crowd2Map has received an award from the UK Prime Minister's office called Points of Light.  This recognises volunteer achievements so is aimed at all 10,000 of our volunteer mappers, well done!

The WomenConnect training in Serengeti is going well and Rhobi and her team have been busy doing follow up visits to the digital ambassadors in all 78 villages.  They are also planning a big follow up event and microfinance launch in Mugumu next month, further details to follow. 

Mapping from satellite images continues in many areas of Tanzania.  Anyone with an internet connection can help.  We are currently mapping here.

If you would like any further information please get in touch!

Thanks again for your generosity!


The WomenConnect project training training first time smartphone users to map their villages so that girls can be better protected by FGM is going well, despite some issues with poor connectivity.  We have set up WhatsApp groups so that the women can ask questions, and get advice and support.  We are planning follow up training when women will get updated maps to display in their villages next month.  They will also get training on how to set up small businesses in their villages to boost income and show people economic alternatives to FGM.  We are setting up a revolving fund to give women small loans and they will get business advice and follow up via the WhatsApp group and follow up training.

We have also set up Youthmapper Chapters at SETCO Serengeti and in Muleba so that students in both places can help us map.

And Rhobi, the leader of the FGM activists we are working with was recognised for her achievements last week.  More details are here.

Thank you again for your support for this project. 


Mbalibali village
Mbalibali village

We are working withHumanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOTOSM) who were awarded a grant from the USAID WomenConnect programme to train women to better use digital technology to map and empower their communities which we started implementing this week.

This involves visiting each of the 78 villages and holding a meeting with the committee members and showing them the map of their village that we had produced in OpenStreetMap.   This was the first time they had ever seen a map of their village and they found them fascinating. We then showed themMaps.Me so they could see their location, zoom in and out and compare the digital version with the paper one.

We also trained the committee how to use smartphones as most of them had never used one before. They were very impressed by what they can do and loved the content we had downloaded onto sd cards, including Swahili videos about agriculture, FGM and womens' rights.  We also showed them how to report incidents of gender based violence, GBV, using a form in OpenDataKit on the phone. As access to smartphones is so low in these communities, especially for women, we are leaving one phone per village to be used in the project.

Female Genital Mutilation and Gender Based Violence more widely are huge problems in Serengeti District, as in much of Tanzania, and are very under reported, particularly in these remote villages.

The Tanzanian government introduced a policy in 2006 that every village should have a protection committee to address this issue at a local level.  Unfortunately this laudable policy was not followed up by funds for dissemination and implementation. Serengeti District set up committees in every village in June 2018 but since that time they have had no funding to visit the villages to introduce the programme and train the committee on their responsibilities. So we are delighted to be working with them to ensure the committees in Serengeti are trained in their responsibilities and also have the digital tools for the first time to enable them to carry them out.



Global mapathon
Global mapathon

Last monthRhobi was invited to tell her story as an FGM survivor and activist at a high level panel as part of the United  Nations General Assembly in New York.  She spoke movingly about begging her parents not to cut her, as she feared dying and her body being thrown in the bush to be eaten by wild animals, as had happened to her friend Sabina.  But her pleas were in vain and she was cut and nearly bled to death.  She has since dedicated her life to saving other girls from a similar fate.

You can watch a recording of her testimony here.

The following day Rhobi participated in our mapathon at UNFPA where we explained how better maps can help activists like Rhobi quickly find girls at risk of FGM and showed people how they can help to create them.  There were side events in over 60 countries as part of this global FGM event, including at the Ministry of Women in Somalia, and with FGM activists in Kenya, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Uganda, Djibouti and many more.  Together they mapped over 49,000 buildings and almost 7000 km of roads to better protect girls at risk.

At UNFPA Tyler and Rebecca from HOT also explained how maps can be used for many humanitarian purposes.  You can see the presentation here. DoI0MZRU8AAfIJg

And then Rhobi came to London for the UK premiere of the film about her work, In the name of your daughter.  

We are having another global mapathon in November for OSMGeoWeek - please join us online if you can, or at the London event.  Further details here.

Many thanks, Janet


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Organization Information

Tanzania Development Trust

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tanzdevtrust
Project Leader:
London, Greater London United Kingdom
$2,609 raised of $5,000 goal
107 donations
$2,391 to go
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