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What is a regional hub?

Posted by RebeccaF on 12 February 2021 in English.

Following on from my last diary, I wanted to share more thinking around the principles and purpose underlying the new regional hub structure HOT is setting out, and continue the dialogue and evolution.

The purpose of a regional hub structure is to provide increasingly decentralised support to the OpenStreetMap movement; to power the evolution and growth of OpenStreetMap ecosystems in priority countries through contextualised and appropriate support and leadership.

Initial thoughts on what a hub should be are: hello

And initial principles:

  1. The hub serves the OpenStreetMap movement in its region. This has two implications: first, the hub does not serve HOT ‘the organization’. Second, the hub serves OpenStreetMap activities within HOT’s mission; i.e. relating to humanitarian or development outcomes.
  2. The hub needs to understand what community participation means in their region, and has the autonomy and flexibility to adapt their work according to this. Time will tell how similar the four hubs look to each other - but regional directors can flex this according to the feedback they get in their regions.
  3. The hub should focus on movement building - “it’s not a movement unless it moves without you” (recommended book on this:
  4. HOT’s global functional staff teams should support the hub - the hub can instruct HOT’s global teams how to support them.
  5. Hubs should champion HOT’s 9 core values:

Thoughts and feedback please…

Location: Sydenham High Street, Perry Vale, London Borough of Lewisham, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom


Comment from Palolo on 12 February 2021 at 19:23

Rebecca, Good content here. It seems that the titles are a mix of function and job positions. Maybe the bubbles would be better described by function? i.e. Training vs. Trainer.

I would also suggest adding a functional bubble for Quality Improvement. In the past HOT has been criticized for the quality of OSM data produced by our projects. It is much easier to properly map someplace once than fix poor or wrong mapping. Quality Improvement should incorporated in many of the other bubbles, but it should be one of the high level objectives for each hub as well as HOT in general.

Cheers Emmor

Comment from JanetChapman on 14 February 2021 at 14:43

We at Crowd2Map are looking forward to engaging with the East Africa regional hub. We hope they manage to reach as far as the digital champions in rural Mara, and the other community mappers in remote rural areas, that are very far from Nairobi in every sense..

Best wishes, Janet

Comment from RebeccaF on 15 February 2021 at 16:48

Thanks a lot for your comments! Emmor, I’ve updated some descriptions in line with your suggestions, appreciate it.

Comment from qeef on 22 February 2021 at 15:17

I’m bit worried. I feel that

This has two implications: first, the hub does not serve HOT ‘the organization’. Second, the hub serves OpenStreetMap activities within HOT’s mission;

is contradiction.

Comment from pedrito1414 on 5 March 2021 at 08:38

@qeef I see your point. It’s awkwardly worded.

I guess that HOT is trying to evolve to be a network enabler for people and groups leveraging (or wanting to leverage) OSM to solve problems in the humanitarian / development sphere. The hubs are a big part of how we try and do this.

We need to better at articulating this, for sure, but I think, for many people, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

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