Bangladesh has the highest number of slum dwellers – 60% of the urban population – in the South Asian region, according to a report launched recently by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. Bangladesh also has the highest number of urban people living below the poverty line – 21%, as opposed to 14% in India, 13 % in Pakistan, 5% in Sri Lanka and 15% in Nepal, the report states. A large portion of the city dwellers are living in slums that do not have access to their basic rights, such as fresh water and sanitation, education and health. Different national and international organizations are trying to ensuring the basic rights and service of the poor slum dwellers in different manners since last two decades to eradicate the poverty and uplifting their livelihoods. Save the Children in Bangladesh won the ‘Urban Innovation Fund Challenge’ in a region-wide competition. The winning idea was to design an information visualization and feedback system to provide better information on what really matters to those who need it most. So there will be a virtual knowledge bank set up named as Kolorob for slum dwellers to help them navigate their city using web and mobile applications. Users can also locate services in slums via a digital map—which will boast a feedback component—through kiosks in user-friendly community centres. Equipped with computers, internet, and room for gatherings, these safe spaces for children, especially adolescent girls, will host local facilitators who will offer information to slum dwellers. Kolorob’s vision is to create an on-line platform to improve access to information on essential services aimed at reaching a large proportion of the estimated 2-3 million residents living below the poverty line in Dhaka. This application has potential to impact a growing young population and social mobilisers in local neighbourhoods. Bangladesh has 13.2 million social media users which presents a unique opportunity to go to scale across Dhaka. As a pilot project Save the Children is going to test KOLOROB in two slum areas in Dhaka city where the location of various services will be mapped through and stored in OpenStreetMap. The strength of OSM is its adaptability and the freedom it offers for people to use it for whatever purpose they wish. Because the map data are available free of cost to everyone, maps can be created, downloaded and modified as desired using various software tools and visualizations. Therefore, OSM has proven to be an important tool to visualize and monitor the community and livelihoods.
GIS and Data management specialist Ahasanul Hoque([ahasan4u] (https://twitter.com/ahasan4u)) have conducted four OpenStreetMap training for 80 student volunteers and coordinated field mapping/data collection in the project areas as well as data uploading in OSM platform in August – October 2015. For imagery tracing and data uploading techosm task were created and used.
Time frame and schedule: Each training were two days long and started from 9AM-5PM. The data collection was done by 6 days, starting from 8:30 AM-4PM each day.
Data management: Each day after collecting the data using field papers, were stored in community office in slum area and data collected for two days were uploaded to OSM platform third day.
There are about 360 different category roads & tracks, 4000 buildings/houses and 300 different service points have been mapped in pilot slum areas. Since, Kolorob will enable users and service providers to search, rate and crowd-source feedback on essential service provision and in addition it will offer online access through information kiosks, therefore the map database will make the application highly resourceful and the free editable nature of openstreetmap will reflect the real time changes in the concerned service points or features.
For more about the project, visit here
For map activity and photos, please visit/join : KOLOROB and [OpenStreetMap Bangadesh FB group] (https://www.facebook.com/groups/osmbd)
Comment from karussell on 26 November 2015 at 09:19
Thanks for writing about this. Do you know how well these people are equipped with smartphones/computer and/or with internet? Are there internet cafes?
Or is this part of the project to make this also available to them?
Comment from aHaSaN on 1 December 2015 at 09:26
Hey Russel. Thanks for your comment man. The support actually gonna be provided through the community volunteers who will sit at the Kiosks with provided smart phone, computers supported by Save The Children. The community will get the rapid support from the kiosks. For your information, now the uninterrupted internet connections are available in Bangladesh.