Together with the local communities/contributors from Vietnam, Madagascar and Mozambique, and Open Mapping Hubs (Asia-Pacific, and East & Southern Africa), I am very happy to share with you the collaboration Project: Localization as an Inclusion and Participatory Enabler (also available in French, Portuguese and Spanish).
Language barrier and the default to English puts non-English speakers at a systemic disadvantage throughout open mapping communities and humanitarian open mapping activities that HOT tries to support, resulting in significant missed participation and impact (Gayton, 2021) .
We believe that language localization will enable inclusion and participation of underrepresented groups in mapping, dialogues and other humanitarian open mapping activities.
We aim to develop baseline data to inform a self-sustainable localization strategy to bridge the gap between language and accessibility of Open Mapping resources that serve communities involved in humanitarian / development work (see HOT’s Priority Countries).
We will be running small experiments (i.e. translation workflows, and engagements) with local communities to test how localisation of resources could work in the main languages of 3 priority countries: Vietnam (Tieng Viet), Madagascar (French) and Mozambique (Portuguese).
If you wish to know more about this and want to have a chat, please feel free to send me a message.
Thank you and we hope to engage with you in this project! :)
Comment from salvoconducto on 13 October 2021 at 22:22
In my opinion HOT is a colonial American (Red Cross) project. Have you noticed how quickly officials from US railed against collaborators from non-privileged countries (slavic nations) because they are not used to the fact that even criticism shall not be formulated without “great” and “awesome”?
Comment from RebeccaF on 14 October 2021 at 12:28
Thanks so much for describing the details of the project, and to the Vietnam, Madagascar & Mozambique communities who are collaborating in it! I’m excited to learn how the experiments go and what learnings transition into developing a wider localization strategy. It would be great to hear if you have a list of any assumptions or hypotheses you will be testing through the experiment?
Comment from arnalielsewhere on 14 October 2021 at 14:39
@RebeccaF there are 3 assumptions (that I did not include in the diary but is in the project document):
Assumption 1: Localization will encourage and enable access and usage of our resources (tools, documentation, text and video manuals) and participation in our activities (e.g. services we offer such as training, open dialogues, etc).
Assumption 2: Localization will reduce the stigma (lack of English/European language fluency perceived as lack of intelligence or competence) and fear/lack of confidence that local communities feel when we communicate and engage with them.
Assumption 3: Localization will yield a better relationship with the priority communities/ countries we want to support.
Comment from RebeccaF on 14 October 2021 at 15:39
Hey, thanks so much for sharing those, great to leran more about what we can learn from the process!
Comment from TylerOSM on 15 October 2021 at 16:15
Very excited about the potential here and what we can learn from this. Arnalie, what types of things do you think will be prioritized as “resources”. Is it documents, training materials, certain websites like LearnOSM or localizing the front-end UI of our tech tools (adding more languages to Tasking Manager), or is it external communications? (As one example do we foresee English continuing to be used in regional social media https://twitter.com/openmapping_ap?lang=en or is this a lesser priority for now?)
Comment from arnalielsewhere on 15 October 2021 at 17:42
@TylerOSM hi Tyler, it differs per community. We want them to identify that instead of us identifying it since the local collaborators have the knowledge of what resource would be most beneficial/have highest value for their communities :)
To give you a background, here are the first resource/s that the communities have identified and why these resources (based on community calls), as well as translation status.
We will make future write ups/blogs/resports to share the progress of the Project. Thank you!