Map Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

The objective of Map Kibera was to make Kibera visible in order to inform and orient local residents and to create an overview of Kibera to have a solid basis to claim public service infrastructure. By using low-tech and open-source tools, barriers of access to digital technology are reduced significantly.


The information on this project was compiled by students from the University of Geneva as part of the Urban Futures Workshop. (full report).

Map Kibera Trust Map on wall

Kibera, the biggest slum and one of the most densely populated areas of Nairobi, was long a blank spot on official maps. In 2009, members of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community started a participatory mapping project together with local young residents. Equipped with GPS devices, they walked around Kibera adding all important points of interest, thus producing only after three weeks a first map of the area. Then, thematic maps with an overview about education and health centres as well as water and sanitation stations were produced. Due to the success of the mapping, the project grew into a community information project including blogs, videos, SMS news and oriented mapping (election polls, security map, etc.).

Part of Kibera and surrounding areas as they appear on OpenStreetMap. 2021. © OpenStreetMap contributors.
Part of Kibera and surrounding areas as they appear on OpenStreetMap. 2021. © OpenStreetMap contributors.


Implementation period: several years
Date: November 2009
Time life of the project: ongoing
Cost: n.a.; Funds from International Organizations (OSM, Jumpstart Foundation, UNICEF, i.a.)
Status of land: informal
Type of place: high-density slum


Stakeholders

Initial initiative and financing by international stakeholders:

  • OpenStreetMap Community (particularly Mikel Maron and Erica Hagen) are at the origin of the project
  • Initially mobilized funds from Jumpstart Foundation and OSM, later funds from UNICEF for further development of the project

Civil society:

  • Local, mostly young residents of Kibera implemented the project

Project is owned by the "Map Kibera Trust", an organization created by the mapping team

Target audience

  • All Kibera residents
  • Local government

Type of actions

  • Citizen participation: as mappers of their neighborhood
  • Experimentation & innovation: participatory mapping with open-source programs

Citizen participation

The Map Kibera project was initiated by two members of the OSM community who mobilized young local residents to co-produce maps of Kibera. Local residents were trained and became mapping experts. From the very beginning, the process was marked by collaboration, co-production and training.

Type of intervention

  • Participatory mapping
  • Co-production of thematic maps
  • Making Kibera visible and inform local residents and government
  • In a second phase: community information project with blogs, videos, and SMS news

Innovation

  • Process: participatory mapping using low-tech and open-source tools
  • Access and connection: training of local residents to become mapping experts and making data available for all

A wall in Kibera is painted with the security map created by Map Kibera. Photograph by © Map Kibera Trust.
A wall in Kibera is painted with the security map created by Map Kibera. Photograph by © Map Kibera Trust.


Results

Local residents are able to use GPS devices and to add and modify data on OpenStreetMap and other open-source platforms and programs. By doing so, they produce important information and become active in transforming Kibera. Access to digital technologies is democratized.
Due to the success of the mapping, the project grew into a community information project that still exists nowadays. Participatory mapping activities are replicated in other slums in Nairobi.


Contact

contact@mapkibera.org
http://www.voiceofkibera.org/contact


Resources

https://mapkibera.org
http://www.voiceofkibera.org

Data

  • Type of action : aménagement / équipement
  • State : En cours

Location