Launched in May 2018 with the support of the Fondation de France, the Maps from here & abroad project aims to create new frameworks for exchange and intercultural dialogue between migrants (asylum seekers and persons under international protection) and members of their host society through mapping workshops.
20 workshops, 250 participants & 11 partners
The results of this first year of implementation are very positive, with a total of 11 mapathons organized in Grenoble, Villeurbanne, Nanterre, Ivry-sur-Seine, or Ambérieu-en-Bugey and 9 sensitive mapping workshops set up in Montmélian, Chambéry, Lyon and Villeurbanne, gathering a total of about 250 participants.
CartONG was able to count on the mobilization of a large number of partner associations and organizations in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region as well as in the Paris region. We would like to thank Bibliothèques sans frontières, Aurore, SINGA Lyon and Grenoble, SCOP La Péniche, Espace Larith, Centre Culturel Œcuménique de Villeurbanne, Ligue de l'enseignement de Savoie/Haute-Savoie, Centre d'Hébergement d'Urgence d'Ivry-sur-Seine & Nanterre, the Welcome Centre for Asylum Seekers of Montmélian & Ambérieu-en-Bugey, the PRIR service (service for the support of persons who have obtained international protection) and finally Alfa 3A, for having participated in our initiative. We also extend a sincere thank you to our volunteers who are always present and in a good mood at our workshops!
A thorough documentation and dissemination work
One of the main challenges of the project was also to develop educational materials and workshop facilitation methodologies for social actors in France. CartONG has therefore undertaken an in-depth work to document and disseminate several resources to help these actors organize mapathons, including:
- A tutorial on participatory mapping and contribution on OpenStreetMap and the HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) Tasking Manager also called "Mapathon Participant Logbook" (only available in French) for organizing structures as well as the participants;
This first pilot year was also a real success in terms of documentation and experimentation around sensitive mapping, an approach that is still little known and little used outside the field of university research. CartONG has thus produced two guides of good pratices on both sensitive mapping and the adaptation of the mapathon's format to new audiences (both only available in French for now on): i) « Partage d’expériences et de bonnes pratiques autour de la cartographie sensible » and ii) « Ateliers de cartographie sensible & participative auprès des personnes migrantes ». The latter aim to support associations wishing to explore these new cartographic methodologies that generate social cohesion.
What's next for the project?
The Maps from here & abroad project will continue in France in 2019, with the support of new partners. Based on this very positive assessment, CartONG intends to keep organizing mapathons as well as sensitive mapping workshops with existing partners but also with new associative and academic actors. Aware of the role that mapathons can have in terms of digital mediation, CartONG also plans to offer this type of workshops more widely to social groups who have been so far little exposed to digital literacy.
Finally, CartONG intends to continue to make use of the expertise and methodologies developed in sensitive and participatory mapping, in particular by proposing this type of activities in the context of new international projects. For example, CartONG is currently working on the implementation of participatory mapping workshops in Jérémie, Haiti, in partnership with the NGO CARE, to identify areas considered unsafe by the city's youth and women communities. We believe that the combined potential of participatory mapping (on OpenStreetMap) and participatory methods related to sensitive mapping is very interesting to bring new insights into humanitarian or development projects and better take into account the expectations and vision of local populations.
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Feel free to contact CartONG if you would like to get involved in the Maps from here & abroad project - as a volunteer, partner, etc. - or to explore with us the potential of sensitive mapping in international solidarity projects.