Our training programme is focused on two distinct areas: increasing the knowledge and capacity of our own volunteers, and increasing the knowledge and capacity of humanitarian partners.

Training our volunteers

MapAction volunteers test their skills at our annual disaster simulation exercise

Rigorous training underpins the reliability and professionalism of our service.

Every year our volunteers take part in an intensive simulation exercise, focusing on developing the skills they need to deliver our mapping service in the potentially challenging context of an emergency response.

Our training helps team members make judgement calls about what sort of products they should create given the time available and the volume of rapid requests coming in.


Recognising that the world is dealing with more conflict-related emergencies, we have boosted our security training so MapAction volunteers can deploy safely to environments where the situation can be highly unpredictable. Training involves simulations that enable the team to ‘learn by doing’ in a practical and safe environment. This has included practising first aid, calling for help and negotiating with combatants. We hope none of this will ever be needed, but we will always prepare the team for all eventualities.

Training external organisations
In between emergencies, we use our expertise and volunteer resources to help other organisations prepare for future disasters by:

  • Training humanitarian professionals to use the latest technologies to collect and manage data effectively so that they can deliver geospatial analysis themselves in the field. We teach regularly on courses run by the United Nations, Red Cross and NGOs.
  • Working with partner organisations in developing countries to ensure that appropriate map data resources are available in readiness for future emergencies.