Video: Mapping impact in The Gambia

In 2022, MapAction, at the request of longtime partner UN OCHA, provided GIS and data support and training to The Gambian National Disaster Management Agency. Watch the video below to find out why the mission mattered and what the impact was. This work is made possible with funds from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.

MapAction’s largest ever intake of new volunteers is latest commitment to building resilience

This weekend a total of sixteen new specialist data volunteers will be welcomed into MapAction’s volunteer cohort. It is the largest ever single intake by the expanding UK-based humanitarian mapping and information-troubleshooting charity. The new volunteers come from a panoply of sectors: healthcare, energy and higher education, to mention but a few. They will support […]

Meet a MapAction pioneer on International Women’s Day

She survived a volcanic eruption and helped rebuild her island afterwards. Meet Lavern Ryan, a MapAction volunteer and GIS aficionado. ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world’ is a quote often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi but on International Women’s Day 2024, MapAction volunteer Lavern Ryan says it captures her thoughts. “I […]

“We see real outcomes.” MapAction impact in Central Asia in partnership with CESDRR

MapAction has delivered 15 workshops to disaster managers in Central Asia in the last five years in partnership with the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR). Widespread use of GIS and humanitarian information management tools means local disaster managers are evermore prepared for present and future hazards. When a fire broke out […]

Strengthening disaster preparedness country-by-country with the INFORM Risk index

MapAction is supporting national and local disaster management authorities to reduce and address the multiple risks faced, provide better early warning systems and facilitate risk-informed development. We kickstarted our work in Eswatini.  For nearly 20 years, in 140+ emergencies, MapAction has supported countries in mitigating disasters. Since July 2023, in partnership with the European Commission’s […]

Podcast: Towards disaster resilience with CDEMA in the Caribbean

Renee Babb, GIS specialist with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) – a longterm MapAction partner – and Lavern Ryan, a GIS specialist with the government of Montserrat and also a MapAction volunteer, talk with MapAction’s Alan Mills MBE on the GeoMob podcast about CDEMA and MapAction’s decade-long relationship. Find out why they […]

CoP 28 : Good use of data is key to mitigating the climate emergency 

MapAction urges world leaders and stakeholders gathered at COP28 to promote data-driven solutions to improve the lives of people on the front lines of climate change. (A version of this article was first published before CoP27 in Egypt in 2022. It was updated for CoP28 in November 2023. ) In recent years we have seen a […]

MapAction Data Science Lab: the story so far

Since its inception MapAction has worked on leveraging technical expertise and geospatial technologies to transform humanitarian decision-making. In 2022, the ‘Data Science Lab’ became an even more integral part of MapAction’s work, adding new staff, resources and projects.  By Daniel Soares, Head of Data Science, MapAction The first tentative steps to establish a data science […]

Ode to a geospatial humanitarian partnership and shared values

From Mexico to South Sudan, Malawi and worldwide, MapAction and CartONG have worked together for nearly a decade to bring geospatial solutions to the humanitarian aid and international development sector. Our underlying core shared values help us support NGOs and aid actors for more impactful assistance. What happens if information barriers aren’t broken down for […]

Updates: The Anticipation Hub, The 11th Global Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Action

Welcome to the first post in a new blog series on anticipatory action. The series will explore MapAction’s work to strengthen readiness and preparedness worldwide. We’ll kick off with a few facts and definitions, as well as a review of some of the key sessions and agenda points from the The Anticipation Hub: The 11th […]

MapAction looking for volunteers to unlock information management barriers in humanitarian sector

MapAction is looking to fill six new volunteer positions with candidates who have the right skills to support work in the following fields: geospatial, development of geospatial training content, data science, data visualisation, software development and data engineering. Help MapAction and the humanitarian sector mitigate climate change and health emergencies through innovative use of software, […]

UPDATES*: MapAction disaster mappers supporting UN on response to floods in Libya

Key facts (October 03 08:50 UTC) October 3. 08:50 UTC: OCHA delivers comprehensive assessment of Libya floods, supported by MapAction The latest update from UN OCHA, MapAction’s UN partner on the Libya flood response, outlines some key data points and highlights the devastation and damage caused by Storm Daniel. 250,000: people affected 40,000: people displaced […]

MapAction responds to Morocco earthquake, deployment team on standby

MapAction teams began responding to the devastating 6,8 magnitude earthquake in Morocco as news began to break on the morning of Saturday September 9th. The latest bulletin from the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior puts the death toll at above 2800, with thousands more injured. Every time a major natural disaster like this occurs, at […]

MapAction continues to strengthen global disaster preparedness in summer of 2023

With El Nino set to bring a particularly challenging period for humanitarians, MapAction members have been busy all summer working on disaster preparedness around the world.  If you missed our recent announcement, we are delighted to be able to introduce Colin Rogers, MapAction’s new CEO. Read more about Colin here and his decades of experience […]

MapAction excited to announce Colin Rogers as new Chief Executive

Colin Rogers will take over as MapAction’s Chief Executive from Liz Hughes OBE in October 2023.  Currently Head of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response at Plan International, Colin brings over 25 years of humanitarian experience at country, regional and global levels. He has previously worked in leadership roles for Médecins Sans Frontières, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam GB and […]

MapAction’s mapping of floods in Peru produced “quality visualisations of the issues”

In early April 2023, a MapAction team led by Luis F. P. Velasquez deployed to Lima, the capital of Peru, to help map the response to deadly floods at the request of the local office of the United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC), a longtime MapAction partner. The government of Peru had declared a state […]

Urgent appeal : Humanitarian Response Fund

Thank you for opening MapAction’s Humanitarian Response Appeal. We need your urgent help as we seek to fund our continuing responses to humanitarian crises in 2023 and beyond.  If you fund MapAction you won’t be buying blankets, water, shelter or food. You will be making sure that as those items arrive they get to where […]

MapAction conducts simulated volcanic eruption response exercise on Isle of Cumbrae

Every year, MapAction brings together its staff, its cohort of volunteers, partners and other stakeholders to hold a three-day exercise to simulate an emergency response to a given disaster. The objective is to strengthen the whole organisation’s disaster preparedness; to ensure MapAction is as ready as it can be for the next emergency response. This […]

UPDATES: MapAction humanitarian mappers supporting UN response to heavy floods in Peru

Key facts (April 26, 2023): April 26. 09:30 UTC. MapAction’s mappers have set up temporary office in Lima, Peru, in the last week and maps are already reaching UNDAC and partners. Cue a new MapAction Wall. April 14. 12:00 UTC. Experienced humanitarian mappers from MapAction have travelled to Peru to support the United Nations and […]

A volunteer-driven disaster relief model: a glimpse into a MapAction training weekend

MapAction is a hub of 80 data, geospatial and geography professionals who volunteer as humanitarian mappers for disaster relief. Our new Head of Communications Alex Macbeth shares his views below of a recent training weekend, providing an insight into how and why volunteers at MapAction do what they do. The GPS points towards a small […]

How maps can save lives when disasters strike

Prompt mobilisation of MapAction volunteers is helping the earthquake response in Türkiye and Syria. But as natural disasters intensify, the charity is appealing for funds to meet growing demand Read more in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Land Journal.

MapAction signs WHO partnership agreement underlining growing support for health emergencies

MapAction has signed the Standby Partnership Agreement with the World Health Organisation (WHO) which will allow the UK-based emergency response and disaster preparedness charity to have greater impact in health emergencies.  The agreement will see MapAction volunteers ready on standby to deploy to any health emergency operations at the request of the WHO. This will […]

UPDATES*: MapAction team in Turkiye working on disaster landscape maps and supporting earthquake response at UNDAC’s request

Key facts (March 15, 10:00 UTC): March 15: 10:00 UTC. More than 9 million people have been affected by the earthquakes in Turkiye, according to the latest data and situation report from UN OCHA. Nearly 3 million people have been displaced: 3.5 million people have been provided with shelter or accommodation; 354 new formal tent […]

MapAction to provide support to earthquake emergency response operations in Turkiye and Syria

At least 5000 people have been confirmed dead (updated: Feb 7, 09:30 GMT) after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and subsequent aftershocks, struck southeast Turkiye (formerly known as Turkey) and northwest Syria on Monday February 6th. That seismic event was swiftly followed by a second 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the same region and dozens of […]

MapAction team deploys to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support UN response to floods

Three members of MapAction, the humanitarian mapping agency, have had to cut short or postpone their Christmas plans as they drop everything to respond to the UN’s call for help in Kinshasa, DRC, to respond to deadly floods.  Experienced MapAction members Mark Gillick, Andrew Kesterton and Daniel Soares have deployed to DRC – initially for […]

MapAction reinforces pivot towards early warning work after 20 years of focus on disaster response

By MapAction CEO Liz Hughes MapAction’s 2022 Annual General Meeting celebrated 20 years of humanitarian service. The event in early December also served as a platform to announce the organisation’s increasing pivot towards early warning work – to consolidate global resilience to the climate emergency, health epidemics and conflict. 20 years ago a small group […]

MapAction’s partnership with Asian disaster reduction & response network ADRRN is part of ‘global localisation’ strategy

MapAction continues to help create resilience for geospatial and data science practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region working on emergency response and anticipatory action. It is part of MapAction’s ‘global strategy of localisation’, a commitment to empower regional disaster relief bodies and civil society stakeholders to be more resilient and sustainable. The East Asia and Pacific […]

MapAction helps combat malaria in Burundi with data

MapAction’s work has always applied its geospatial and data expertise in order to provide information on humanitarian needs. Now, due to the changing world around us, we are expanding our focus on issues such as health and in other areas. Our activities will increasingly aim to use data and geospatial information to combat major health […]

MapAction supports drought relief in Western Paraguay

Parts of Paraguay are experiencing a devastating drought. A La Niña weather pattern is being compounded by three consecutive years of poor rainfall. The Western region, or Chaco zone, where almost half the population is indigenous (approximately 44%), is particularly badly affected by the drought which is predicted to worsen and last until at least […]

London Marathon caps ‘year of endurance’ for MapAction volunteer, Alice

MapAction deployable volunteer, Alice Goudie, is running the London Marathon in support of the charity’s work, on Sunday 2 October, 2022. Read Alice’s inspiring story below and please consider making a donation to help Alice on her way. The Marathon won’t be the only amazing thing Alice has done this year; in February MapAction deployed […]

MapAction aids UN flood response in The Gambia

Heavy rainfall in recent weeks has affected the majority of the country (particularly the West Coast, North Bank and the Greater Banjul areas), causing significant floods and flash floods which have resulted in casualties and widespread damage. MapAction has sent a two person team of experts with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team […]

MapAction attends UN Global Geospatial Information Management event

MapAction’s Chief Executive, Liz Hughes, and senior geospatial expert member, Alan Mills, are at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. They are representing MapAction at the twelfth session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), under MapAction’s official observer status. The event, held from 3 – 5 August […]

Working with Civil Society Organisations to harness powerful information and data

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) deliver much of the world’s humanitarian aid, build resilience against disaster and advocate for many of the world’s poorest people. Enabling them to take advantage of information and data technology, in-line with other parts of the humanitarian sector, needs to be a priority.  MapAction is working with several CSO networks, exploring […]

Further mapping and data analysis support provided to the Ukraine humanitarian response

MapAction continues to support humanitarian efforts relating to Ukraine. Most recently this has been through the Information Management and Analysis Cell (IMAC) at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) headquarters in Geneva. We have seconded a team member to map and analyse data and information relating to the many humanitarian […]

MapAction uses mapping and analysis to aid the Ukraine crisis

The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine has resulted in a steep rise in humanitarian needs as civilians flee the fighting into other parts of Ukraine and surrounding countries. MapAction’s range of mapping, data visualisation and analysis skills can obviously be of great help to humanitarian coordinators who need to make the best decisions for […]

MapAction responds to drought and food crisis in Kenya

  A serious drought is affecting parts of East Africa. Three consecutive failed rainy seasons has meant crops are failing, livestock is being badly affected and cereal prices are rocketing. A drought warning has already been issued for many parts of northern and eastern Kenya – a mainly rural area with already high rates of […]

MapAction Madagascar teams handover at Heathrow 

After two weeks in Madagascar responding to multiple cyclones MapAction’s humanitarian mapping team flew into Heathrow on Wednesday February 23. They had a handover meeting with our next team who are now en-route to Madagascar to replace them. Normally these handovers are in-country but travel challenges mean it was impossible this time. They will join […]

MapAction supports the Start Network to improve early action in humanitarian response

As part of a growing trend, humanitarians are now anticipating crises and acting prior to their onset, enabling faster, more dignified and more cost-effective humanitarian responses. Using data and analytical approaches we can now predict humanitarian shocks brought about by extreme weather, conflict and a range of other sources with increasing confidence.  Geospatial data, data […]

MapAction sends team to aid Madagascar Cyclone response

MapAction has mobilised a team to support the humanitarian response following Storm Batsirai, which hit Madagascar on Saturday evening. The team is due to leave on Tuesday. Batsirai, a category three cyclone, swept away cars and houses, causing loss of life, flooding, landslides, destruction of infrastructure. It arrived with the country still reeling from Storm […]

MapAction renews partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency

MapAction is proud to renew its Memorandum of Understanding with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) for another four years.  MapAction’s collaboration with CDEMA and its participating countries through training and building capacity, enables better integration of geospatial technologies into disaster risk management. The new MOU will support CDEMA’s capacity to provide geospatial expertise […]

MapAction wins Lloyd’s Market Charity Award

MapAction has been awarded £25,000 by the Lloyd’s Market Charity Awards in recognition of our disaster response and preparedness work.  The award will be used to enhance MapAction’s operational capability to help different regional and national emergency management bodies prepare for future humanitarian emergencies, and to help with responses to shocks and emergencies when they […]

Deepening the impact and effectiveness of humanitarian information

MapAction has begun an important and exciting programme of work funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID BHA).  The new grant, aimed at strengthening the sector, runs from 2021-2024. It will see MapAction working with local, regional and international organisations to ensure that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and information […]

Volunteer intake boosts skills and capacity

MapAction’s work is built around the skills and dedication of its volunteers. They work in numerous different fields in their day jobs and join us to undertake emergency and planned assignments both around the world and remotely.  This year, after a careful selection process, we are delighted to welcome two data scientists, a data engineer […]

MapAction signs an MoU with the Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network

MapAction has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network (ADRRN) with a view to stimulate further cooperation between the two organisations and to leverage our collective knowledge in order to better anticipate and prepare for future emergencies. This agreement demonstrates our commitment and desire to work with in-country Civil […]

Our largest training event of the year

On 17-19 September, MapAction held it’s largest annual training event, a realistic simulation of a humanitarian emergency, with colleagues from partners including the British Red Cross, Insecurity Insight, Save the Children and Tearfund. Our biggest training event of the year is in full swing. A disaster simulation exercise featuring storm flooding in the fictional country […]

South Sudan data package to support effective and equitable Covid vaccine delivery

COVID-19 has been tough for all of us but the development of COVID-19 vaccines should offer a lifeline to the whole world. However, for many, especially those in the world’s poorer countries, it’s yet to make an impact.  As part of the drive to provide equitable access to vaccines, international agencies involved in COVAX need […]

Contributing to excellence in emergency response

We are working with our colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) to share valuable insights and experience, and to learn about how AHA is adapting and developing the expertise of its team. The centre recently ran a series of virtual sessions which […]

Mapping COVID crises with GIMAC

So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly caused 214 million illnesses and killed nearly four and a half million people worldwide (Google statistics). The impact on the poorest and most vulnerable people is immense, especially where populations are already facing several humanitarian crises.  MapAction has been working with GIMAC (the Global Information Management, Assessment & […]

MapAction supports response to deadly earthquake in Haiti

Over a thousand people have died and many more have been injured in a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit on 14th August which has brought devastation to the Caribbean nation whose population is already highly vulnerable due to political and civil unrest. The epicentre of the earthquake was near the Northern […]

Raising vital funds through the London Marathon

Five heroic individuals are gearing up to run the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon for MapAction. Our runners (and their fundraising pages) are: Aaron Berdanier – running virtually Tim Davis Ian Davis Paul Rogers Ed Wallington Ian Davis, who is Director of Fundraising and Communications at MapAction, is running this year and says: “2021 is […]

Training Caribbean disaster managers

We are proud to be supporting the delivery of an online course in crisis mapping in the Caribbean this month. The training course will involve around 50 disaster management professionals from across the Caribbean and is in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), with input from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).  This […]

Strengthening urban resilience with GNDR

MapAction’s strategy to 2023 aims to use geospatial technology and insight to bridge the gap between humanitarian need and available resources. We are doing this by, among other things, helping local, regional and global civil society networks to conduct their own geospatial analysis, and bolstering the resilience of urban communities to different types of crises. […]

Training moves online for emergency responders in Central Asia

During April and May, MapAction is providing online training in mapping and data tools and techniques to emergency responders in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. This is part of an ongoing programme of work with the Central Asian Center for Emergency Situations & Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR) to improve and expand disaster preparedness, relief and recovery activities across Central […]

MapAction and HeiGIT partner to further geoinformation innovation

The Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) and MapAction have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining their plans to collaborate in a number of areas. Both organisations share a common vision to support humanitarian mapping by providing innovative geoinformation services for humanitarian response, mitigating risk, anticipatory action and economic development. This includes developing up-to-date […]

MapAction supports St Vincent volcano emergency response

MapAction is providing mapping and information management support to the La Soufriere volcano emergency on the island of St Vincent, in response to requests from both CDEMA (Caribbean Disasters & Emergency Management Agency) and UN OCHA’s regional office.  Explosive eruptions from La Soufriere since April 9th have caused ash clouds to cover much of St […]

MapAction partners to support COVID-19 vaccine delivery

Administering billions of shots of COVID-19 vaccine around the world is a logistical challenge of unprecedented proportions. It is even more complex in countries lacking basic healthcare infrastructure, cold storage or comprehensive transport networks, or where accurate population information is not available. Understanding how geospatial analysis can help, MapAction is partnering with other geographic information […]

MapAction selected for Google Summer of Code

MapAction has been chosen as one of 202 organisations taking part in Google’s 2021 Summer of Code, a global programme that aims to bring student developers into open source software development. As part of the scheme, which has now entered into its 17th year, students can apply for placement projects from 202 open source entities, […]

MapAction supports response to Equatorial Guinea explosions

Following a series of explosions on 7th March at an armoury of the Nkuantoma Gendarmerie and military barracks in Bata, the economic capital of Equatorial Guinea, The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) reached out to MapAction to support the response. Over 100 people were reported to have been killed and 700 injured in […]

Interactive map shows violence and threats to health workers during COVID-19

The increase in the number of security incidents affecting healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been highlighted in an interactive web map launched today. Incidents include the arson of COVID-19 testing facilities, the targeting of health workers on their way home from clinics, and violent responses to mask requirements. Developed by Insecurity Insight, a […]

MapAction contributes to new health emergencies handbook

Over 50 authors, including two MapAction team members, have contributed their expertise and insight about working in health emergencies to a new handbook for humanitarian professionals. Spearheaded by the Robert Koch Institute, In Control: A Practical Handbook for Professionals Working in Health Emergencies Internationally is aimed at preparing and supporting those deploying internationally during humanitarian […]

MapAction members recognised in New Years Honours

MapAction’s Chief Executive Liz Hughes and one of our long-serving volunteers, Alan Mills, have been awarded an OBE and MBE respectively in the Overseas and International Honours List 2021 announced last night. The awards come in recognition for their services to international development and humanitarian crisis operations. Alan Mills has been a MapAction volunteer since 2005, […]

MapAction welcomes six new volunteers

It takes a special kind of person to join MapAction’s band of very dedicated and highly skilled volunteers. Following a competitive recruitment process, six new faces have joined our team, expanding our capacity to provide knowledge and practical support to organisations around the world preparing for and responding to different types of emergencies. The new […]

Emergency support for hurricane-hit Guatemala

A three-person MapAction team is today travelling to Guatemala following extreme flooding and catastrophic landslides in 12 of 22 of the country’s administrative departments caused by Hurricanes Eta and Iota. Ten departments have declared a state of emergency and the Guatemalan government has requested foreign assistance. Around one million Guatemalans are estimated to be directly […]

Responding to Hurricanes Eta and Iota

Countries in Central America are facing catastrophic winds and flooding as Hurricane Iota, a Category 5 storm, makes its way across Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. With wind gusts of up to 250km/hr and torrential rain, Iota made landfall in northeast Nicaragua last night. It is compounding the damage and devastation inflicted by Category 4 […]

Helping to build new Caribbean Risk Information System (CRIS)

Launched today, the Caribbean Risk Information System (CRIS) is a “one stop shop” for gathering and sharing information and data on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation across the Caribbean region. The CRIS platform has been created by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in collaboration with the World Bank and other partners […]

Partnering to support education in Mexico

MapAction is working in close collaboration with our partner CartONG to provide GIS & information management support to UNICEF – another long-term MapAction partner – on an as-needed basis around the world. Working with UNICEF’s head quarters, country offices and partners in different parts of the globe, we are focusing on helping with geospatial data […]

Communicating humanitarian needs and impacts in Eastern and Southern Africa

For over a year, swarms of locusts have been ravaging large parts of rural Africa, affecting different countries at different times. Stripping the land of vegetation and destroying crops and food supplies, the highly destructive pest is causing additional severe food insecurity for communities already struggling to recover from drought and flooding, as well as […]

MapAction contributes to webinar on emerging urban challenges

Two MapAction members contributed to a one-hour discussion of how use of collaborative networks and advances in geospatial technology can improve humanitarian outcomes in urban settings. Professor Melinda Laituri of Colorado State University and the Secondary Cities initiative was Chair of the event, with talks from Alan Mills and Chris Ewing, both of MapAction.   […]

MapAction provides support to Hurricane Eta and Typhoon Goni responses

MapAction teams are in action again, this time providing support to the humanitarian responses to Hurricane Eta in Central America and Tropical Typhoon Goni in South East Asia. Hurricane Eta – A coordinated team of MapAction GIS volunteers is working remotely in support of UN OCHA’s Regional Office for Latin America and Caribbean (ROLAC) as […]

Auction of famous antique map collection

MapAction ambassador Farhad Vladi is a world-renowned collector of antique maps. Over many years, he has travelled the world, seeking out the finest, rarest, and most beautiful examples of early cartography. Now he is putting this incredible collection up for auction, with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting the work of MapAction. Included in the sale is the first map […]

Responding to the Beirut explosion

MapAction personnel began working yesterday on gathering data and producing reference and situational maps for use by first responders and humanitarian teams in Beirut following the devastating explosion that ripped through the city on 4 August. A three-person MapAction team will arrive in Beirut tomorrow or Saturday to provide mapping and data management support to […]

COVID-19 modelling with the Centre for Humanitarian Data

Since March this year, a MapAction data scientist has been based at the Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague, supporting its workstream on predictive analytics. The aim of this important work is to forecast humanitarian emergencies and needs in order to trigger responses before a disaster occurs. One of the projects the Centre’s predictive […]

MapAction strengthens partnership with CartONG

MapAction and CartONG, a French NGO specialised in humanitarian information management, have been working together closely on several projects in recent months. Most recently, we have been providing support to CartONG to help deliver a global information platform for MSF and working with them to provide a national education dashboard for Mexico, as part of […]

Supporting refugees in Northwest Syria

Earlier this year, MapAction was asked by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to send a team to Turkey. Their mission was to provide assistance to humanitarian teams there and in Northwest Syria who are supporting the very large numbers of refugees and internally displaced people that arrived in the region […]

MapAction helps create UK COVID strategic planning system

The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCS EP) is leading a collaborative initiative to establish a UK-wide coordination system for civil society organisations and charities participating in the country’s domestic response to COVID-19. It aims to provide support to people in vulnerable situations who aren’t able to get help locally. The initiative, which is […]

2.6 Challenge success

At the end of April lots of people took part in the MapAction 2.6 Challenge, finding creative and impressive ways to get active using the number 2.6 as a theme while maintaining social distancing. Bouncing, hopping, putting, running, cycling and swimming were some of the activities undertaken, measured in miles, minutes, multiples and – of […]

Helping WHO with mapping in Libya and Chad

MapAction volunteers have been supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in Libya and Chad to process and map data about health and sanitation services, in order to support the response to COVID-19. The volunteers have been working remotely, alongside each country’s health cluster (networks of WHO partners that work together to relieve suffering and save […]

Join the MapAction 2.6 Challenge

At a time when charities throughout the UK and around the world are being severely impacted by big drops in fundraising income caused by the Corona virus, MapAction is busier than ever before. We’re helping national governments, the UN and humanitarian organisations across the globe make rapid sense of the COVID-19 pandemic and plan the […]

MapAction provides GIS support for MSF’s COVID response

MapAction’s partner Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides rapid-response medical teams to assist in conflict zones, natural disasters and epidemics. On any given day, its staff treats tens of thousands of patients for a variety of illnesses in its medical programmes around the world. MSF is very concerned how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect people in […]

MapAction helps response to Cyclone Harold

While much of the world was focused on battling COVID-19 last week, a powerful tropical cyclone swept through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga, causing significant damage and loss of life. With gusts over 170mph and rainfall of 250-450mm, Tropical Cyclone Harold was the worse storm to hit Vanuatu since Cyclone Pam in 2015, […]

MapAction’s Caribbean network helps prepare for COVID-19

MapAction has been helping its partners the World Food Program (WFP) and Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to distribute mobile app questionnaires about availability of and access to food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past several years, we have been working with CDEMA and other organisations to build a network of GIS professionals […]

Helping UN Asia Pacific COVID-19 response

A MapAction team member currently based in New Zealand is providing GIS, mapping and information management support to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Asia and the Pacific (ROAP). Over the next two months, he will be helping ROAP to support countries that have limited public health infrastructure and resources to […]

MapAction appoints new treasurer

Steve Harper, who works as Charities Director at Hays Macintyre LLP Chartered Accountants, recently joined MapAction’s board as treasurer. Steve acts as auditor and advisor to national and international charities and is co-author of the International Charity Financial Benchmarking Report. He is a qualified chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and […]

MapAction and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team formalise partnership

This week, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise our ongoing working relationship with our partner Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) at Humanitarian Networks Partnerships Week in Geneva. HOT is an international team dedicated to humanitarian action and community development through open mapping. MapAction and HOT have been collaborating for some time to ensure that humanitarian teams have […]

Geospatial training in Guyana

The latest phase of our collaboration with Unicef and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) of Guyana is currently underway in the country’s capital of Georgetown. We are training CDC volunteers in spatial techniques to help respond as needed across the country, including potential flood response and assisting migrant communities. Participants in this week’s practical training […]

Earthquake exercise in Thailand

Three MapAction volunteers were in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this week, participating in an International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) earthquake simulation exercise involving over 400 participants from 27 countries. The MapAction team provided maps to assist the coordination of the response to the realistic disaster scenario. Thanks to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster […]

Thanks to our outgoing Chair

On 7 December at MapAction’s annual general meeting in Kent, UK, after a phenomenal 12 years of unbroken service on MapAction’s board, Nigel Press (above left) handed the baton to incoming Chairperson Nick Moody. Nigel has been closely involved with MapAction since the very beginning, as International Director, board member, Secretary to the Board and […]

Responding to floods in Djibouti

Two MapAction volunteers are travelling to Djibouti, East Africa, tomorrow at the request of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) to assist the response to devastating floods that have affected up to 250,000 people. Flash floods occurred when two years’ worth of rainfall fell in a single day on top of several days of […]

New partnership with German Federal Foreign Office

MapAction has formed a new partnership with the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) Humanitarian Assistance to help improve the use of technology and data in humanitarian decision making. As part of the broad-ranging programme, MapAction is working on greatly reducing the time and effort required to create maps and data products needed in many emergencies, […]

UN On-Site Operations Coordination Centre course in Estonia

Two MapAction members are currently in Tallinn, Estonia, participating in and helping to facilitate a course for UN On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) Assessment and Analysis Cell teams. Participants are looking in detail at ways in which data and analysis can inform fast-moving and chaotic emergency situations. MapAction’s CEO Liz Hughes is also in Tallinn […]

INSARAG earthquake simulation in Azerbaijan

Earier this month, three MapAction volunteers provided mapping and data support to an International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) earthquake simulation exercise in Azerbaijan, known as the Africa-Europe-Middle East (AEME) Regional Earthquake Response Exercise (ERE). Thanks to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance for supporting this important disaster preparedness work.

UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination training

At the end of October, two MapAction volunteers participated in a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) refresher training course in Neuhausen, Germany. As well as presenting to participants on humanitarian mapping, they supported the simulation exercise with mapping. These regular training courses enable all involved to enhance and update their skills and knowledge and […]

Emergency response training in Indonesia

Two MapAction members have just returned from Sentul, Indonesia, where they have been working with our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) partners to help provide training to new members of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT). Congrats to our 22 new graduates of ASEAN Emergency Response & Assessment Team (ERAT) for conpleting […]

Sharing insights at INSARAG meetings in Chile

This week, a MapAction volunteer has been participating in discussions and strengthening relationships with our partners at the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) Information Management Working Group and Team Leaders meetings in Santiago, Chile. These conversations enable us to continuously improve how we visualise data collected by INSARAG teams. Thanks to the USAID […]

Assessing communities’ needs in Afghanistan

After years of conflict, natural disasters and drought, a large proportion of communities in Afghanistan are in crisis and many people have fled their homes in search of safety and security. Since last year, MapAction has been working with partners including REACH and ACAPS in Afghanistan to support country-wide assessments of humanitarian needs, including hard-to-reach […]

Responding to floods in Lao PDR

At the end of August and beginning of September, Tropical Storm PODUL and Tropical Depression KAJIKI caused heavy rain in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. This resulted in flooding in six provinces in the southern part of the country. 1,658 villages across 47 Districts have been affected. A MapAction volunteer is currently working in the […]

Internal displacement crisis in Iraq

A two-person MapAction team is currently in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), working with the humanitarian information initiative REACH. We are supporting REACH to increase understanding of the region’s internal displacement crisis and the needs of those caught up in it. Since the end of military operations, around 4 million […]

More GIS training in Central Asia

Last week a MapAction team was back in Kazakhstan continuing our collaboration with Central Asia’s Center for Emergency Situations & Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR). We were training emergency responders from Shymkent, Kyzylorda, Turkestan & Jambyl in GIS, mapping and data management. The event appeared on local TV news: https://youtube.com/watch?v=OJ5qVpjiH64 (in Kazakh). This week, the training continues with […]

Supporting United Nations training exercise in Indonesia

This week MapAction is in Sentul, Indonesia, to support an induction training course for the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC). As well as supporting an earthquake simulation exercise with mapping, three MapAction members are delivering training on GPS, information management and the use of maps for humanitarian response. MapAction regularly provides training and […]

GIS training for disaster preparedness in Kazakhstan

A programme of training for disaster management teams across Kazakhstan has been continuing this week. Employees of the Department for Emergency Situations of Almaty, the East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar regions have been learning about geographic information systems (GIS), data management and mapping on a course jointly provided by MapAction and the region’s Center for Emergency Situations […]

More training for Caribbean disaster management teams

Two MapAction training courses are in progress in Trinidad & Tobago this week. Three MapAction team members are privileged to be working with members of civil protection response teams from Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Surinam. We are collaborating to share geospatial skills and experiences to support readiness for response to communities. In the region, […]

Training UN staff and partners in Switzerland

Last week, a MapAction team was in Morges, Switzerland, training United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination (UNDAC) team members from around the world in humanitarian mapping as part of a two-week intensive induction course. UNDAC training courses take place regularly throughout the year in different countries and MapAction is often involved, providing mapping support to […]

Countdown to the London Marathon

It’s just over a week until the 2019 London Marathon. Five fantastic MapAction runners are making their final preparations for the big race, and some of them are feeling quite nervous. We’re looking forward very much to cheering them on at miles 13 and 22 and celebrating with them when they cross the finish line.

MapAction supports Cyclone Idai response

On Friday 14 March, Cyclone Idai made landfall along the south-eastern coast of Africa. With sustained wind speeds of 120mph and heavy rain, it is now recognised as one of the most intense recorded weather events to hit the region. Many affected areas were already heavily waterlogged, making the overall effect even worse and causing […]

Last chance to join the London Marathon!

We unexpectedly have one space available for this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 28 April. Now’s your chance to trump all your friends’ new years’ resolutions by joining our team of runners taking part in this incredible event!

MapAction Volunteer(s) of the Year

On 1 December, MapAction held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which we looked back over 2018 and thanked our volunteers and members who have given so much to us over the course of the year in order to further our humanitarian work. This year, unusually, two volunteers were named as MapAction Volunteer of the Year.

UN World Geospatial Information Congress

Last week MapAction’s CEO Liz Hughes was in China at the UN’s international forum for global geospatial information management presenting on a panel looking at how we can better prepare for disasters.

Seven days of GIS

To mark GIS Day and celebrate the impact that GIS has in humanitarian work, we’re sharing ‘Seven days of GIS’. Each day for seven days, we’re posting a favourite map or fascinating fact about GIS.

Venezuela economic crisis impacts Guyana

More than two million people have fled the economic crisis in Venezuela. Over the next two months we will be working in Guyana with UNICEF and the Civil Defence Commission of Guyana to help them with mapping and data management to meet the needs of people arriving from Venezuela and the Guyanese communities hosting them.

MapAction and CDEMA working together in the Caribbean

In recent years we have begun working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to help prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies in the Caribbean region. We collaborated around the responses to Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and last week’s Tropical Storms. We have also begun […]

Caribbean storms: our response

Storms Isaac, Florence, Joyce and Helene are currently passing across the Caribbean region and Southern USA and we are monitoring and mapping their progress together with forecasts of likely wind speeds, storm surges, flood risks and other hazards.

Helping refugees in Uganda

Around 1.4 million refugees are currently living in 30 settlements in Uganda. Many of them have fled conflict or abuse in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. MapAction has been helping to assess and map their needs.

New partnership to improve disaster response in Central Asia

The Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR) for Central Asia and MapAction yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise a new joint working relationship. We are collaborating around the use of mapping and information management to improve and expand disaster preparedness, relief and recovery activities across Central Asia.

Roll out of Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters

MapAction’s Chief Executive Liz Hughes recently took part in the Eighth Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) at the UN headquarters in New York. She also took part in discussions during a Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters meeting that took place as part of the congress.

AHA Centre and MapAction partner to strengthen disaster management in Southeast Asia

PRESS RELEASE – The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), established by ten Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to facilitate cooperation and coordination of disaster management across the region, has entered into a formal partnership with humanitarian mapping charity MapAction. The Memorandum of Intent was […]

MapAction at SIMEX 2018

On 15-17 May, MapAction played a central role in SIMEX, the UK’s largest international response exercise. More than 3,000 people from a range of national and international emergency response organisations took part in the simulation in Portsmouth, which was also attended by the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt.

Using imagery to best effect in disaster relief

By Alan Mills, MapAction volunteer
Can satellite imagery and UAV data become useful data sources for humanitarian decision making in disaster relief coordination?
Satellite Imagery and data collected by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly promoted as valuable new information sources to aid humanitarian emergency decision making, but how much have things really changed? MapAction is at the forefront of information management delivery on the ground in humanitarian relief, and the choice of which data we use depends on what is best for how to get aid to affected people. Our primary aim is to inform decision making by mapping for people in a crisis, ensuring the best data is timely in delivery to help those affected. Do satellite imagery or data from unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs make a difference in the field yet? We consider the evidence from our perspective.

Caribbean Hurricane Response Mapping Update

Hurricanes Irma and Maria have left a trail of damage and devastation across parts of the Caribbean in the past month. MapAction were able to respond quickly and in numbers to this crisis, with good local knowledge and networks in the region. So far eight MapAction volunteers have supported the response in the field, with […]

MapAction send team to Hurricane Irma in Caribbean

MapAction send a two person Disaster Mapping Team to the Caribbean in readiness for Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane currently moving across the Leeward Islands with widely predicted significant impacts on several countries. 

Sierra Leone mudslide

Torrential rains in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, led to a devastating mudslide resulting in the loss of nearly 500 lives with a further 600 still missing and 3000 people made homeless. The worst affected area was Regent, a mountain area on the outskirts of the capital. Debris was reportedly carried 5km downhill.

Humanitarian Mapping Course

Book now for MapAction’s three-day Humanitarian Mapping Course taking place on Tuesday 31 October-Thursday 2 November 2017. The course will enable the creation of useful maps from the avalanche of data, in ways that have been proven in a wide range of disaster situations, to aid key decision makers in a major crisis.

Cyclone Donna strikes northern Vanuatu

MapAction continues to monitor Tropical Cyclone Donna in the South Pacific. The storm currently poses a serious threat to Vanuatu and is forecast to make landfall on the northern islands on Friday 5 May.

Devastating floods strike Peru

Intense rains have caused widespread floods and landslides in Peru, reportedly affecting more than half the country. MapAction has deployed at the request of the United Nations.

Cyclone Enawo slams Madagascar

Madagascar has been hit by a major cyclone which is reported to have already claimed at least five lives. It is thought to be the strongest cyclone in thirteen years with wind speeds of up to 185 mph (source: UNOCHA).

Humanitarian mapping course

MapAction is running a course in May to help develop the mapping skills and knowledge for Humanitarian and Development workers using open source software including QGIS and Google Earth.

Wildfires take devastating toll in Chile

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes due to extensive wildfires across central Chile. Drone images show entire neighbourhoods have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land have been devastated.

Join the MapAction team in 2017

MapAction’s annual recruitment round for talented volunteers has kicked off again this January. We are looking for people to join our team with skills in GIS, information management, software development and IT administration.