Mapping for AIDS and Malaria Reduction with the Young African Leaders Initiative

What is a mapathon?
Mapathons are coordinated mapping events, typically held inside computer labs and other open spaces. With an Internet connection and available computers, participants contribute to mapping projects using the online OpenStreetMap platform
Mapathons are the primary way to quickly contribute digital mapping data to locations anywhere in the world and are critical in supporting programs working directly in our communities.

Why Should I Map?
Quality geographic data helps empower organizations and communities to make important decisions across a range of environmental, economic and crisis management themes. For many places in the world, this information is incomplete or does not exist at all. Digital humanitarians map online to help give others the data they need to build a more sustainable future.

In an effort to mobilize youths in Africa to work with data and address challenges in public health, community development, and humanitarian response, the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are coordinating “mapathons” for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) alumni to be hosted at YALI Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa, as well as at U.S. universities currently hosting Mandela Washington Fellows. Concurrently, the Tanzania dLab—founded under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) & Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC) Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) partnership—will also host a similarly focused mapathon.

The mapathons are taking place in advance of a high-level conference on data and development in Africa, organized by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. With the participation of senior government officials across the region, this is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of engaging African youth in data-driven initiatives that support development and humanitarian programs while promoting civic engagement and fostering in-demand technical skills.

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A mapathon was introduced to YALI fellows, alumni, and other participants in Kenya to vibrant volunteer mapping community. This took place on 27-06-2017 at the YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) in Nairobi .Participants contributed to mapping project to end AIDS and Malaria KENYA :Siaya (Bondo) using the online OpenStreetMap platform.This was designed improve the availability of geographic data for programs supported by PEPFAR, the President’s Malaria Initiative, humanitarian aid programs, and others.

The mapathons are helping young leaders and youths in general to develop solutions for their communities leveraging Geospatial technology. These solutions are shared among communities who face similar challenges to ensure development in their regions.

Photos for the Mapathon to end aids and malaria at the YALI regional leadership,center, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya on 27th June, 2017

Participants get informed on the impacts of the Humanitarian groups


Elijah Karanja, Lead GDev at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, addresses participants



Participants at the Mapathon


Zachariah Muindi from Map Kibera Team addresses the participants

Next event, Mapathon to end AIDS and MALARIA at Dedan Kimathi University of technology, Nyeri, Kenya on  14th -16th July, 2017

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to Youthmappers, they have provided us a great platform to grow and develop in Mapping.We don’t just map,we BUILD MAPPERS.

  • Steve Ochieng

    Mapathons are the best idea that happened to humanitarian initiatives, through mapathons a lot of data relevant to social and communal development has been created. Considering that data rel;evant to humanitarian services is not commercially viable, imagine if we relied solely on commercial and government bodies to make these huge chunks of data available, we wouldn’t be having any data to inform humanitarian decisions around the world.

  • It was a great experience,thanks to Youth mappers and Gdev Dekut.

    • Pauline Macharia

      i had fun too …. cant wait for the next one

  • Chad

    Visit to find out how your university can become involved with the project.