Global MapAid

Global MapAid

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Climate action
  • Environment
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • International development
  • Local / community
  • Men
  • Poverty relief
  • Refugees / migrants
  • Women
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 


We are a specialised water development agency:

We provide pin-point guidance on maps to show Agriculture and WASH donors where they could best invest their money, to help small farmers in Africa. Water for irrigation is vital for food security, and clean water for drinking is vital for public health.

Our main purpose is to make maps that relate to shallow groundwater availability. We therefore help donors and development agencies to save money and reach more people in greatest need.

Why is this important:

Ever tried to find your way in a foreign country without a map ? Did you ever need a sat-nav after dark ? What would happen if the BBC weather lady, or man, refused to show everyone a UK weather map, and told us to download the written report ?

Aid donors and development agencies have the unenviable task of trying to deliver aid, where it will make the most impact. It's our job at Global MapAid, to do the survey work, to make the maps that show where water for small farmers could be sourced, and make the information easy-to-understand.


We carry out the following basic procedure:

i) Visit the country concerned, in this case, it is Ethiopia.

ii) Approach a local university and ask to see their geography, earth sciences, and business economics departments and explain our mission. We suggest a collaborative MOU. Currently we are working with the University of Arba Minch in southern Ethiopia.

iii) We identify with them, one at most two keystone development solutions and a small test area. We have done this in Bilate watershed, north of Arba Minch.

iv) We map the area, for the solution, in relation to population densities, and immediately show the first maps to a few relevant donors and ask for feedback. We go back and re-work the survey or the data or the style of map. We revisit the donor and repeat. After awhile, (like learning to cook a good soufflé that sometime takes repeated attempts), we have then co-created with the donors something they find useful, or even indispensable. Actually, this iterative approach is similar to the "lean-agile" methods used in Silicon Valley to develop products hand-in-hand with the customer. And is it also conceptually close to the methodology known as "Participatory Rural Development" for arriving at solutions for rural poverty, hand-in-hand with all the members of a village community.

Then we suggest a subscription model, so that everyone shares the costs, making it sustainable.

v) The rest of the development community get the maps for free. And the donors get the "halo effect" being thanks on all the maps.

Current opportunities


We are looking for a reliable, determined volunteer.

A good communicator, with excellent web-based skills, a skilled writer and one-on-one...