2019 HOT Board Candidate Statement

by Celina Agaton

Hello, my name is Celina Agaton. I’ve been based in the Philippines for the last five years, moving back to Manila after Super Typhoon Haiyan. I grew up in Manila, Jakarta and Toronto, and my experiences in food security, open data, civic technology and development have shaped my life’s work. I enjoy helping improve bringing together people to improve civic and community engagement.

I first learned about OpenStreetMap when I helped provide Ushahidi with their first grant as a Netsquared global advisor and co-organizer for Netsquared Toronto, and then the Toronto CrisisCamps following the Haiti Earthquake. My work for the last 11 years has been centered on helping connect people to the things they care about their communities. When I was based in Toronto, I worked with 7,000 non-profits, 200 corporations and the volunteer community to shift funding to a more real-time model by working closely with NGOs to understand their short and long term needs. I used this data to influence government, boards and donors to base their decisions on the critical needs of NGOs, versus political or dated mandates. I also created friendly and accessible spaces online and offline, and events were regularly attended by 300 people. I’ve taken this learning, and work experiences in North and South America, Asia and Africa, to shape the methodology we’ve been sharing for the last five years.

My work in the Philippines has shaped a model based on OpenStreetMap and OSM apps that I hope to share with other countries. All my work includes government, business, NGO, academe and community leaders learning OSM, working together with free and open source tools and open data to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. I currently lead projects for the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to coordinate their efforts and to layer their data on OSM to better shape programs based on impact. We’ve just completed the first gender gap mapping for World Bank Philippines and hope to develop this as standard practice for other countries.

I hope my experiences and passion for OSM can help the HOT Board move forward in the following ways:

  • Stabilize funding for HOT local, regional and global initiatives through strategic funding and partnerships
  • Understand internal and external priorities to develop a global strategy moving forward
  • Develop more programs to welcome, engage and sustain new and existing members
  • Strengthen communities and funding opportunities by sharing knowledge and experiences across OSM
  • Identify critical areas for emergencies by region and country to build local capacity for OSM and shape a defined process for emergency response.

My bio and projects are at http://celinaagaton.com/about/

Thank you for reading my candidates statement and for all your efforts to support the community!

Celina