Open Tech and Innovation Specialist-eastern and Southern Africa Hub

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About the Role

The  Open   Innovation and Tech Specialist  will coordinate and collaborate with key functional leads across the Hub and with the wider global team. The candidate will be responsible for bringing together the problems, needs and requirements of communities across the region in a way that grows and evolves HOT’s technology in a way that builds equity, increases accessibility and influences the design and development of transformative open mapping innovation.

The  Open   Innovation and Tech Specialist  will advance HOT’s mission by operationalizing the HOT_Tech core ethics:

  • Human: Our Human ethic is our commitment to people as our priority. At the centre of all our technology sits a human. The ultimate purpose of our technology is to improve human conditions. We use technology to enable and amplify human efforts. We support them at personal and professional levels. We invest in their well-being and their growth. We provide security and stability. When our people thrive, so do we.
  • Open: Our Open ethic permeates all we do. Our actions reflect radical openness and transparency. We encourage open inputs and outputs. Our team and technology openly welcomes and engages community, collaboration and contribution.
  • Truth: Our Truth ethic reflects an OpenStreetMap core principle; the ‘truth on the ground’. Our activities and decisions will be guided by this ethic, conflicts not easily resolved will defer to this ethic to determine what best reflects and prioritizes the truth on the ground.

Priority Areas for Action

  • Capacity – A key component of this role will be building and extending the capacity of groups and individuals across the region. The successful candidate will be experienced and comfortable and mentorship, coaching and facilitating people to grow and expand their innovation and open tech skills. They will also be able to augment the capacity of global and regional teams as capacity grows.
  • Community – Community centred innovation and technology is at the heart of all our technologies and should be at the heart of the candidate. We strive to build technologies that reflect the most pressing and impactful needs of the communities we work with. The successful candidate will be community first in everything they do.
  • Contribution – Core to open innovation and technology is a collective of contributors that are committed to the collaborative growth of both products and people. A dynamic collective of contributors ensures shared vision and direction, joint ownership and project sustainability. The successful candidate will value contributors and how to enable them.


  • Build the capacity of regional communities, teams and individuals in open mapping technology, design thinking, agile mindset and human centred open innovation.
  • Collaborate with hot_tech to provide front line technical support for open mapping technology
  • Represent regional needs to inform a shared global vision for open innovation and technology
  • Facilitate feedback from the humanitarian and OSM communities to improve regional implementation of open mapping technologies
  • Collaborate with HOT’s global tech collective to ensure regional feedback and requests are included in product backlog prioritisation
  • Localise contribution channels for well-documented open technology projects to increase regional participation and contribution.
  • Facilitate localised design thinking processes to increase regional representation in open mapping tech
  • Consolidate community feedback to improve product inclusivity and user experience
  • Conceptualise ideas that bring simplicity and user friendliness to complex design challenges
  • Foster a culture of innovation through curiosity, creativity and collaboration

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