[ed. note: Data @ IFRC is a blog series to share highlights from the Red Cross Red Crescent Secretariat and National Societies. We will include learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence.]

Join the Missing Mapathon – Geneva

Missing Maps

ICRC, CartONG and IFRC are co-hosting the first Geneva Missing Mapathon on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Missing Maps is a global community that aims to put the most vulnerable places on the map. Humanitarians will share the impact of the contributions for their projects. There will be mentors to help new and existing mappers contribute.  Sessions will be held in English and French.

Missing Maps 3 steps

Missing Maps events are held around the world. The American Red Cross, British Red Cross, and Netherlands Red Cross are members in this partnership.

Register here

Engaging communities with SenseMaker

Last week, the IFRC Policy, Strategy and Knowledge Department hosted an engaging workshop in Geneva from the Cynefin Center on complexity thinking and the use of SenseMaker®. Lead by David Snowden, the workshop introduced the Cynefin Framework, used to help evaluators, researchers, managers, policy-makers, and others understand complex contexts for decision-making. The methodology is operationalized by SenseMaker, an innovative, web-based software that allows a form of meta-analysis of qualitative data that bridges a gap between case studies and large-sample survey data. Micro-narratives are collected from a studied (target) population and then quantified and analyzed to identify patterns and trends in perceptions, behaviors and relationships.

Sensemaker Training Jan 2017

We are looking forward to see how this approach can help the IFRC better understand and work in complex settings. Feel free to contact Scott DOT Chaplowe AT ifrc DOT org for further information.

(photo credit: Scott Chaplowe, IFRC)

Designing Your Projects

Deep sustainable change means considering how to design projects better. While the data types (e.g. GIS and community/social data), the data pipeline and data workflows are often the focal points when we discuss “data-driven”, there is a gap. Databasic.io aims to tackle the question – how can we design tools for learners not users. Digitalimpact.io aspires to help us build ethical policies and practices in a clear, accessible way. These are just some of the components needed for success. Colleagues want the gap between technical / digital skills decreased. Both of these websites demonstrate that we need to think about data literacy not only from the point of view of the IT specialist or Information Manager. Today a colleague asked us to go wide for an in-house data visualization skillshare. Making data accessible for all the various roles within IFRC is our goal as we connect existing and emerging data leaders. To help, we’ve started an Informal Data Working Group to build on each other’s skills in an open session format. The goal is to prototype these events in Geneva then work with our partners to extend the best practices across the organization. We’ve had participants from finance, HR, the library in addition to the operations and IT groups.


We’re collecting tools and list of tools to support your various data journeys. Here are some examples to help your work:

There are 6000 people registered for the Knight Foundation Data Viz and Storytelling MOOC. It started last week and requires about 5 hours of work per week. The discussions are super vibrant from considering the data use/source to ethical questions on when and how to use data. There is still time to join and learn.

Help Wanted

We are looking for Federation-wide data stories. Are you working on a data-driven project? Do you have a recommendation on an article or tool? Please send along:  Contact heather.leson AT IFRC.org.