[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.]

In this edition of the IFRC Data Blog, we are share some examples of infographics and workshop plans for teaching responsible data.

Annual Reports in Concise Form

What if an annual report was less than 1 page, but still provided all the key information? Well, the IFRC Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting team created their 2016 Report as an infographic:

Annual Report PMER 2016

Visualizing Remoteness and Vulnerability

The Netherlands Red Cross’s 510 Global is field testing remoteness indicators. Their excellent summary of this project includes disclosure on how responsible use of data guided their work:

“Data collected in this project was the minimum needed to verify the remoteness algorithms, and to contribute to specific key datasets, such as the locations of schools and hospitals, as well as building materials of buildings. In each village where data was collected, the village chief was consulted and permission was asked.”

Responsible Data Monologues

How can we teach key concepts and the practical application of data protection guidance and the responsible use of data?
With the global Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) team, ICRC, and National Societies, we ran a workshop last week based on the “Monologue” format. Monologues are a quick and poignant storytelling method can help provide background to provoke more conversation and, hopefully, action. Or, it can simply be cathartic as we build and learn in our areas. Last December, I participated in the Open Gender Monologues at the Open Government Partnership. Hat tip for the inspiration goes to my fellow Open Heroines.

The “Data Monologues” were used to have people share their knowledge and experience while considering definitions and issues regarding consent, privacy, minimization (collecting only the data you need, ethics and methodology. These are some heavy and often very legal terms. We are keen to build a bridge to the work of ICRC on data protection by focusing on ‘how do we implement’ into every day humanitarian action.

Gauge Roberto Chiaveri via Noun Project

Data Monologues – Session Design

The “Data Monologues” remove names of individuals and/or organizations. Chatham House rules apply (meaning – no names of speakers, organizations, or examples will be shared outside the room). Participants will describe the problem, the risks, any mitigation measures taken, the results and what could be improved.

Suggested format for ~1.5 hours
Interactive, collaborative

Part 1 Introduction – 10 minutes
  • Introduce the purpose and goals etc.
  • Share how Responsible Data training is happening in the larger Humanitarian space
  • Provide the concepts around Data literacy and why these concepts matter
  • Discuss Consent

Q & A ~ 10 minutes

Part 2 Group Work – 20 minutes
  • Data Monologues breakout groups of 4 to 5 people
  • Each person share an example of issues /scenarios they encountered of using data poorly, a data-driven project gone awry or a data fail (recommend not using third party examples)
  • Pick one of the examples to share in plenary including what happened, the results, and mitigation
  • Have a group scribe capture the core questions/concepts (to be deposited on flipcharts)
Part 3 Data Monologues – 40 minutes
  • 4 – 5 Data Monologues (depending on the size of the room)
Part 4 Summary and Next steps – 10 minutes
  • Data ‘monologues’
    Have people “pitch” one example of risky data use or issues encountered.
  • Collate the key questions and comments to inform documentation and training.
  • Share back with the group so that they can be change ambassadors.

We welcome our fellow Red Cross Red Crescent colleagues to try out this session design. Please do share any feedback to help the idea improve or remix.


Oxfam recently published a report reviewing two years of putting Responsible Data into practice.
Their Responsible Data training pack is also an excellent tool to help you and your teams.

And, have you seen the World Bank’s SDG Atlas? What a great way to activate the data around the Sustainable Development Goals!

[Icon Credit – Gauge Roberto Chiaveri via Noun Project, PMER Infographic courtesy of the PMER team and Guido Pizzini]