[Guest post from Astrid Legaye, IFRC Data Analysis Intern, and Klaudia Jankowska, IFRC Data Science Intern]

IFRC’s journey to be more data ready includes looking for new opportunities to support data skills development within the organization and in collaboration with other humanitarian organizations. To this end, the IFRC Secretariat in Geneva hosted the Open Data Day on the 2nd of March 2018.

How is the IFRC using data to make decisions and collect insights about Humanitarian Action? What are some of the opportunities or challenges that ICRC and the Humanitarian Data Exchange (UN OCHA) tackle? These are the questions we tried to answer during an hour of data talks from IFRC, ICRC and UNOCHA experts covering topics ranging from key concepts, processes, programs, challenges, and insights. A combined Mapathon and Data Clinic were also part of the activities. All participants were encouraged to choose which learning module.

tableau example via Klaudia

During the data clinic, the working group merged data from the IFRC (FDRS and GO Platform), HDX and UNICEF. Participants then explored the dataset to create visualizations and to make their own data story to share insights and potential impact. The team lead participants through a 4-part exercise using Tableau Software.

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Collect / Clean / Merge

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Search/ Follow a path / Try again …


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Tables / Graphs / Charts / Dashboards

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Link all the findings together


During the Missing Maps mini-mapathon, the second working group made basic map edits by tracing satellite imagery of buildings and roads on OpenStreetMap, the Wikipedia of maps. Missing Maps is a collaborative project to map areas where humanitarian organizations try to reach vulnerable communities.

All in all, the Open Data Day was a success for gathering people from several organizations with various backgrounds to share their data knowledge. Data culture activities allow the IFRC to improve data literacy among the whole Movement to foster an innovative and dynamic data management environment.

Thank you to all the special guests, participants, speakers and facilitators on this second Open Data Day!

Credits: Blog post by Astrid Legaye, Tableau Dashboard by Klaudia Jankowska, Icons by Gene Stroman, Nhor, Federica Sala and Alfredo Creates from Noun Project.