Social Media / Media Monitoring: DRC Situation: Angola - UNHCR Innovation, 8th August 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 12 Aug 2017 View Original

Introduction to Angola Context:

A complex emergency is unfolding in the Kasaï region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Individuals continue to seek safety in Northern Angola from intercommunal clashes, generalized violence, disorder and a shortage of basic items. Protection concerns and human rights violations have been reported. Most civilians in affected areas are at risk of serious human rights violations, including physical mutilation, killing, sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention.

The violence in the Kasaï region, has resulted in the displacement of large numbers of Congolese. It is estimated that 1.27 million people have been internally displaced. In addition, as of today, over 30,000 people are newly registered in Angola, having escaped violence in Kasaï. Initially, the daily arrival figure into Angola fluctuated significantly with spikes in arrivals difficult to predict; the Angola operation began exploring solutions to this challenge, including manual social media monitoring (Twitter) for reports of violent incidents in the Kasaï region.

On this occasion, a machine-led monitor was set-up to help improve efficiency and strengthen the systematization of this monitoring in order to support the operation to better predict and prepare for new arrivals.

Due to the evolving dynamics of the conflict in Kasaï, access to ‘real-time’ information on violent incidents - considered the key driver of displacement in this context - is critical. Access to the Kasaï region by humanitarian actors is challenging - therefore identifying, testing and validated remote information sources (including SM) is a potential way forward in terms of a better understanding of the context.

The monitor is set-up in French and English; having previously run in Lingala, Swahili and Kasaï with limited effect.

Big Data Analytics Tool ForSight:

is Crimson Hexagon is an online social media monitoring platform that allows the discovery and visualisation of data from social media. Monitors - or data queries - are constructed with built-in machine learning capabilities to semi-automatically classify and extract sentiment from posts. This is done by the Crimson Hexagon proprietary software algorithm that is trained by humans, using a training dataset - a curated collection of post that helps the monitor to correctly interpret and classify a post.