A look at the ideas and projects we're working on as we strive to grow and improve ReliefWeb.
23 Oct 2018
blog By Yuan-Kwan Chan Tags: training, data

110 participants.

20 minutes to prepare.

3 judges.

1.5 minutes to convince a donor on how to aid polio vaccination efforts in Syria.

That was the challenge posed to student delegates representing 27 nationalities and 56 higher education institutions recently in Bangkok, Thailand. The participants, selected to attend the 2018 University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS), learned about ReliefWeb and technological developments in the humanitarian sector, then divided themselves into groups to tackle our Syria polio challenge.

Birat Lekhak of ReliefWeb / OCHA talks about the use of drone and satellite imagery in the humanitarian sector. © Yuan-Kwan Chan / ReliefWeb / OCHA

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14 Aug 2018
blog By Véronique Durroux-Malpartida Tags: mobile, Survey

We have just rebuilt the mobile version of our website. You may remember that a while back we launched ReliefWeb Lite in a bid to better meet the needs of users in low-bandwidth countries. Our Labs research ultimately proved to us that an enhanced mobile version would be more sustainable and stable.

Our mobile version 2 has combined the speed and simplicity of version 1 with the best features of ReliefWeb Lite:

  • It’s fast, even in areas with low connectivity
  • It allows users to visit pages when they are offline
  • It doesn’t require extra space or a brand new phone
  • It takes up less space than apps
  • It’s more accessible for users with disabilities

The most obvious change from the previous mobile version is the design, which is now sleeker and more responsive.

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09 Jul 2018
blog By Andrew Footner Tags: mobile, labs, API

As another ReliefWeb Labs project - ReliefWeb Lite - is 'decommissioned', this post explains why that can happen, even with successful projects, and the benefits of abandoning prototypes that don't quite fit.

Since 1996, ReliefWeb has seen a lot of changes and for the past six years, Labs has been the place for trying out new ideas. It is also used to inform the humanitarian community about other services, such as the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) and the Events Service.

For any technical changes to ReliefWeb, the priority is to keep the site usable and useful. A large part of usability is performance. For all users, the time it takes for ReliefWeb servers to answer a request is important, but for those on low-bandwidth connections, the size of the response can be decisive.

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09 May 2018
blog By Véronique Durroux-Malpartida

Because humanitarian response isn’t only active from 9 to 5, neither is ReliefWeb. We actually monitor crisis situations non-stop. In reply to the question: “How do you make it work?”, here’s the answer to why and how we transitioned to the 24/7 operating model to ensure the timely delivery of crucial information.

Team members strategically located

For many years our editorial work was divvied up between three teams working from UN headquarter locations. Time gaps existed here and there and weekends were not fully covered, except during acute sudden-onset emergencies. A couple of months after a devastating earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, we extended our time coverage and moved on to a consistently seamless workflow, implementing the 24/7 operation model.

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17 Apr 2018
blog By Miguel Hernandez Rivera Tags: Topics, refugees

You ask, ReliefWeb delivers

Since launching our Topics pages in 2013, we have refined and consolidated the section, concentrating on the key issues of the day, such as Fighting Famine in Four Countries, the Humanitarian Crisis in the Kasai region of DRC, and the Refugee/Migrant Emergencies in Europe and South-east Asia. And now, in response to requests from our humanitarian partners, we are pleased to announce the launch of Community Topics.

ReliefWeb Community Topic pages come in two types:

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