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RW Crises Key Figures now on ReliefWeb mobile site

By Andrew Footner
Tags: mobile, data

Imagine you are tasked with finding out how many refugees there are in Kenya, where they're from, and how the situation has changed from last year... Where do you start?

Managing information about a crisis is difficult and time-consuming. More so when the information is buried deep in pdfs, when the figures vary from day to day and source to source.

To make it easier to quickly grasp the extent of a crisis across various indicators, ReliefWeb has now added curated key information to the mobile site.

On 25 country pages with ongoing humanitarian situations, ReliefWeb's content curators have selected indicators to show the scale of the problem and the humanitarian response.

Key figures range from the very general (e.g. People in Need in Mali) to the very specific (e.g. Closed Schools due to Insecurity in Mali) and each is linked to the source from where the figure is taken. They provide quick access to a range of sourced indicators tracked over time.

ReliefWeb content is curated by a team working around the world, around the clock. The editorial practices have been refined over more than 20 years, and many of the editors have more than 10 years’ experience. All this knowledge and experience puts them in the perfect position to compile key figures from countries and disasters - a vital service that benefits many in the humanitarian community.

These figures added significant value to the RW Crises app. When that was deprecated curation continued but they were visible only on HDX and country pages of unocha.org.

Now they are also shown on the country pages of the RW mobile site. After a period of testing and feedback, they will be added to the main ReliefWeb site.

In keeping with the philosophy of the mobile site, they are super light-weight (for low bandwidth connections) and don't require Javascript (for maximum compatibility). This has forced some trade-offs:

  • First, there is more information to include - especially historical information. This is now represented by a small chart showing the relative increases/decreases. The details and all the links are available from the full dataset on HDX.
  • Second, they are not embeddable in other sites. If you administer a website that could benefit from displaying these figures, and there is sufficient demand from other sites, get in touch as we might be able to help.

We hope the presentation of the figures is self-explanatory, but it's good to document the intentions in case it's not. The figures show:

  • the name and number of the indicator being measured
  • how the figure has changed since the previous update (as a percentage)
  • a sparkline showing how the figure has changed over time
  • the date it was updated
  • the name of the source, which links to the document the figure is taken from.

Figures updated in the past seven days are shown first so changes in a situation are evident. They are also shown in order of relevance, as determined by the curators. Only the top six figures are displayed, with a link to the total data set on HDX.

As always, we welcome feedback on the figures and their presentation. We expect to add them to the main site soon, so any comments or suggestions at this stage would be especially useful.