Can a collaborative web-platform for sharing critical demographic information about displaced people improve delivery and response?
Prisca Benelli, Alessandro Guarino and Jen Ziemke
The development and relative accessibility of innovative software have led to the rapid growth over the last decade of a variety of tools to create, analyse, visualise and use real-time data for humanitarian response. The Italian NGO INTERSOS1 has used web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) platforms to help profile and track population movements and needs, and began publishing geo-referenced2 data on displaced populations in 2005. Data on affected populations in Darfur and, later, in neighbouring Chad was collected and published on a GIS platform. As much information as possible was collected about the make-up of the refugee populations, including historical and current population estimates, ethnicity and movements; sectoral data on health, education, security, shelter, agriculture and land tenure; settlement types (e.g. inhabited, abandoned, destroyed); and specific information on vulnerable individuals. The data gathered was made available to a broader audience through ad hoc semi-private webplatforms.
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