ReliefWeb's 'crises' app is a handy tool that users can download onto their smartphones. The app offers data on conflict zones and overviews of humanitarian disasters.
"Making sense of
a fast-paced humanitarian situation can be very challenging: there are multiple
actors operating and situations can evolve rapidly. In order to get a
comprehensive overview, one must browse several websites, skim through many
reports and liaise with field experts on a daily basis," says Adrian Ciancio,
project manager at ReliefWeb, a specialized digital service of the UN Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA).
"Crises" brings different channels of information together and provides the latest figures and reports for each situation. These are updated by ReliefWeb analysts. They connect several humanitarian tools so users can access financial status, contact information, job opportunities and background information on every humanitarian situation.
Ciancio says that the app was originally developed for aid workers from the UN and other humanitarian organizations - people who needed numbers for monitoring funding, writing reports or designing advocacy campaigns. "However, it is also a useful tool for journalists and researchers looking for official numbers and contacts in each country," he adds.
How it works
ReliefWeb has over 4,000 key sources, including international and local humanitarian agencies, governments, think tanks, research institutions and the media. The organization's editors gather the information and deliver it through different channels, including websites, social media and mobile apps like "crises."
The "crises" app is easy to download on your smartphone. It has a list of 20 countries, including Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Peru and other African, Asian and Middle-eastern countries, where aid agencies are most active.
Each country page offers a country overview and background information on the humanitarian crisis in the region, for example, the number of internally displaced persons, refugees and data on the number of civilians killed. The app also has a list of contacts and job opportunities for interested individuals.
The app also has a feature that allows users to read information even when they're offline. This is especially helpful in areas with poor or non-existent connectivity.
The "crises" app can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play. Other ReliefWeb apps include the Headlines app for humanitarian news, the Jobs app for those interested in working in crisis zones and the Videos app.