University of Cambridge > > All POLIS Department Seminars and Events > The Syria Series: War, disasters and data: the need for an evidence-based humanitarian response

The Syria Series: War, disasters and data: the need for an evidence-based humanitarian response

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Adam Coutts.

Jesse Berns, Data Collection Lab Director, will discuss recent Impact Lab projects and findings from the front lines in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. She will discuss the utilisation of ‘better’ technology and data in conflict and disaster settings and how these can help improve humanitarian response.

The Impact Lab, a data science and development organization, focuses on providing high quality, actionable data for NGOs, funders, and government entities. The Impact Lab increases the internal capacity of these organizations by providing the methods and tools to better collect, store, and analyze data. We have worked around the world with entities large and small including The World Bank, Medecine Sans Frontieres, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Our team has backgrounds in research at institutions like the University of Chicago, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard.

In the humanitarian context, we are providing methods and tools typically found in the for-profit sector, with the intention of shifting the current paradigm of response decision making to one which is driven by quality data, and not the current anecdotal model.

Our recent humanitarian aid-related projects have included community-level data collection projects for several NGOs working in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Lebanon. Impact Lab provided technical support to the field staff, as well as facilitating the use of a mobile data collection platform that allowed field, coordination, and headquarters actors ‘real-time’ analytics from the field during the data collection. The methods support and tools provided by the Impact Lab facilitated rapid, data-driven programming in low resource and acute conflict settings. Program managers and administrators were able to cater their response to the actual community needs.

The Syria Series is organised by Dr Adam Coutts and Professor Chris Hill.

This talk is part of the All POLIS Department Seminars and Events series.

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