Antigua,, Guatemala -  June 5, 2018:  Volunteers load supplies outside town hall to take to area affected by eruption of Fuego (fire) volcano on June 3. Currently official figures say 121 people died & 300 missing.

Humanitarian Response

A successful crisis response manages to meet the basic needs of individuals, such as food security and personal safety, and basic education during times of crisis, stress or disaster. For some, climate change has been an intermittent crisis, for others, this crisis has already upended their daily lives. 

Data science for humanitarian response has emerged as an indispensable tool for addressing crises and disasters effectively. By harnessing the power of data analysis and machine learning, aid organizations can gain invaluable insights into the nature and magnitude of a crisis, facilitating the prioritization of resources and aid delivery to those most in need. Data science enables the real-time monitoring of events, allowing for rapid detection of emerging crises and swift response strategies. In a world where disasters and emergencies are becoming more frequent and complex, data science becomes a vital ally in empowering aid agencies to save lives, promote resilience, and foster sustainable recovery in vulnerable communities.

DataKind’s work in this domain includes better targeting information campaigns, consolidating our knowledge of disaster prevention, creating more efficient systems for distributing food aid, and developing warning systems that enable access to key information for those who need it most. 

Project Examples:

  • DataKind worked with Save the Children to improve the effectiveness of the organization’s outreach efforts in response to the Somalia drought and ensuing refugee crisis in Kenya, the largest movement of refugees into Kenya in over a decade.

  • DataKind, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, developed an early warning system for farmers in Ethiopia to identify plant diseases early and guard against them, improving the overall stability of the food system.

  • In partnership with Microsoft, DataKind designed an AI Accelerator program, providing pro bono expertise to a group of nonprofits seeking to apply AI to societal challenges in US urban communities.

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