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OCHA’s World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2014 wins award

19 May 2015

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World Humanitarian Data and Trends has won first prize in the technical book category of the prestigious Washington Publisher's 2015 Book Design and Effectiveness Awards.

OCHA’s annual “World Humanitarian Data and Trends” 2014 Report has won first prize in the technical book category of the prestigious Washington Publisher's 2015 Book Design and Effectiveness Awards. This is the first award of its type for the organization and is a strong acknowledgement of OCHA’s determination to better use analysis on humanitarian trends and data to support evidence-based advocacy and policy making.

The publication, into its fourth year, presents global and country level data in an accessible way, providing aid practitioners and policymakers with an evidence base for their decisions. The information is presented as visual case studies, to transform numbers into easy-to-digest infographics.

The OCHA team was presented with the award at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on 15 May. The presenters of the Book Design and Effectiveness Awards described the UN report as “a fascinating piece of work which condenses heavy content and messaging into clever graphics, featuring a great use of colour and flow."

At the actual launch of the report in December 2014, OCHA Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang noted there was “no question” of the power of numbers to convey information. Indeed, at the onset of any new crisis, she said, “humanitarians are focused on numbers: How many people have been affected and how many are in need of direct assistance? What resources – financial and human – are available to deploy?” Once a relief effort is underway, she noted, more data is required for monitoring the response.

“Placing data onto maps and information graphics, or showing trend lines, helps everyone to understand the issues better,” she said. “This type of storytelling is becoming ever more important in a crowded information marketplace.”

The next edition of the report, slated for December 2015, will look at the sharp increase in humanitarian needs over the last ten years and the reasons behind those changes.