News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
    • Twitter (@DirectRelief)
    • Facebook (@DirectRelief)
    • Instagram (@DirectRelief)

Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Data: A Vital Form of Aid in a Time of Crisis


Ukraine Relief

Data dashboard used to track mobility during the Ukraine crisis.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published here on May 12, 2022.

In an increasingly data-driven world, technology has made it possible to turn data quickly into informed decision-making. When a crisis occurs, this means data has become another vital form of aid for non-profits on the ground, in some ways no different than either goods or cash resources. One such organization has figured out how to share this information resource effectively with partners, creating the basis of a new model for crisis response.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate, with countless injuries, thousands killed, and millions of Ukrainians displaced to bordering countries and beyond. And, with so much uncertainty surrounding the end to the conflict and the aftermath, there needs to be collaboration across government, health, and non-profit sectors to plan for the near- and long-term impacts and response.

The question of relief in a crisis of this nature extends beyond the basics of food, shelter, and medical assistance. The influx of refugees across Europe, forced to quickly flee with little or nothing, has already exceeded five million. And in most cases, this is not a temporary situation; many will have to permanently re-establish their lives. Where will children go to school? Will there be language barriers or a lack of community support? How will they pay for medical insurance and secure employment?

This is where another vital form of aid comes in: the power of data.

During the response to Covid-19, Direct Relief and colleagues at Harvard School of Public Health, formed a partnership called CrisisReady to carry out analysis of anonymized data collected from mobile devices, principally through the Facebook application, to understand population dynamics in near real-time during crisis events. Later, when the invasion of Ukraine happened on February 24, data on human mobility was already available at scale based upon data sets that were already being pulled for the long-term Covid response. That data, viewed from a different angle, illustrates changing population densities in areas receiving a significant influx of refugees from Ukraine.

This data helped to fill in some of the picture of how people move, so the team published situation reports as static PDFs to share with organizations involved in this humanitarian effort. The reports assisted in planning frameworks for situational structure on this vast movement of people throughout the entire European Union. However, generating these reports is a highly manual and time-consuming process and reports are static, while the need for real-time trend analysis is vital.

Now, working with Qlik to create a public dashboard, the information flow is automated and updated in real-time, enabling the Direct Relief and CrisisReady teams to share accurate information quickly with other leading NGOs, while focusing their material aid distribution efforts inside Ukraine. The dashboard also allows different organizations such as WHO and UNICEF to select aggregated data sets to help them make and optimize quick decisions on where and how much of their services and supplies are needed at any given time.

Andrew Schroeder, VP of Research and Analysis of Direct Relief, shares, “This dashboard not only serves my team, but provides our partners with vital information as a leading indicator, allowing them to make quick decisions such as pivoting strategies or reallocating resources.”

One such example is a data-sharing pipeline set up for UNICEF to help build a strategy to support schools across the European Union. UNICEF doesn’t have the full capability to curate this data on its own. They can now take this same data from the dashboard, push it into different web services that allow them to consume it directly and view which areas might need greater attention in terms of funding for school-aged children. A similar data-sharing arrangement feeds analytical applications for Mercy Corps.

This is just one example of how this solution is helping to fill the gap. Andrew adds, “This is why we wanted to make this data as available as possible to the widest audience because it can be applied in so many different and helpful ways.”

Direct Relief’s activity was focused principally on shipments and services into Ukraine itself. This data was not permissible to share of Ukraine itself because of the security situation and the possibility that high-resolution mobility might have dual use for targeting. One of the reasons this dashboard on refugee flows was conceived was because, under these terms, information itself could become a form of assistance.

While Direct Relief as a medical aid distributing institution necessarily had to focus on the medical situation within Ukraine, the informational dimensions being made available through the dashboard could at the same time contribute in meaningful ways to the refugee crisis by helping partner institutions frame questions and make improved decisions as part of a collective humanitarian effort.

The sharing of information about the refugee crisis can serve as a model for humanitarian efforts across the globe. While it is an unfortunate fact that there will always be a need for crisis relief, the fact that institutions can now share data and analysis for more efficient decision-making is a game-changer for those who are in crisis. This model shows how institutions can step out of information silos and come together as a networked humanitarian community, highlighting the collaborative spirit of those who desire to create change, overcome challenges, and encourage hope.

Julie Kae is VP of Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) at Qlik, as well as Executive Director of Qlik.org.

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