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World humanitarian data and trends 2014

image of World humanitarian data and trends 2014
This publication presents global and country-level data and trend analysis relevant to humanitarian assistance. Its purpose is to bring this information together in one place and present it in an accessible way. It is intended to establish a common baseline of humanitarian data that allow for comparisons across time. This data can be used to help support humanitarian policy decisions and provide country-level context that can support operational decision-making.

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Social media and natural disasters

Affected people’s use of social media during a crisis has become a common practice in recent years. Twitter, with its one-to-many format, is the platform of choice for many Internet users during a crisis. The infographic below presents a sample of 13 recent crises caused by natural hazards that generated over 100,000 Twitter messages or “tweets”. The information provided in the tweets, and the type of sources who tweet the most, vary widely between crises. For example, Government sources produced far more tweets during the Alberta floods (2013) in Canada than during Super Typhoon Haiyan (2013) in the Philippines. Overall, social media data is still an experimental field for humanitarian practitioners. But with a few frameworks of reference—including hashtag standardization in emergencies—the humanitarian community only stands to benefit from these technological opportunities.

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