Integrating AI and natural language processing into enterprise data platforms.
Fueling real-time, global responses through secondary data review and analysis.
Informing global communities through accessible digital platforms.
Ensuring robust humanitarian response through modern data architecture.
The Data Entry and Exploration Platform (DEEP) was born in 2015 with the idea of being an AI-driven platform designed to improve data processes and information management to humanitarian crises at field and global levels. We are pleased to be the platform's technical hosts and to support the work of global organizations by providing secondary data review and analysis in the tool itself.
Since its inception, DFS has been at the forefront of digital innovation and modern data strategy in the humanitarian sector. DFS is one of the principal architects and technical lead of DEEP (Data Entry & Exploration Platform).
Manual Entry Wasn’t Made For 21st Century Crises
Over the past 20 years, more than 7,300 natural disasters were recorded worldwide, affecting more than 4 billion people across the globe and generating $2.97 trillion in economic losses (UNDRR). The colossal effort to manually collect, track, translate, store, verify, and share critical data in the wake of these disasters has created overwhelming, and at times, insurmountable challenges for humanitarian responders— jeopardizing accurate decision making during a crisis and hindering global ability to prevent and abate future disasters. That’s where DEEP was born.
Remove Collaboration Barriers, Improve Response Time, Save More Lives
DEEP is a platform built with AI in mind to centralize, accelerate, and strengthen inter-agency response to humanitarian crises at national and field levels. The free, open source tool was developed by field responders in the wake of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquakes, and has since become a go-to resource for leading global humanitarian organizations, including UNHCR, UNICEF, UN OCHA, and the IFRC. Today, DEEP hosts the largest analysis framework repository in the international humanitarian sector, hosting more than 85,000 carefully annotated response documents and connecting more than 3,000 expert users worldwide.
Since its inception, DEEP has been used to inform more than 1,800 international humanitarian projects whose scopes are estimated to impact more than 98 million people, including USAID’s response to COVID-19, ACAPS’s response to the Rohingya crisis, and UNHCR and IFRC’s response to the Venezuela migrations crisis. More than two-thirds of individuals in areas where DEEP is utilized earn less than $5 USD per day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the ability of humanitarian actors to collect and analyze data in humanitarian responses around the world. In addition to worldwide stay at home orders that have constrained traditional responses, humanitarian organizations have faced five concrete challenges:
To date, DEEP is active in coordinating COVID-19 responses in 14 countries across Central and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America. In the case of iMMAP, DEEP is centralizing COVID-19 response data collection among 464 humanitarian organizations spread across 6 target countries and operating alongside broader global efforts.
Through this partnership, DEEP has directly strengthened assessment and analysis capacities that continue to inform response and resource allocation for more than 41.6 million people in targeted areas.
Each year, thousands of internal displacement crises are tracked and analyzed by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)—the world’s most definitive source of data on internal displacement. Prior to partnering with Data Friendly Space (DFS), IDMC relied on a small IT team to collect and securely store reliable, timely, and longitudinal data on millions of displaced people from over 188 countries. This limited capacity held back the international community’s ability to respond to, report on, and ultimately, reduce the risk and impact of internal displacements across the globe.
Since 2019, DFS has introduced multiple data management tools backed by AI to better process, store, and analyze internal displacement trends and enable faster, more robust humanitarian responses in the field. Highlights include:
|Efficient Media Monitoring||DFS helped to replace IDMC’s manual processing with IDETECT, a tool that analyzes thousands of global news sources daily through natural language processing. |
With IDETECT, IDMC now automates data collection on natural disaster and armed conflict displacements and can visually present the data to partners, funders, and decision makers worldwide.
|Smart Reporting||DFS carried out a complete re-development of the main IDMC web application used to collect, analyze, and report on internal displacement data around the world.|
HELIX, a global information management system, is now pre-populated from the IDETECT natural language processing system, resulting in:
1. Reduced manual input and increased capacity for team members
2. More accurate and comprehensive data entry
DFS’s data outputs are used to create reports like IDMC’s 2020 Global Report on Internal Displacement that are a primary resource to the United Nations and humanitarian leaders around the world.
|21st Century Security||DFS redesigned and deployed an entirely new infrastructure to securely store IDMC’s data from 188 countries and thousands of annual displacement events. DFS continues to provide around the clock security monitoring for IDMC’s online resources.|
|Seamless Integration||DFS managed the migration of data from thousands of past internal displacement events to a centralized reporting system. Upgrades are designed to increase the organization’s interoperability and dramatically reduce human error and the need for manual input.|
DFS’s data management tools, including Smart Reporting (Helix) and Efficient Media Monitoring (IDETECT), were utilized to produce multiple reports on the state of internal displacement during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Internal Displacement 2020: Mid-year update. The report analyzed 14.6 million new internal displacements across 127 countries in the first 6 months of 2020, giving the humanitarian community access to geolocalized data on the key priorities of people in need for a more accurate response on the ground.
DFS also built the data processing tools to enable detailed tracking and analysis of key variables impacting internally displaced people throughout COVID-19, including the virus’ impact to health, livelihoods, housing, education, and security. Learn more about IDMC’s response to COVID-19.
After piloting a small-scale study to explore the potential for machine learning and AI to help us gather more information on the activities of local branches around the world, we needed a technical partner. That’s when we heard about DFS. We really enjoyed working with them. They confirmed our assumptions about potential data gaps on the digital transformation journey and provided a code review, in-depth research, and recommendations that were used to inform our next steps.
Data Literacy Lead, International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies
The DFS team reviewed information from over a thousand sources of qualitative data on the situation in Colombia and managed to turn all this messy data into something that could immediately be used for our strategic planning for next year.
Information Manager, UNHCR Colombia
The DFS team is thorough and has a great mix of technical, analytical and research skills. They kept us updated while reviewing our pilot and provided recommendations for future planning.
Federation- wide Databank and Reporting System Coordinator, International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies