If you ever tried to get an overview of what is going on in a humanitarian crisis and what the most pressing needs are, then you will have faced two problems: at the same time too much information and not enough information.
More specifically: too many isolated tidbits of information and not enough that helps you build an understanding so that you and your organization can make informed decisions about how to respond. Of course, this is partly why organizations like UNOCHA exist and why they put out situation reports. Unfortunately, these reports are often not exactly what you need and thus starts the hunt for information. Over time, you develop your own list of sources and resources, but that is hardly ideal.
Andrey Verity from OCHA and RJ Reid have now published a short guide listing the best resources for situational awareness. The document looks at sources of information, tools and services to help structure information and related tools and services. It’s the kind of document I wish I’d had when I started out in the sector and it contains loads of interesting resources for anyone working in disaster response.
The one thing I wish they would have done differently is the format. I wish this was a website or Wiki, rather than a PDF as URLs, names and services are bound to change (for example: IRIN News is now The New Humanitarian) and it would be great to have a way to keep this resource up to date.