CrisisInSight is the new ACAPS analysis portfolio which captures developments for sudden-onset disasters, protracted, and forgotten crises. This approach combines tools for understanding crises, by assessing the level of severity and humanitarian access, with trends and forward-looking analysis.

The correlation of these different sources of analysis makes it possible to envisage scenarios but also to reinforce preparedness. It provides an evidence-based foundation for decision makers and humanitarian actors and may help them improve principled operational response and a better allocation of resources.

CrisisInSight main components


ACAPS analysis assesses the severity of different components of a crisis in order to support evidence-based decision making. We use the INFORM Global Crisis Severity Index (GCSI) to enable comparisons of scale and severity across the world; we assess the level of humanitarian access in various contexts; and we analyse the level of humanitarian needs for certain population groups in specific contexts. This global severity analysis is coherent with other types of severity analysis conducted by ACAPS, in the field, at a subnational level.

Read more about our methodology on severity

Humanitarian access

The biannual publication Humanitarian Access Overview provides a snapshot of the most challenging contexts regarding humanitarian access. In this report we compare the level of humanitarian access between the previous update and the current situation.
Our methodology groups 9 indicators under 3 dimensions.

Read more about our methodology on access


ACAPS publishes a quarterly trends report based on the main changes identified by our analysis team for all the monitored humanitarian crises.

The monitoring of crises and the data collection by ACAPS is an ongoing process, and the INFORM GCSI is updated monthly. However, trends reflected in the GCSI spreadsheet depend on the availability of data and updated calculations and may not always necessarily be reflective of actual developments on the ground.

In the report we indicate the severity score for the last months and provide a short description of why the score has changed, and whether we understand the change in the data to also be reflective of the changes in the actual crisis. The narratives also explain the challenges or limitations with data relative to the context.

Forward-looking analysis


ACAPS Quarterly risk analysis outlines a number of key contexts where a notable deterioration may occur within the next six months, leading to a spike in humanitarian needs. 

The objective of ACAPS risk analysis is to enable humanitarian decision makers to understand potential future changes that would likely have humanitarian consequences. By exposing the more probable developments and understanding their impact, they can be included in planning and preparedness which should improve response.

At ACAPS, risk analysis enables us to:

  • ensure our monitoring of countries and crises is forward-looking and our consequent analysis more informed;
  • gain advance warning about countries and crises on which we ought to report in more depth;
  • respond to specific requests for risk reports.

All of which aim to inform the ACAPS audience, and thus the humanitarian community, of likely future events.

Read more about our methodology on risk


ACAPS develops ad hoc scenarios, to help provide necessary analysis of how situations may evolve and identify the potential humanitarian impact.

Scenarios project alternative ways in which a situation might evolve. It is a set of informed assumptions about a situation that may require humanitarian action. Building scenarios involves speculating about an uncertain future and envisaging different possible outcomes for a given initial situation. When applied to the framework of needs assessments, scenarios are used to plan for possible future humanitarian crises and needs.

Read more about our methodology on scenarios


Practical modalities and technical issues

Crises selection

At ACAPS we monitor the entire world and cover every crisis (complex, sudden-onset, natural disasters, etc) as and when it happens. We report on all humanitarian sectors and do not discriminate any population groups nor geographical areas.

How do we identify a crisis?

We look at all types of humanitarian crisis defined as: “An event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area.”?This includes both natural and man-made disasters. 

What do we mean by complex crisis or country level?

In the INFORM GCSI, a complex crisis refers to a crisis in which a combination of natural and/or man-made factors interacts and overlaps making it impossible to separate them into different individual crises. Country level refers to the aggregation of several different crises occurring in a country, usually in separate locations, or affecting different groups of people and due to different factors, which do not overlap and require a specific response. 

When do we add a crisis?

The following inclusion criteria will apply for adding a crisis in our portfolio:

•    The number of people affected is at least 30,000 people.
•    The number of people affected is at least 1% of the population of the country and the number of people in need is at least 10,000 people.

When do we remove a crisis?

•    For onset disaster we remove the crisis after 6 weeks if there are no updates on needs.

•    For protracted crises, there are no set thresholds. A decision will be taken on an ad hoc basis from the analysis team.


Our analysts monitor the globe on a daily basis, mainly through secondary data review, using INGOs’ and UN agencies reports, as well as local media and other sources. All relevant humanitarian developments are then discussed within the team and decisions are made on how to highlight information that illustrates a humanitarian impact or humanitarian consequences. Contextual developments are also sometimes included when they have, or might have in the future, humanitarian implications. All relevant updates can be found under ‘Latest developments’ in each country page, while each Thursday we publish the ‘Weekly Picks’ on our homepage to highlight recent humanitarian developments which took place during the previous and/or current week. 


ACAPS checks all primary and secondary information taking into consideration those that comply with the following criteria:

•    Authenticity, accuracy, precision and reputation

•    Corroboration/consistency with other independent sources

•    Plausibility in context

Among the volumes of information on humanitarian crisis, it is important to scrutinise the data available and spot dubious data.

Read more about this in our technical brief 'Spotting dubious data'

Through time and experience, ACAPS has been able to develop an extensive library of materials helpful to improve analytical skills and practice. Check our technical briefs

ACAPS is committed to data privacy and protection, and only use data that has been obtained lawfully and by fair means. Data containing personal information on any individual or private communication is never accessed without the knowledge and consent of the individuals. ACAPS has strong data sharing protocols in place ensuring privacy and do no harm. ACAPS strives for accuracy and transparency and uses safeguards to prevent unauthorised disclosure of data.