ACAPS' CORE BUSINESS

What is your mission as an organisation?  

With our work we better inform the humanitarian workers to ensure a better response. Humanitarians make life-saving decisions. But in a complex, fast-moving situation, it’s hard to get a clear picture. ACAPS helps you see the crisis.

What is the impact of ACAPS?

By giving a neutral and independent analysis of the humanitarian situation, evidence and needs-based, we hope to contribute to a better response and help save more lives.

ACAPS has gained a strong reputation for its technical know-how and the quality of its resources on needs analysis. Since our early beginnings, we carried out more than 100 trainings and workshops for more than 3,000 humanitarian workers.

By constantly improving our products and approach, we are systematically learning while providing innovation in the humanitarian assessment sector.

Since 2014 we have been investing time and expertise in the new generation of humanitarian workers with a 12-month traineeship. Every year 10 new highly qualified information analysts reinforce the capacity of the humanitarian system.

What does ACAPS stand for? 

ACAPS stand for Assessment Capacities Project. When ACAPS started in 2010, our team was focusing on undertaking field needs assessment and producing needs assessment tools. Today, although we still provide these services, our core activity is centred on providing humanitarian analysis. We therefore call ourselves ACAPS, without spelling out the acronym as it doesn’t reflect anymore who we are today.

Is ACAPS a think-tank? How is ACAPS different from any other organisation reporting on humanitarian crises?

ACAPS is an independent humanitarian information provider. Although we collaborate with all humanitarian partners we are not affiliated with any of them in terms of our analysis. Our analysis is based on evidence and needs and is not linked to any operational, political nor sectoral agenda. Our reports and website updates are value-added analytical summaries of the situation, rather than a compilation of all the information we collect.

Who are your reports aimed at?

We aim to inform other humanitarian workers, helping them better planning and responding to the crises. With our independent analysis we help NGOs, UN agencies and donors to better understand what are the most critical crises at the global level, and where are the most affected population and their major needs, at the country level.

OUR METHODOLOGY

What areas does ACAPS cover in terms of info? 

We monitor the entire world, cover all humanitarian sectors and all types of crises (complex, sudden-onset, natural disasters).  Check our country pages to get latest humanitarian multi-sectoral updates.

How is your analysis produced? 

Our analysis team consists of 8 analysts, two team leaders, two editors, and a Head of Programme. Our team is based in Geneva. Each analyst monitors a number of countries. The analysis team scans more than 300 sources on a daily basis and has regular contact with our field networks in order to update our database and provide a detailed sectoral crisis analysis by country. 

In addition to updating the website in a timely manner, we produce a wide range of high quality analytical products, such as briefing notes or risk reports. All our reports can be found under the section ‘special reports’ and ‘outlook’ of each country.

Under special circumstances, such as large-scale sudden-onset disasters some of our assessment experts are deployed for more in-depth coverage. Recent deployments include Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, and the earthquake in Nepal.

How does ACAPS cover a country for which there is limited info?

ACAPS primarily uses secondary data in its analysis, complemented by additional information acquired by conducting private interviews with field workers and other key people on the ground as well as from other organisations working at headquarter or regional level.

Where there is specific essential information missing, this is noted in our publications. Analysts are also often able to extrapolate from the information they do have, and/or compare to other similar contexts and crises to make likely assumptions about a situation where there is only limited information available.

How do you identify a reliable source?

ACAPS carefully checks all the sources (primary and secondary data) it uses to undertake its analysis. For each source, our analysts make sure to respect the following methodological criteria:

  • Authenticity, accuracy, precision and reputation
  • Corroboration/consistency with other independent sources
  • Plausibility in context, logical

ACAPS has developed extensive technical material to improve analytical practices and skills, such as this technical brief: “Spoting dubious data”. Check our library section to find out more about it.

How do you decide on the severity ranking of a crisis?

The severity ranking of a country is based on 5 indicators, showing the extent of the crisis (a and b) and informing on the country’s underlying vulnerability to crisis (c, d, e):

a) the percentage of the population in need of assistance due to recent or protracted disasters;

b) the level of access to the affected population;

c) the under-five mortality rate;

d) the Human Development Index (HDI) of the country; and

e) the number of protracted IDPs and refugees.

More information on our methodology for prioritisation can be found in the Methodology Brief.

Why are certain countries not on your ranking? 

Because those crises do not meet the criteria described in ACAPS methodology. The scope and scale of needs may not be high enough or severe enough to be included.

What makes a country go down/up or leave your ranking? 

Whenever one or many of the 5 indicators changes, countries are re-assessed and may go down or up the list. They may also get off the ranking when the humanitarian situation has evolved in a positive way and shows no relevant figures for the indicators described in ACAPS methodology.

How often is your list updated? 

All countries and indicators are assessed on a weekly basis. Every Tuesday the new list is released. 

WHAT CAN I GET

I am a fieldworker, where do I go for more specific / in-depth analysis?  

For each crisis country you will get an overview with latest developments, key figures, priorities and maps. To get a more specific update, go to the crisis analysis tab where you will find the latest humanitarian developments by sector.

If you wish to get more background information, such as economy and infrastructure, visit the country profile. For forecasted analysis, click on the tab outlook. 

Subscribe to our newsletter and you will get all our reports as soon as they are published.

I take a global overview - what are the crises which have had the biggest impact on the humanitarian situation in the last week?

Every Tuesday, our weekly picks highlight those countries where developments in the last seven days have had an important impact on the humanitarian situation. We also highlight on a daily basis, if needed, important humanitarian issues in our headlines.

If I want quicker daily updates on humanitarian crises where do I go?

Check out headlines on our homepage, follow us on Twitter, or install our CrisisAlert app: log in, follow countries of your interest, and start receiving notifications on your phone when the humanitarian situation changes.

WORKING TOGETHER

I am based in DRC and I would like to contribute to your analysis? I see that a topic is not well covered, how do I correct this? 

We definitely need your expertise and knowledge to further improve and refine our analysis. If you find an error or wish to contribute to our analysis, feel free to send us an email at info@acaps.org or press the “loudspeaker” icon you will find on top our narrative to reach ACAPS out. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

I am trying to do scenario planning to assess risks for the future? Can ACAPS help me?

Yes! We do tailored supports for various areas. Scenario building exercise is something we offer to organisations, in order to help them with their planning. Check this page to find out previous exercises and organisations we helped out with.