ACAPS' CORE BUSINESS
What is your mission as an organisation?
ACAPS aims to provide independent humanitarian needs analysis in a timely manner while advocating for a more evidence-based response to the world’s crises. Our ultimate goal is to enhance the agency of crisis-affected populations through improved analysis.
What is the impact of ACAPS?
ACAPS has gained a strong reputation for its technical know-how and the quality of its resources. Through data collection and analysis, we inform and collaborate with key humanitarian stakeholders, including the donor community, INGOs, UN agencies, the Red Cross, and non-traditional actors, such as the private sector, academics, and the media. In 2020, our website received about 300,000 visits, and we produced more than 120 analytical reports – 60 of which had a major focus on the impact of COVID-19.
Based on an external Real-Time Evaluation conducted during the last quarter of 2020, ACAPS products are used for further analysis and verification (including context analysis) and risk and vulnerability mapping (including scenario and contingency planning). Respondents and interviewees highlighted the quality and independence of ACAPS’ analysis as the key to their ability to uphold humanitarian principles such as impartiality and neutrality. Some also mentioned that it allowed them to verify their own data, suggesting that ACAPS plays an important role in quality assurance.
Since our launch in 2009, we have conducted more than 100 training sessions and workshops for over 3,000 humanitarian workers. Between 2014–2020, we trained a new generation of information analysts through our 12-month traineeship. While the traineeship programme was suspended due to external factors, the Humanitarian Analysis Programme (HAP) continues at both the global and regional levels. The HAP is dedicated to training those responsible for analysis in their respective organisations.
What does ACAPS stand for?
When we started the project in 2009, ‘ACAPS’ was initially formulated as the acronym for ‘Assessment Capacities Project’. At that time, our team was focused primarily on undertaking field needs assessments and producing needs assessment tools. Although we still offer assessment-related services, our core activities today centre around providing humanitarian data and analysis. In order to avoid confusion, we no longer spell out our name.
Is ACAPS a think-tank? How is ACAPS different from any other organisation reporting on humanitarian crises?
ACAPS is an independent humanitarian information provider. While we collaborate with humanitarian actors and stakeholders, we are not affiliated with or bound by the mandate of any of our collaborators. Our analysis is based on evidence and clear methodologies; it is not linked to any operational, political, or sectoral agenda. We provide analysis in various formats; our products are not merely a summary of the information we collect but rather a value-added analytical assessment of the situation that aims to facilitate understanding of the context.
Who do your reports target?
We aim to inform humanitarian workers to help them better plan and respond to crises and emergencies. With our independent analysis, we help NGOs, UN agencies, and donors to understand the needs of the most affected populations at both the global and crisis levels.
What areas does ACAPS cover?
We monitor the globe daily. Our analysis covers all humanitarian sectors and identifies crises of any type (complex, sudden-onset, and natural disasters). Our country pages highlight the latest humanitarian multisectoral updates.
How is your analysis produced?
We collect evidence of the current humanitarian situation primarily through secondary data review from a wide range of sources, including NGOs, UN agencies, local media, and key informants. Analysts then identify and discuss relevant humanitarian developments. Once the information has been triangulated, the team identifies the best way to communicate and draw attention to humanitarian impacts. Contextual developments related to current or potential humanitarian implications are highlighted in the analysis.
Relevant humanitarian updates can be found under the ‘latest developments’ section of each country page. Every Wednesday, we publish ‘weekly picks’ to highlight recent humanitarian developments that occurred during the previous and current week.
As well as regularly updating the website, we also produce several types of high-quality analytical documents, such as briefing notes and risk reports. All ACAPS reports can be found under the ‘special reports’ section of each country page.
ACAPS currently runs Analysis Hubs in Amman, with a focus on the Yemen crisis, and in Cox’s Bazar, with a focus on the Rohingya crisis. We use information and findings from the Analysis Hubs to produce granular analytical products.
Under special circumstances, such as large-scale, sudden-onset disasters, we deploy assessment experts for more in-depth coverage.
How does ACAPS cover a country for which there is limited info?
ACAPS uses secondary data to produce analysis, as well as additional information acquired from private interviews with key informants or by working closely with organisations operating locally. Any information gaps identified are highlighted in our publications. When there is limited information available, our analysts make assumptions based on similar contextual situations.
How do you identify a reliable source?
ACAPS verifies all primary and secondary information and only uses data that complies with the following criteria:
- authenticity, accuracy, precision, and reputation
- corroboration/consistency with other independent sources
- plausibility in context.
During its early years, ACAPS developed extensive technical material to assist humanitarian actors in improving analytical practices and skills, such as the technical brief Spotting dubious data. You can find out more about the technical materials used in ACAPS’ analysis in the Methodology section.
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.
How often is your list updated?
The list of countries and the indicators are assessed on a weekly basis, and the website is updated accordingly. The INFORM Severity Index is updated monthly.
“I am based in DRC, and I would like to contribute to your analysis. I see that a topic is not well covered. How can I contribute?”
Your expertise and knowledge are key for us to further improve and refine our analysis. If you find a mistake or wish to contribute to our analysis, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
“I am trying to do scenario planning to assess risks in the next months. How can ACAPS help me?”
We provide tailored support in several areas; scenario-building is among our areas of expertise. We offer this service to organisations so that they can better plan ahead.
See previous examples of scenario exercises.