ACAPS' CORE BUSINESS
What is your mission as an organisation?
With our work we aim to better inform the humanitarian actors to ensure a more evidence-based response. Humanitarians make life-saving decisions but in a complex, fast-moving situation, it is hard to get a clear picture. ACAPS helps you see the crisis.
What is the impact of ACAPS?
By providing high quality independent analysis of the humanitarian situation, we contribute to a more evidence-based response which will better help the affected populations.
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 conducted 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. This programme got suspended at the end of 2020 due to contextual reasons.
What does ACAPS stand for?
ACAPS stand for 'Assessment Capacities Project'. When ACAPS started in 2010, our team was mainly focused on undertaking field needs assessment and producing needs assessment tools. Today, our core activity is centred around providing humanitarian data and analysis although we still provide assessment related services. Therefore we stop spelling out our name and maintain the acronym ACAPS to avoid confusion, since its meaning does not reflect the core activities of 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. We collaborate with different humanitarian actors but we are not affiliated or follow the mandate of any of them. 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.
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 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 our ‘Weekly Picks’ on the homepage of this website to highlight recent humanitarian developments that took place during the previous and/or current week.
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’ 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 floods in Mozambique and Hurrican Irma and Maria in Dominica.
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 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
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.
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?
All countries and indicators are assessed on a weekly basis. The website is updated accordingly. The INFORM GCSI datasets are uploaded on a monthly basis. In case of a sudden-onset disaster it could be uploaded when it happens.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
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.