Data Preparedness Unit

Data use is recognized as a key pillar in service delivery within the humanitarian sector.

This program generates accurate risk data to support short and long-term disaster risk reduction planning and implementation. The unit aims to use innovative technologies such as drones, satellite imagery, and crowdsourcing information through mapping platforms and social media to generate risk data and risk assessments..

The programmer’s goal is to build industry standard data & digital solutions to enhance capacities to respond effectively to crisis, provide feedback and document learning for future scenarios through these streams:

Current ongoing Projects


Building capacity on data preparedness/use.

Data literacy is increasingly crucial for today’s humanitarians. There has been a rapid and significant shift in data’s role in the humanitarian sector. Data shapes many aspects of the work and nearly all humanitarians use data. Yet while data use is universal, data skills are not. In light of this, ICHA data preparedness team has conducted a series of training with the Red Cross Action Team (RCATS), National Disaster Response Team (NDRT) and Red Cross staff and Volunteers on mobile data collection, data management, analysis and visualization, use of GIS and data protection. The trainings aim to empower technical and non-technical staff and volunteers to use data more effectively in their day-to-day work.

Risk Assesment

Flood Risk Mapping

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS)-ICHA and British Red Cross (BRC), with funding from ECHO (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations ) implemented a two-year project to enhance disaster preparedness for effective early action and response in Garissa, Tana River and Kilifi counties. A significant component of this project was to build the technical and institutional capacity of county government staff, disaster units/committees, community-based response teams, Red Cross volunteers and community groups to implement early warning and early action (EWEA) and disaster preparedness and response. One approach to improving flood preparedness is identifying areas and elements at risk of flooding and consequently using this information to improve flood risk management and disaster preparedness.

In 2021 the team trained local communities in conducting flood risk mapping. The flood risk maps developed were later validated by state and non-state stakeholders involved primarily in flood response. These maps will play an integral role in implementation of flood early warning and early action (EWEA) by providing concrete evidence of areas in Tana River, Kilifi and Garissa Counties that are affected by floods, the impacts associated with floods and communities that are more vulnerable to the effects of floods.

Community-led COVID-19 risk mapping in Mukuru slums

In January and February 2021, KRCS sought to leverage on its innovative approaches through the use of the WingtraOne fixed-wing drone to map out and conduct surveillance activities to monitor COVID-19 hot spots in Mukuru kwa Njenga, Mukuru kwa Reuben and Viwandani slums in Nairobi, Kenya. The main objective of this activity was to understand how COVID-19 impacts people living in the densely populated and unsanitary environments of Mukuru slums. Drone imagery processing – Pix4D – and geospatial analysis was done to develop risk maps showing the hotspot area.

Remote sensing technology for vulnerability assessments

International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA) and Regional Centre for Mapping and Resource Development (RCMRD) provided technical support to NDMA (National Drought Management Authority) on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-(UAV) Drones and remote sensing technology for vulnerability assessments and response planning to enhance national food security and climate resilience in Eswatini. The overall objective was to strengthen Eswatini’s climate resilience, disaster risk reduction and vulnerability assessments in the agricultural sector by building capacity on access to and application of meteorological data, UAV technology and remotely sensed imagery for crop monitoring and early warning systems. The technical assistance was expected to strengthen the country’s capacity to identify, plan for and respond to climate-induced vulnerabilities and food insecurity situations in the country.
This project was funded by the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

Showcase data solutions through events

Mapping with High School Students

With support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), KRCS-ICHA hosted a GIS (Geographical Information System) mapping event in Mbagathi High School during World GIS Day, which is an annual event that is celebrated on 16th November. The theme of the event was to introduce Spatial Thinking in High Schools by bringing the geographic knowledge the students have acquired to life by showcasing the Red Cross’s use of GIS for emergency response, engaging them in mapping their school and also introducing them to some of the geographical careers they can pursue. During the visit, the team also established a Red Cross Club at the school through which the students will be guided and supported to initiate their own local humanitarian interventions.

Webinars: Building data synergies for a disaster-resilient world

ICHA data preparedness team held a virtual webinar with the theme of building data synergies for a disaster-resilient world. The event attracted 60 participants (21 Female; 39 male), with panelists invited from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), National Council of Population Development (NCPD), youth mappers, Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), Umma University and Vihiga county. From the conversation, it was noted that there was need to: sensitize people across all levels on data sharing and data protection; simplify data use cases; leverage on partnerships and collaborations to share private data through agreements; Need for government institutions to create awareness on the kind of data that they hold; Have open data principles where we have analysis-ready data; Have a series of open data conversations forums to tame siloed working data structures. While the discussion focused on data-sharing and cooperation between institutions, it is expected that the discussion findings would also help to improve data-sharing practices at the international and national levels