Humanitarian Data collection in Under-Resourced, Disaster Affected, and Offline Settings With Workmap

In low-resource environments, the data collected can be used to inform action and improve the quality, efficiency, or impact of the response. Evaluation of the effectiveness and performance of humanitarian organizations is evolving. There is pressure to increase the effectiveness and authenticity of humanitarian projects. In particular, impact measurement is the key, and aid workers are expected to respond in some way to an existing need.

Challenges of data collection in humanitarian settings

The challenges of data collectors in humanitarian settings can be significantly different from those working in more traditional settings. Data collection in humanitarian interventions is often carried out with a technical focus, resulting in future plans that are seen as the answer to future problems. In addition, the general challenges of data collection are affected by the nature of the conflict or disaster, which is often complicated, ever-changing, and limited. As a result, the dynamics vary greatly from one environment to another, which in turn affects the degree to which individuals in these communities respond.

Given the limited resources in humanitarian interventions, it is only ethical to collect data that can be used for action. Activities are always time-sensitive and may include prioritizing needs and gaps, mobilizing available efforts and resources, coordinating response efforts to minimize duplication of effort, advocating for resources, or monitoring interventions. Because of these factors and the complex nature of disaster settings, data collectors face various challenges that can affect the quality of data collected, such as:

Difficulties in obtaining informed consent

Informed consent is one of the most common and critical ethical challenges in disasters. The World Medical Association Statement on Medical Ethics in Disasters (1994) states that when responding to a disaster, it must be taken into account that there may not be enough time for informed consent to be a realistic option (World Medical Association).

While disaster relief workers are expected to make every effort to save lives and alleviate suffering, some victims may refuse treatment. Some victims may also refuse to provide information to data collectors. There are situations where data collectors may believe they are able to help victims and overlook obtaining informed consent.

False information from respondents

Some respondents may provide incorrect data in order to receive additional or faster assistance. Occasionally, there may be other organizations in the field that collect data and promise to help respondents without delivering. This can lead to a lack of credibility and trust, forcing some respondents to refuse to cooperate or provide accurate data.


This is done through long-term data collection, which allows tracking of trends and monitoring of changes among the affected population. In such an environment where many different health care providers work with different organizations, it can be challenging to standardize the way a provider provides a report. Another challenge is that most surveillance systems are passive, which reduces the completeness and quality of data. They only capture data from cases that reach the medical facility. Those unable to seek care at these facilities are not included, which generally reduces the sensitivity of the data. Also, the data may not be representative of the target population.

Workmap as a tool for humanitarian data collection is a powerful relational database management system. You can use the simple and intuitive interface to create tables, create relationships, and create rules. You get everything you expect from an RDBMS – in an online database solution available anywhere. Use Workmap to dramatically minimize the cost of ownership in the event of IT overload. It focuses primarily on enterprise networking, collaboration, and mobility functions, expanding their ability to work effectively across a group of teams, partners, and clients. The product provides an elegant and highly adaptable framework that can be set up and deployed cost-effectively and quickly. Workmap’s main strengths are simplicity and beautification. This way, you get all the advantages of a modern workflow solution – automation, reports, forms, databases, and more.

Why this tool for humanitarian data collection

● allows you to edit your data offline and syncs everything up as soon as you have connectivity. 

Helps you automate workflows with simple do-it-yourself database applications.

● There are no additional costs such as hardware, repairs, or maintenance.

● has ten years of experience and 99.9% uptime.

What can be achieved with this tool?

With, you can not only increase your output but also add it as a fantastic database management tool. The primary features included allow you to:

● Create database relationships

● Collect data through internal and external web forms

● Collect relational data through subforms

● Extract data across tables using conditions


● Standard: $15 per month

● Business: Custom