A new chapter in the coordination among humanitarian actors has opened, after the launch of the online tool ActivityInfo in Greece. This platform, which was officially introduced in August 2016, aims to simplify reporting and allow real-time monitoring of humanitarian activities, by helping aid organizations to collect, map and analyse their work in a standardized way.
The platform is managed by UNHCR’s Information Management Unit, which is funded by the European Commission – Humanitarian Aid. “Thanks to the European Commission’s contribution, the IMU has not only been able to develop such a tool, but also to train 120 actors at the national level –including sector coordinators and working group members– in using ActivityInfo,” says UNHCR’s Information Management Officer Hawraa Harkous.
ActivityInfo will play an incremental role in the adding new tools, Harkous underlines: On the basis of the platform, the Information Management Unit plans to create a separate “Who, What, Where” page for each UNHCR partner, so that their work as a whole can be shown. Besides, there will be data analysis for every sector, which will facilitate the identification of outputs and gaps. In addition, following the analysis of the information collected for the 48 government-run sites in the country, a similar analysis will be made for the 40 urban areas hosting refugees and migrants. This is expected to lead to a more comprehensive image of the work done and the situation in the field.
One should note that government partners and donors will also have access to the platform, so as to immediately identify gaps and plan their funding activities according to the needs.
“All this is very important for programmatic decisions”, notes Rami Beirkdar, representing the NGO Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and co-chairing the Cash Working Group. “It is also a process of capacity building, while at the same time you have an instantaneous gap analysis and a coverage of services system.”
In sum, the advantages of ActivityInfo include:
- Track sector activites all across Greece in a standards applicable system that will ensure inter-operable approaches to data collection and analysis.
- Reduce duplication of efforts and show locations that are not receiving adequate coverage.
- Facilitate monitoring of responses under and outside of the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan, through a unified database for collection of information on activities, response and gaps.
- Produce data analysis and reports.
- Accessible to any organization in any location in Greece who is part of the emergency response.
- Partners spend less time on reporting and donors can view real-time information.
- Easy data entry – no technical or advanced computer skills are necessary.
- Maintain an overview of activity progress in a rapidly changing environment.
- Greater capacity for analysis of trends and gaps.
By Christina Pantzou