International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Kenya Red Cross
Sponsored by IFRC GO

The ‘Nightingale’ Data Viz Challenge

Sponsored by IFRC GO

Calling on all Data Viz Champions!

Challenge is closed.

Data visual products are such powerful tools! They help us understand and analyse data quickly and effectively.

Data visualisation (or ‘data viz’) is the process of presenting complex data and information in a visual format such as graphs, charts, and maps. It can help to identify patterns and trends that might not be visible in raw data.

Have you or your National Society produced a specially innovative data visual product that helped you and your National Society teams improve communication and decision-making?

Take the Data Viz Challenge now and share your work with the Red Cross and Red Crescent network!

This challenge is sponsored by IFRC GO – IFRC’s emergency operations platform for capturing, analysing and sharing real-time data during a crisis. It helps our network better meet the needs of affected communities.

Florence Nightingale’s Rose Diagram1858 to 1/1859
Detail from Nightingale’s “Diagram of the Causes of Mortality in the Army of the East”.


In 2019, the IFRC held its first data visualisation challenge intended to bring together data visualisation talent from across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to think of innovative ways of improving common operational information products.

A second edition of the data visualisation challenge was held in 2021, focusing in 3w -or who, what, where? data- to look for creative and innovative contributions to the improved 3w module in GO*.

We are inspired by the example of Florence Nightingale, who as well as helping to found the British Red Cross in 1870, was a pioneer in the use of data visualisations, to illustrate and advocate for the need of sanitary reforms to save lives. 

In this third edition of the challenge, we are calling Data Viz creators to continue demonstrating our impact and supporting decision-making for humanitarian response. 

*IFRC GO is IFRC’s emergency operations platform for capturing, analysing and sharing real-time data during a crisis. It helps our network better meet the needs of affected communities.

Who can participate

Applications can be submitted by Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society individual volunteers or staff. We highly encourage staff and volunteers from branches to submit their ideas.

IMPORTANT: You should seek approval from your National Society before applying.

Challenge is closed.

What to submit

Every year, small and medium-sized disasters occur in silence. Without media attention or international visibility, they can struggle to attract funding—putting affected communities at risk of being completely neglected.

To support these smaller disasters, or to provide initial funding before launching an Emergency Appeal, the IFRC rapidly channels funding to Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies through the DREF—enabling them to deliver fast and effective local humanitarian action.  Read more about the DREF here

With an annual average of 115 DREF operations over the past 5 years, the coverage of the DREF is worldwide, reaching countries from all IFRC regions and allowing National Societies to respond more effectively to disasters and crises.

There is an untapped potential to use data visualisation to describe DREF coverage and impact, as well to potentially even prescribe and suggest future improvements to reach more rapidly and effectively those affected by disasters and crises.  The intended users for such a product would be humanitarian advisors, operations managers, and others who are looking at trends in Red Cross Red Crescent responses supported by the DREF. 

Create a visual product aiming to improve analytics and support decision-making for the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).

We are looking for creative, innovative, impactful, friendly and user-focused visual products to improve analysis of DREF data.

It can be in any format and any tool: a dashboard, infographic, map, chart, custom graphics, set of sketches or any combination of these

  1. To participate, you will manage and work with real DREF data. It is a subset of general information about DREF operations from 2018 to 2022 in all five IFRC regions. The dataset has been cleaned already, so you will only focus on exploring and understanding the data, and start building your visual product. Download a copy of the dataset by clicking here.
  2. Read the instructions in the dataset, in the tab called ‘additional_information’. 
  3. The data to be used for your visual product is located in the tab called ‘dref_data’.

FAQ 1: The Dref dataset is large. Can one use a subset of the data/content to focus only on one country or area?

Explore, be creative and be clear on your audience and goal. Consider your audience including leaders/decision-making. Keep it simple. If you would like to focus on a country and a specific target, you can go ahead and do that.

FAQ 2: Can I use digital links like Power BI?

It is up to the participant. Add your link in the description file. Then, also add another format. Be sure that the file you add is publicly viewable.

If you have any issues submitting your visual product, contact the IFRC IM focal point for the challenge, Luis Fanovich at [email protected]


Submissions are accepted in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, but please note that if you are selected to travel to Nairobi for the Global Innovation Summit, you will need to be able to work in English as no translation is provided at this event.

When to Submit

Submissions are now closed.

Selecting Winners

One winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to attend and present at the Global Innovation Summit in Nairobi, Kenya from the 26th to the 28th June.

If a team entry is selected as a finalist, only one representative from that team will be funded to attend the Global Innovation Summit.

This edition of the challenge will also offer ‘Honourable Mentions’! Visual products with special characteristics will be awarded. Honourable Mentions’ categories will be announced along with the winner.

The winning visual products will be used to suggest and inspire the upcoming DREF section and dashboards in GO*.

Winners – including First Winner and ‘Honourable Mentions’- will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Storytelling — can you get insight from the visualisation?
  • Simplicity — how user-friendly is the design?
  • Aesthetics — how elegant is the design?
  • Creativity — how innovative is the design?

A Review Panel will evaluate each of the submissions based on the abovementioned criteria. The review panel will be composed of members of IFRC and National Societies.

A ‘Vote of the Community’ where Red Cross Red Crescent Movement members will submit their votes for the best visual product. The voting system for the ‘Vote of the Community’ will be released after the deadline for submissions.

The winner must be eligible for travel, including a valid passport.Winners will be announced in the week of May 15th.