Case Study

Rich Visual Analytics for
Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD)

Project Brief

Keshif offers a suite of rich and analytically powerful interactive data visualizations and dashboards for the Aid Workers Security Database, a project of Humanitarian Outcomes, utilizing our core data technology. Keshif's AWSD dashboards includes multiple types of animated maps for point location and administrative level data, interactive timestamps and time-race charts, country ranking lists, dynamic scatterplots, customized incident and country profiles, incident description analytics, and filtering across different metrics.

Our solution enables field security and operations managers, conflict and policy analysts, and the public to easily track trends, identify key personnel threats, locate geographic hotspots, and perform in-depth analysis and discovery of this leading comprehensive and public dataset that provides an empirical foundation for analysis of the changing security environment for civilian aid operations worldwide.

About Aid Worker Security Database

The Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) ( is a global compilation of reports on major security incidents involving deliberate acts of violence affecting aid workers. The AWSD is the most comprehensive global sources of incident data on aid workers, providing the evidence base for analysis of the changing security environment for civilian aid operations since 1997. The AWSD is a project of Humanitarian Outcomes, and is supported by the Government of Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT); the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA/USAID); and the Government of Ireland, Irish Aid.

The Challenge

The rich methodology of the AWSD dataset supports many perspectives to explore and learn about the threats, attacks, and impact on aid personnel and operations worldwide. However, current solutions to present the data are limited to narrative reports and basic summary graphs and tables, with little interactivity or opportunity for granular filtering, preventing target audiences to perform in-depth analysis and explore the full potential of the data. Further, the reuse of the raw data is limited to only audiences and organizations that have resources and/or capacities to use external analysis tools to gain deeper insights and knowledge on security threats to aid workers.

At Keshif, we recognized our technology provides unmatched capabilities to analyze this important dataset, and decided to provide the international development community, field security and operations managers, researchers and analysts, and the public the opportunity to interact with rich and historic data of this public resource, and analyze it in depth through multiple visualization techniques to reach insights that are otherwise hidden in the data.

Solution Highlights

We developed an elegant, user friendly and analytically powerful visualization solution that fits the Aid Worker Security Database and its methodology.

  • We developed multiple narrative dashboards with interactive maps and charts for field security and operations managers, conflict and policy analysts and researchers, and the public to engage with the data to reach insights.
  • We applied and customized our visualization data analytics technology for the AWSD dataset to create different in-synch animated maps, time-stamps, and dynamic charts to present both, an overview of aggregate trends worldwide to a single incident display.
  • We transformed single events data into aggregate results for each country to present other rich perspectives for analysis of incidents and threats to aid workers over time, and across themes and geography. The solution provides country score and ranking lists, time-series trends and race charts, dynamic scatterplots, customized country and single incident exam, and filtering across different incident metrics, themes, geographies and time.
  • Our article published at Africa Portal presents a contextual, subject-matter analysis of trends on attacks to aid workers in sub-Saharan Africa region, from that status in 2008 to most recent events, with charts and videos that present actionable insights.

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