Humanitarian Data Science with R

Humanitarian actors are increasingly using data to drive their decisions.

Humanitarian Data Science with R

January 21, 2021

Humanitarian actors are increasingly using data to drive their decisions. Since the Haiti 2010 earthquake, the volume of data collected and used by humanitarians has been growing exponentially and organizations are now relying on data specialists to turn all this data into life-saving data products.

These data products are created by teams using proprietary point and click software. The process from the raw data to the final data product involves a lot of clicking, copying and pasting and is usually not reproducible.

Another approach to humanitarian data science is possible using R. In this talk, I will show how to seamlessly develop reproducible, reusable humanitarian data products using the tidyverse, rmarkdown and some domain-focused R packages.

Additional Videos

Amahdou Dicko Q&A

Amahdou Dicko and Matt Thomas Q&A

About the speaker

Ahmadou Dicko is a statistics and data analysis officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where he uses statistics and data science to help safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees in West and Central Africa. He has an extensive experience in the use of statistics and data science in development and humanitarian projects. Ahmadou was the lead of the OCHA Center for Humanitarian Data team for West and Central Africa and has worked with several humanitarian and development organizations such as IFRC, FAO, IAEA, OCHA. Ahmadou is a RStudio trainer ( and he is passionate about the R community. He is currently co-organizing the Dakar R User Group ( and co-leading the AfricaR initiative ( ).