ACAPS LogoACAPS Introduction to Humanitarian Needs Analysis

The training will be delivered by two trainers from ACAPS.

ACAPS is an independent information provider, free from the bias or vested interests of a specific enterprise, sector, or region. As independent specialists in humanitarian needs analysis and assessment, ACAPS is not affiliated to the UN or any other organisation. This helps guarantee that the ACAPS analysis is objective and evidence-based.

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Target audience: The course is designed for data users and/or generalists tasked with analysing and interpreting information from various sources and preparing it for decision making purposes, e.g., Desk Officers, Country Coordinators, Program Officers, etc. The participants should be involved in a role where it is required to collect and manage information from different sources, prioritise needs, and recommend resource allocation and program strategies.

The course will focus more on processing data, analysing and making sense of it, rather than collecting it. It will not be so much focused on software and ICT tools, but trying more to push the analysis from only describing information to interpreting it. The backdrop of this line of thinking rests on what we call the analysis spectrum, and the training will follow these steps.

If you’re already an assessment expert, well used to design, plan and implement assessments which includes both secondary and primary data, while also using structured ways of analysing the information, this course would be considered a refresher.

Course aim and objectives: Introduce participants to processes, skills and knowledge required to make sense of available information in humanitarian emergencies and allow them to practice a structured analytical process.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the analytical steps (the analysis spectrum), the different focuses it includes and how it may be used in humanitarian needs analysis
  • Assess different types of information products to judge their usability and suitability for analysis as well as their limitations
  • Recognise how bias can influence analysts and their ability to analyse
  • Use an analytical model/framework to facilitate analysis
  • Explain the importance of proper analysis planning when preparing assessments
  • Practice analytical and sense making techniques, including structured analytical techniques, interpreting data, building cases, drawing conclusions, and turning it into recommendations

Pre-requisites for participants: No statistical degree or specific software expertise is required to participate in the course. Participants should however, have a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and attend the course using their personal laptops.

Training content: The course should be considered as a basic introduction to analytical thinking in humanitarian settings. Broadly described the training will provide an overview of:

  • The analytical steps required when processing various pieces of information in humanitarian settings
  • General principles of secondary data review, processing, including collection, storage, collation, and summarisation
  • Use of analytical models/frameworks
  • Use of analysis planning in needs assessment processes
  • Critical thinking, bias among both analysts and decision makers, the importance of structured analytical techniques to mitigate bias, and the importance of collaboration, questioning, and writing as a way to make analysis and thinking clearer and more precise
  • Identification of key priorities, developing effective explanations, the importance of context, and communicating uncertainty

The training is intended to provide an overview of good practice in humanitarian analysis, while focusing on building the practical skills of participants in key areas. The pedagogical approach will follow a mixture of presentations and group work that are built around a case study. However, in a five-day course it cannot be expected that participants will have the chance to fully experience all the steps of humanitarian analysis. Instead, the training will focus on key areas, ensuring participants have the opportunity to practice, on a smaller scale, the skills that are most relevant.


Register now!

 HRN members have first priority for registration until November 23rd.
Remaining spaces will be made available to the public (at full price) as of November 24th. 

Montreal: January 20-24

Generously hosted by Mission Inclusion

Toronto: January 27-31

Generously hosted by Plan International Canada