Since the beginning of the year, the HDX Dakar Data Lab has worked with many organizations throughout West Africa on data projects. The goal of the Lab is to increase access to data in support of humanitarian response efforts in the region.

Our main focus has been to work with organizations on data sharing and related services, such as data cleaning and visualization. Five West Africa-based organizations have recently joined or become active on HDX.

Here is a look at the data they have made available:

ACTED, a French humanitarian organization, and the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction have joined HDX and will be sharing new data shortly.

In addition to supporting data sharing, we have developed a number of interactive data visualizations. We worked with OCHA’s Regional Office in West Africa on a visualization of Lake Chad ahead of the Oslo Humanitarian Conference in late February. The visualization shows how the crisis has progressed over the last two years, leaving some 10 million people in need of assistance across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Food insecurity and malnutrition have reached critical levels for one in three families.


We also created a visualization for the African Development Bank (AfDB) to highlight the resilience of the African Banking System. AfDB completed a survey for all African countries to understand the changes in the financial sector from 2005 to 2014. The visualization consists of three graphs: the trends of relevant indicators related to the banking system, the density of bank branches for each country, and the increased provision of financial services. This data can be helpful for organizations undertaking cash readiness assessments across the continent.


In the coming months, we will be focusing on a number of new projects. We’re in the concept phase of developing a database of historical disease outbreaks, and we will be adding food security and health data to the Lake Chad visual. We are also excited about the integration of OpenStreetMap with the HDX platform which will create a regular update of OSM layers such as buildings, roads and waterways for West African countries.

We are seeing an increase in HDX visits and data downloads from users in the region and globally. We hope that we can continue to create value and impact from our data partnerships. If you’d like to collaborate, please email us at