Visualising Advocacy

Whilst development and emergencies can be heavy on quant data: (people, nutrition rates, $ raised and spent, etc.), advocacy is more about ‘actors’ (governments, agencies, multilat orgs) and ‘moments’ (meetings, deadlines, events – planned or unexpected).

So whilst a google search for ‘data visualisation’ brings up so many free data visualisation tools and blogs of them (my mini attempt) and blogs of blogs of them (this just makes my brain bleed), what can ‘advocates’ do to explain actors and events to the visually-minded audience?

As part of their hunger campaign, World Development Movement have recently achieved the difficult task of showing the role that “the three different European institutions (the commission, council of ministers and parliament) play” over 2011-2014.

WDM Food speculation regulation timeline

After a little digging, I discovered that WDM used Tiki Toki a new free online tool

for making timelines using words and/or pictures.

Another nice example of using Tiki Toki is this timeline of the Indian Modernist Art Movement vs India History.

Other options for timelines include Timeline JS however this requires you to use a spreadsheet for entering the times and events (which I know makes some of your minds bleed). That said, I would probably recommend the first step to be (if you don’t have it already) to create a spreadsheet with 3 columns: event, date, image (weblink or file name), in order to speed up the process of creating the timeline as this separates out data collection part from data entry. Gosh I’ve lost you. Ok forget it just click on the Tiki Toki link above and play….. Let me know whether you like it or not.

So whilst UK NGOs go wild with IF campaigning in the run up to 8th June, I hope we see some more basic visualisations which help folk to understand just what ‘hunger’ means?


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