Infographic: Crisis in the Horn of Africa


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This infographic was submitted to us by Bayan.

This is appropriately sparse in design. Since it’s addressing serious issues, including drought and malnutrition, I think it couldn’t get away with being any more crowded, and it certainly couldn’t use brighter colors or gimmicky illustrations. There’s a pretty good amount of data viz on here, and plenty of vital information besides. It’s very effective in telling its story and ending on the “what can be done” note.

There are places where data viz would’ve fit in fine, but for some reason it wasn’t employed. 800 people fleeing daily, 440,000+ refugees has no visual to go with it, while 45,000 tents displays images of tents, but they do not fit any sort of scale.

Also, the 1,500 refugees arriving daily is visualized, but there’s no scale given. We just see that more come from Nairobi than Mombasa, and more from there than Dadaab. A percentage or number from each would be helpful.

On a typo note, the distribution of people in need in Somalia seems in places to refer to people (Somali, Somali refugees) and in others to refer to countries (Kenya, Djibouti). That should be standardized.

Aside from those notes, this is a really well-done infographic. It’s difficult to read not because of the design or the typography, but the severity of the data. I’m glad there is a positive ending to the IG–it not only rounds out the story with the “what’s next”/“what can you do” portion that should be included in all infographics, but gives a bit of hope to an infographic about a desperate situation.

I’d give this infographic a B+. It was conscious of design and subject matter, contains lots of valuable data and visualized nearly everything available to visualize. There’s no unnecessary text or distracting imagery.

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