An exploration into relatable data


When scrolling through my Instagram feed, there are few posts that grasp my attention for more than a second, that is until I stumble upon Mona Chalabi’s data sketch posts. As the Data Editor of The Guardian US, Chalabi’s designs hand-drawn data sketches to make numbers more relatable.

Numbers are a huge part of the refugee crisis. According to the UNHCR, accurate, relevant, and timely data and statistics are crucial to refugee operations. Inspired by Chalabi’s ability to simplify complex concepts into accessible charts, I decided to create my own hand-drawn data sketch to display the presence and capacity of four of the most overcrowded refugee camps in Greece.

Overcrowding is the biggest single issue for many camps. Roland Schoenbauer, a spokesman for UNHCR Greece, states that tensions in the camps are linked to the overcrowding of sites. The overcrowding of sites is due to the slow processing of asylum requests.

As seen in the chart as the most overcrowded camp in Greece, the camps in Chios have a capacity of 1,300 people but recent estimates suggest that it currently houses 3,845 refugees. (On May 21, our dialogue will send a small reporting team to Chios island to work with a Boston area woman who has been lending support in the crisis as an aid worker.)

As we venture out this Monday to witness the humanitarian crisis, I hope to work with the writers of our reporting team to make the complex information of the refugee crisis more accessible, humane, and actionable.
Presence and capacity are based on governmental figures from the Coordination for the Management of the Refugee Crisis as of 02 May 2017 provided by the UNHCR.


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