Language maps and data
CLEAR Global’s Language Data Initiative is putting language on the map in the humanitarian and development sector.
There is little information available on the languages crisis-affected people speak and understand. Humanitarians often develop communication strategies without reliable data on literacy, languages spoken, or preferred means of communication. The result too often is that crisis-affected people struggle to communicate with humanitarian organizations in a language they understand. Women, children, older people, and people with disabilities are often at the greatest disadvantage because they are less likely to understand international languages and lingua francas.
We are supporting organizations to develop language-informed programs and communication strategies through language data research and analysis..
Data by country
Datasets and maps to help understand which languages are spoken where.
Pre-formatted and translated questions for language data collection.
Tools and resources
Five easy steps to integrate language data into humanitarian and development programs
Data on the languages of affected people is as important for meeting their needs as data on their age and gender. This tool is a quick reference guide to your options on how to use language data at different stages of planning and delivering aid programs.
Brief: The 2021 multi-sector needs assessments should collect data on the languages of affected people
This brief argues that MSNAs are a critical opportunity to strengthen the evidence base for effective and accountable humanitarian response plans. It provides recommended language and communication questions, and key considerations on how to include them in MSNAs.
Blog: Language data fills a critical gap for humanitarians
Global literacy map by gender
Why we need to collect data on the languages of crisis-affected people (PDF)
This infographic highlights the challenges we face when we fail to incorporate language data into humanitarian decision making. In order to address those challenges, we propose four key questions to include in all humanitarian data collection efforts.
MSNA language data can help humanitarians communicate better with affected people (PDF)
This brief summarizes key language and communication findings from the 2019 Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessment in northeast Nigeria. It illustrates the potential for large-scale surveys of this kind to fill critical language and communication information gaps throughout the humanitarian sector.
Blog: When words fail: audio recording for verification in multilingual surveys
Rapid guide to localizing and translating survey tools
The Words Between Us: How well do enumerators understand the terminology used in humanitiarian surveys?
This report demonstrates that languages is not a routine consideration in survey design. It concludes that enumerators often do not understand the words they must translate in surveys.