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It can be a challenge to gather scientific evidence on the impacts of humanitarian aid, particularly in emergency conditions such as natural disasters.
To identify who should benefit from aid and how much they should receive, a scientific approach is needed and data collection techniques have to improve, according to experts at UK think-tank the Overseas Development Institute.
Joanna Macrae, senior research advisor at the UK Department for International Development, stressed the importance of opening up big data currently locked inside individual agencies. She said that sharing information would allow researchers to interrogate data sets from different perspectives, helping to create better aid policies.