What is the INFORM Severity Index?
The INFORM Severity Index is an improved way to analyse the severity of humanitarian crises globally. It is a sensitive, regularly updated and easily interpreted model for measuring crisis severity that aims to assist decision-makers and contribute to improved effectiveness and coordination in humanitarian action.
Existing methods of measuring crisis severity at global level are not widely or consistently adopted and face a number of technical challenges. The primary advantage of the INFORM Severity Index is that it allows measurement of severity against an objective, common scale, which can be applied to all crises.
Specifically, the INFORM Severity Index is a composite indicator that summarises a wide range of already existing, quantitative information about crisis severity and presents it in a format that can be used more easily in decision-making.
The INFORM Severity Index is updated every month and it can be used to understand changes in crisis severity over time.
The technical development of the INFORM Severity Index has been led by a technical working group (ACAPS, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DFID, European Commission Joint Research Centre, IDMC, Karolinska Institute, OCHA). In the implementation phase, the European Commission Joint Research Centre is responsible for the methodology. ACAPS is responsible for the data collection and analysis. OCHA is the overall coordinator of INFORM.
The development of the INFORM Severity Index has been supported financially by the European Commission and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), as well as in-kind by all INFORM partners and other contributors.
The overall objective of the INFORM Severity Index is to measure the severity of humanitarian crises globally (i.e. between rather than within crises) and on an ongoing, up-to-date and regular basis. It seeks to communicate the current status of crises in a systematic, objective and understandable way.
In its use - in combination with other sources of information - the INFORM Severity Index is intended to:
- Lead to a shared and objective understanding of crisis severity
- Contribute to decisions on the allocation of resources in a way that is proportionate with crisis severity
- Justify and advocate for action, especially in the case of forgotten or unrecognised crises, and;
- Monitor trends in crisis severity over time.