Hidden Hunger Exposed in 5 views

Posted by on 2016-01-15

Hidden Hunger VOTW


I was thrilled on Monday to learn that Tableau had awarded us the VIZ OF THE WEEK for Jan 10, 2015.  This project had five contributors who volunteered their time to expose Hidden Hunger.  The five of us met at a Women in Data panel I spoke at in September at Visa. Having met for the first time, we bonded over a love of data visualization and doing Good Works with Data.  We collaborated remotely via Slack for the entire project, never meeting again in person. It’s incredible how Tableau has a way of bringing people with a desire to do good together and we were thrilled to help Bread for the Wold Institute get out there message about the evolving face of hunger, about Hidden Hunger, and contribute to the 2016 Hunger Report.
I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to work with AlinaKK, Chris, Kip and Derek at Bread. I met Derek at the Tapestry Conference in the spring of last year and in May, LivingData cohosted a bicoastal Vizathon with Jon Schwabish and HelpMeViz. It was Bread’s second Vizathon and an incredible opportunity to spin up teams data scientists, designers, analysts, visual artists, data visualization specialists and general do-gooders in Washington, DC and San Francisco to get out the message that there’s a new form of hunger, Hidden Hunger, that we need to see and address to end hunger.

Our Hunger Report viz was done in a matter of weeks to go out with the Thanksgiving release of the 2016 Hunger Report.  IFPRI provided the data and Derek our three goals to visualize:

  1. Overall, extreme forms of hunger (marked by stunting and wasting rates) in the developing world are falling. This is very good news!
  2. Yet rates of micronutrient deficiency remain stubbornly high. This problem is virtually invisible, but still plagues one in two preschool-aged children, stunting their mental and physical development and keeping them from being able to learn and earn to full potential. Children who are undernourished early in life are at greater risk of becoming overweight or obese later on.
  3. Meanwhile, adult obesity and overweight are rising rapidly in these same countries, carrying with them a growing burden of health problems (Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like Diabetes, Hypertension, heart disease, etc.) that are set to overtake traditional hunger as the greatest threat to human lives in the developing world. Poorer countries do not have the healthcare infrastructure to treat these conditions adequately. Thus, many of the global poor that were liberated from traditional hunger in the last few decades are made to face a new, but no less deadly, threat–obesity. Obesity is hunger for the right kinds of food.


Viz of the Week Tableau ClientThe team worked diligently, communicating almost entirely on a Slack channel (way better than email) to deliver a visual story to be released at the same time as a 2016 Hunger Report at Thanksgiving.  We followed up with a few updates since then and Tableau has not only graciously awarded us a Viz of the Day on 12/15/2015, but this week they awarded us the very prestigious honor of Viz of the Week. Interestingly, it seems that VIZ OF THE WEEK is a Thursday – Wednesday honor and as I’m posting today a new viz has won that award. Regardless, we are thrilled that so many have experienced this story.


The great thing about this incredible honor is that all week our viz appeared in the Tableau Client and received thousands of views.  Thousands of people who didn’t know about Hidden Hunger are learning about the great strides we’ve made to end hunger and the road we have ahead.  I can’t imagine a greater honor than bringing attention to this very worthy cause at such an incredible scale. Thank you Tableau and thank you the incredible development team that worked with me on this project. This is truly an example of doing Good Works with Data.

Humbly and with gratitude,

Posted in: commentary, Good Works


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