Using computer simulations in refugee settlements was a scrollytelling piece I produced during my time at UN Global Pulse. It showcases research that models the spread of COVID-19 in refugee settlements in order to inform intervention planning on the ground, and explains how this computational model works.

It was my first experience with web interactives, so it was a great opportunity to learn and explore different tools. Here, I was responsible for storyboarding, illustrations, design, and developement. I collaborated with colleagues at UN Global Pulse on the story and copyedit, and with colleagues at MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab on the code. Some of the tools we used included Vue.js, d3-force, and gsap.

Screenshot of the title screen, featuring an image of three Rohingya children in Bangladesh, overlooking a settlement. Using computer simulations in refugee settlements: Diving into the epidemic models that can teach us about the spread of disease and intervention planning.



Screenshots of the scrollytelling piece

The research itself was a collaboration between researchers at UN Global Pulse, UNHCR, WHO, Durham University and MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, and more. The model was used by health professionals in the Cox’s Bazar settlement to test different intervention scenarios, like mask-wearing and opening or closing learning centers. More information can be found at this blog post and academic paper.

Animated 2-D sketch of a refugee settlement, with dots representing people moving around in a day. The background sky changes as the day progresses.

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