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Technology to help the World Humanitarian Summit

by: Andy Kim | October 20, 2015
3 min read

Linklaters used Kira to review the body of evidence and perspectives on humanitarian aid for the World Humanitarian Summit Synthesis Report

Back in April 2015, the team at Kira Systems was introduced to a team at Linklaters that was organizing and reporting on a large body of information collected in preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in May 2016 in Istanbul. The Summit secretariat had spent over 15 months consulting with thousands of stakeholders around the world collecting data and reports on humanitarian issues. They tasked Linklaters, along with a set of United Nations volunteers, with conducting a comprehensive and impartial review of these global perspectives.

After considering a variety of software tools, Linklaters chose to use Kira for the project for several reasons. In order to ensure legitimacy and impartiality, it was necessary to ensure that this vast body of evidence and perspectives on humanitarian aid were synthesized systematically and impartially, remaining true to the multitudes of voices heard during the process. Many of the documents were in PDF format, which complicated the review. Ideally, to be impartial and transparent, the process needed to preserve access to these source documents while still allowing reviewers to tag dozens of issues per document, and keep the original text in a database along with easy access to the source page.

While Kira was originally designed for analyzing contracts, it was still a good fit for review and analysis of other kinds of complex documents. Kira’s document viewer, which displays both the extracted text and the original document, allowed the reviewers to quickly read each document, highlight all salient text, and “tag” those regions of each document according to an issue framework developed by Linklaters in conjunction with the WHS Secretariat. Linklaters, working with Kira to develop special export formats, then used the tags to generate reports for each of the 82 identified sub-issues, presenting a single output of all text, across hundreds of submissions, relevant to that specific issue.

Screenshot of Kira Systems

These reports assisted in ensuring transparent and accountable review and analysis of the many hundreds of documents underpinning the WHS Synthesis Report.

The Kira Systems team is proud to support the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in our small way, by providing the software on a pro bono basis. In particular two members of the Kira team, CTO Alex Hudek, and Operations Associate Robin McNamara contributed to this effort.

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