The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ogilvy PR commissioned Funnel Incorporated to bring clarity and a sense of urgency to complex data findings on anti-malarial commodities. Data visualizations were featured in presentations at World Health Meetings in Africa and Geneva that gathered key influencers of tariff and trade policy at the global and country levels, including donor governments, aid agencies, UN agencies, international NGOs, Ministers of Finance, Ministers of Health and policy advocates.
The goal of the data visualizations was to educate key influencers about the importance of addressing trade policy issues such as taxes, tariffs and import barriers that reduce access to life-saving anti-malarial commodities such as bednets, medicines and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Expeditious clearance of commodities arriving at ports of entry can significantly reduce preventable malaria deaths.
The greatest obstacle in the communication effort was the complexity of information that required translation into maps and graphics. There was also a low perception of the degree to which taxes, tariffs and import barriers still pose as significant obstacles to health access. The Gates Foundation hoped that data visualizations illustrating the disparity between countries would serve as a wake up call for the worst offenders while building awareness and concern for the issue.
To visualize the data, information designer Lin Wilson employed a pattern of circles and angular shapes. An aggressive orange hexagon highlights countries with barriers on all five anti-malarial commodities. As standings improve, the color becomes less intense. A cool blue circle represents countries without barriers.
To rank the data, a standard map illustration proved problematic. The size of a shape can imply hierarchy, and in this project the country's physical size bore no relation to compliance. Instead, various data shapes were labeled with country names and placed in the general vicinity of its location. The background featured continent outlines to orient the audience and provide the geographic accuracy that the geometric approach lacked.
Funnel Incorporated's data visualizations infused the presentation with a dramatic call to action, enabling presenters to motivate stakeholders to work together in the fight against malaria by removing barriers to access and creating an efficient global system for the rapid distribution of life-saving tools.
"Funnel Incorporated can take dry information and transform it into visually rich and emotionally engaging presentations. Funnel also knows how to cut through the clutter and boil down muddled data into a clear and convincing point of view. I recommend them highly." - SVP Social Marketing Practice, Ogilvy PR
"Working with Funnel Incorporated is not only seamless and a collaborative process, but they are masters at taking relatively dry information and making it both visually appealing and consumable for a broad range of audiences. We have worked with Funnel repeatedly on various different business asks, and are always pleased with the results - as are our clients." - Photo Art Director, Ogilvy PR