Data visualization for advocacy

What tools (ideally open source) have you found effective for creating attention-grabbing data-driven advocacy pieces? Or, do you have examples of infographics you’ve found really compelling?

I’m currently working on the Myanmar team’s first policy brief, which should be released just after the Myanmar elections in November. It will be in both Burmese and English, and based on 150 land grab cases that our paralegals have worked on here. Together @micahperlin and I brainstormed a few tools such as ArcGIS and Piktochart as a way to represent some of this data, but I’d love to hear if there are other ideas out there too-- especially for options that are relatively easy to learn and don’t require much internet connectivity :slight_smile:


hi @caitlinpierce exciting to hear that you are working on this. These are some good free visualization tools which hopefully don’t take up too much bandwith (although if you are having an issue do feel free to send me the data and I can send you back the graphic using the California internet).

Here are some examples that might give you some inspiration:

  • These infographics all won at the Cartagena DataFest and you should be able to use some of the software for free - the human development tree was the winner
  • This 7 billion population visual is an easy and accessible way to break up how different people are affected by an issue
  • This graphic on the number of deaths in Qatar is a impactful way to show the scale of how an issue (bottom of the page).
  • This ODI brief sums up their whole argument in a one page infographic (jump to page 11) and you can see more of their visuals here I really like the see-saw but not sure how culturally relevant that would be in Myanmar

If you want to bounce any ideas around do let me know, I love this kind of stuff :slight_smile:


Let’s continue to challenge ourselves within our programs and across Namati to convey our story + impact in compelling, quickly-digestible formats like infographics – it’s a great exercise in distillation of the essential story. And, such great material to share with funders. @caitlinpierce I look forward to seeing your results!


Adding to Stacey’s great resources, allows you to convert Excel files (which you can easily export from Salesforce) to google maps. Not the prettiest of maps, but helpful!

See here ( a quick example that I did in about 10 minutes (the only challenge was that Myanmar has many spellings for the same locations, so in a few cases I had to cross-reference and change the inputs to make it all show up, but not too tricky).


An interesting post from Reboot, a social impact firm focused on making development more efficient and responsive to users’ needs. I particularly liked the point that we process words sequentially but graphics simultaneously!


Hello @caitlinpierce! I’m very late to the conversation but I wanted to share some resources I found useful.

Tactical Tech, a Berlin-based organisation working in the field of information + activism, has a guide on “visualising information for advocacy”, you can find it here:

They also have a database with visualisation tools:

When I was based in Berlin, I had the opportunity to take a course with them on creative collection and presentation of evidence in human rights litigation and I really liked their work.

Hope you find it useful!