About Us

About us

OUR MISSION

IRIN delivers unique, authoritative and independent reporting from the frontlines of crises to inspire and produce a more effective humanitarian response.

THE CONTEXT

The number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled over the past decade. Climate change, population growth, volatile markets, water scarcity, sectarianism and the mushrooming of armed groups and extremists are pushing more and more communities to the edge. The unprecedented number of concurrent emergencies has exposed serious weaknesses in the current international emergency aid apparatus: financing is unsustainable; local communities do not have enough of a voice; and needs are not adequately met. It is a critical time of change for the multi-billion-dollar international humanitarian sector, which is under pressure to reform the way aid is delivered.

Core to a vision of increased accountability, transparency and efficiency in the international relief industry is an independent voice of analysis and critique. Yet mainstream media coverage of international affairs has been declining steeply over the last two decades; and there is still a major disconnect between the voices of those most affected by crises and decision-makers sitting in New York and Geneva. IRIN fills this gap. We have been a leading source of credible, in-depth, field-based news about crises for two decades. And with our newly independent stance, our editorial voice is bolder; our reach is expanding; and our role is ever more critical.

Read more about our vision.

OUR HISTORY

After 19 years of award-winning humanitarian news and analysis, IRIN, originally the "Integrated Regional Information Networks", left the United Nations in January 2015 to relaunch as an independent, non-profit media venture. We have been providing ground reporting on humanitarian crises in a way nearly no other institution does. Outside the UN, we are even better positioned to play this critical role, drawing on the expertise, networks and credibility we have developed, and combining them with increased reach, a more innovative approach and a sharper voice. 

HOW WE WORK

Through a global network of more than 200 local correspondents, experienced editors and analysts, and an intimate knowledge of the humanitarian sector, IRIN provides insider multimedia news and analysis from hotspots in more than 70 countries.

Thanks to this network, we are in a unique position to alert the public and the humanitarian community on crises before they happen, as they unfold, and after mainstream media interest starts to wane, keeping forgotten humanitarian crises on the policy agenda.

We produce reportage, in-depth interviews, explainers, interactive maps, graphics, galleries, top ten lists, curated reading suggestions, guest commentary and more. We cover Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, and publish in English, French and Arabic. 

OUR AUDIENCE

IRIN reaches millions of people in more than 190 countries every month through our website, email subscription service, social media channels and syndication partners. More than 200 news outlets and journals - from the New York Times to the Uganda Chronicle - cite or republish our work.  

IRIN’s audience is:

  • influential: 61 percent of readers have an impact on humanitarian issues and policy;
  • growing: 75 percent of visitors to the website are new;
  • diverse: Half of our readers are less than 34 years; two-thirds of them are based in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

IRIN is unique in its ability to reach influential decision-makers in governments, the UN, and NGOs; those affected by crises on the ground; other media; and the general public. 

Find out more about our reach:

OUR IMPACT

IRIN keeps the general public, aid agencies, and donors informed and accountable, leading to improved humanitarian response. 

Our work helps sound the alarm. We have a long track record of tracking simmering issues before they hit crisis point. We were one of the first media outlets to report on the crisis in Darfur in 2003; and the first to flag that malaria was becoming resistant to the Artemisin drug in 2009. We warned the international community that Boko Haram would become a serious threat to security in West Africa as early as 2009, and reported on the impending 2011 famine in Somalia months before it hit mainstream news. We flagged discrimination against Myanmar’s Rohingya people since 2008, years before the tensions escalated into violent clashes, which displaced tens of thousands of people. 

Our reporting keeps the aid industry accountable. In 2015, funding for UN emergency appeals totalled $22 billion.  By bringing more transparency to the complex and under-scrutinized aid sector, IRIN is part of a positive change in humanitarian response, which serves the need of the aid community, including its donors, but more importantly those who are most in need.

IRIN is a catalyst for change in the aid sector, from prompting a new programme to fight malnutrition in Nigeria to spurring a debate in the Egyptian parliament to forcing the UN to change course in its reform process.

OUR GOVERNANCE

IRIN is a non-profit association, headquartered in Geneva, and governed by Swiss law. Its founding members bring together a mix of expertise in journalism, crisis zones, humanitarian affairs and organizational strategy. Award-winning author and former New York Times foreign corresopndent Howard French, now an associate professor at Columbia Journalism School, serves as the association's president.

A high-level advisory group provides further oversight. 

OUR TEAM 

IRIN is led by Heba Aly, a quadrilingual multimedia journalist with years of experience reporting from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia; and Ben Parker, a former aid worker with decades of experience in senior management at the United Nations, online media and development communications.

Our specialist editorial staff are decentralized, giving IRIN a global grounding and reach. Their work is supported by more than 200 freelance reporters, filmmakers and graphic designers, based in crisis zones around the world. 

Meet the full team.

OUR FUNDING

IRIN's funding comes from a mix of sources: governments, foundations, international organizations, the private sector and charged services. In 2015, IRIN was funded by Jynwel Charitable Foundation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. New partners in 2016 include the United Nations Foundation, the European Asylum Support Office and the Swiss Lottery (Loterie Romande).

To join our group of partners, get in touch.

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