Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Shielding Lebanon’s Future: Nurturing a Healthy Tomorrow for the Next Generation

Shielding Lebanon’s Future: Nurturing a Healthy Tomorrow for the Next Generation


“As declared by the united nations Health and well-being are important at every stage of one’s life, starting from the beginning  from the very start.”

A pivotal measure that parents can undertake during the early stages of their children’s lives is to ensure they receive the necessary vaccinations. These vaccinations play a crucial role in preserving the health of the child and contribute collectively to the well-being of society.

A high vaccination rate in countries can lead to:

  • Decrease in individual’s Health Risks
  • Decrease in disease Spread and vulnerability to outbreaks
  • Reduce the strain on Healthcare Systems
  • Economic stability


Alarming Drop in Immunization Rates Among Lebanese Children:


In 2020, Lebanon witnessed a substantial decrease in the percentage of immunization against Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus (DPT), Hepatitis B (HepB3), and measles among children aged 12-23 months. After more than ten years of stability, the immunization rate dropped to 67% in 2021, marking its lowest point in recent history.


Standing Out in a Global Context of Decline:


While middle-income and low-income countries experienced a decrease in immunization percentages in 2019 and 2020, Lebanon stood out with the most significant decline. Comparatively, when pitted against low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries, Lebanon witnessed the highest decrease in the percentages of DPT, Measles, and HepB3 immunization during these pivotal years.

This raises crucial questions about the specific factors contributing to Lebanon’s distinct challenges in maintaining essential childhood vaccination rates.

Economic Struggles Impacting children Immunization:


In 2019, Lebanon experienced a significant economic crisis, resulting in widespread job losses, with the unemployment rate reaching 13% by 2020. The cost of everyday items surged, approximately 85%, creating substantial challenges for individuals to afford medical expenses and seek necessary healthcare. Accessing healthcare has now become a luxury for many citizens, including children, as parents prioritize essential goods over vaccinations for their kids.


In addition, the Lebanese government allocated similar resources in Lebanese Lira to its healthcare system in 2019 and 2020 as it did in 2018. However, the impact of inflation eroded the purchasing power, diminishing the effectiveness of the government’s support, especially given that healthcare costs are often priced in US dollars.

Shielding the Health of the Lebanese :

In the world public health, the ramifications of low vaccination rates against DPT , Measles and HepB3 are far-reaching and dire. The repercussions extend from the heightened risk of individual health issues to the vulnerability of entire communities facing outbreaks. These outbreaks not only strain healthcare systems but also impose a substantial economic burden, creating a global health threat. The gravity of these consequences becomes most evident in the specter of preventable deaths looming over communities.

Recognizing the gravity of these consequences, urgent action is essential. The government must increase its investment in vaccination programs, ensuring free and universal accessibility. It should collaborate with international entities such as World Health Organization and NGOs to get financial support.

These efforts will not only promote individual well-being but also strengthen the communal defense against potential outbreaks, paving the way for a healthier and safer future for all.

Children being out of school

Children being out of school

The top five nations in terms of the number of children who are not in school are India, Nigeria, China, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. This ranking is based on a variety of criteria, including population size, educational infrastructure, economic situations, and social dynamics. Let’s quickly go through some of the factors that make these nations known for having large proportions of school-age children who are not attending:India: The number of children who are not in school is greatly increased by the size of the Indian population. Despite initiatives to increase access to education, issues including poverty, poor infrastructure, and cultural norms in some areas have hampered efforts to guarantee universal education.

Nigeria: Nigeria deals with issues including poverty and regional inequalities. Many kids are not attending school, especially in the country’s northern regions, due to issues including insecurity, cultural norms, resource scarcity, and poor educational infrastructure.

China: Despite significant improvements in educational access, China’s size implies that even a tiny percentage of out-of-school children can result in massive absolute numbers. The problem is exacerbated by economic differences between rural and urban areas, migration trends, and the difficulty of accessing high-quality education in remote places.

Ethiopia: Ethiopia has several socioeconomic issues that limit children’s possibilities for schooling. Particularly in rural and marginalized populations, poverty, poor infrastructure, conflicts, and cultural barriers might make it difficult to obtain education.

Bangladesh: Despite recent progress, Bangladesh still has challenges in ensuring that all children have access to education. The goal of universal education is challenged by issues including poverty, child labor, societal standards, gender inequities, and a lack of resources.

While these five nations are emphasized as having high rates of out-of-school youth, it’s crucial to keep in mind that several other nations all over the world deal with comparable challenges.


One striking aspect of this visualization is the gender disparity within the out-of-school population. The data reveals that 55.86% of these children are female, while the remaining 44.14% are male. This significant difference suggests that girls face additional barriers to accessing education, contributing to their higher representation in the out-of-school population.


The time aspect of the visualization is another important discovery. It suggests that 1971 stands out as a significant turning point, denoting the height of youngsters not attending school. This observation allows us to examine the progress made over the years in addressing this issue and implementing educational reforms.

Additionally, the graphic highlights a recurrent pattern where females had more children out of school than males throughout the course of the studied years. This pattern underlines the critical need for specific interventions and policies to overcome the ongoing gender disparities that prevent girls from achieving educational success. It is also significant to notice that, in addition to the gender gap, the data visualization also demonstrates the average number of “kids being out of school” has been progressively declining over time.

This result shows that, despite persistent gender inequities, attempts to address the problem of out-of-school children have had beneficial results. To advance toward attaining universal access to education, it emphasizes the significance of consistent investment in education and targeted activities meant to reach the most vulnerable groups, notably females.

By recognizing this declining trend in the average number of children out of school, we can acknowledge the impact of educational policies and interventions that have been implemented to improve access and reduce barriers to education. However, it is crucial to remain vigilant and address the underlying factors contributing to gender disparities and ensure that every child, regardless of their gender, has equal opportunities to receive a quality education.

To sum it up, while the visualization highlights a decreasing average number of children being out of school over the years, the persistence of gender disparities emphasizes the need for continued efforts to bridge the gap and provide equal educational opportunities for all children, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

Future4Kids: Restoring A lost Childhood

Future4Kids: Restoring A lost Childhood

Team: Ibrahim Al Jaifi, Zahraa Jassar, Rami Haidar, Ali Hachem, Rim Zeaiter, Fatima Ayoub

“ We don’t go to school; we work in the daytime to support our families and spend the rest of our day playing in the streets.”

Said Omar and Yazan, two inspiring kids in Burj Al Barajneh, a refugee camp in the suburbs of Beirut. Under 10 years old, both already carrying the responsibility of working to provide for their families instead of being enrolled in education.

According to ILO, it is estimated that 160 million children are involved in child labor, 79 million of which are in Hazardous Work that is likely to harm children’s health, safety or morals. All these children, including young Omar and Yazan, are at an age when they are supposed to be provided for, educated and protected. Having to spend most of their time working in jobs that are unsafe and exhausting, their chances of leading healthy and thriving lives diminish with each dollar they earn.

Child Labor in Lebanon

The emergence of the Lebanese economic crisis in 2019 brought with it an increase in percentage of families with children engaged in child labor from 29% to 38% between 2019 and 2021 according to IRC.

GDP, as an indicator of the economic performance of a country, noticed a 65% decrease from $52B to $18B during the period of 2019 to 2021. With this drastic drop in GDP, the unemployment rate rose from 11% to 15% while the CPI more than doubled, leaving thousands of families under the poverty line with no sources of income.

With these dramatic and sudden changes in the economic situation, 3 out of 5 children in Lebanon dropped-out of school and most of the rest switched to public education. Education has become less of a priority for both the government and families.

From a social perspective, 44% of parents who have taken part in a study by the World Vision Organization believed that involving their children in paid labor enhances their life skills and assures a source of income for their households. Meanwhile, the responsible government agencies have no clear and applicable laws in place to prohibit children’s exploitation or ensure they are enrolled in education.


Child labor has destructive impacts on the health of the child, exposing millions of children to physical, mental and emotional abuse. As a result, their mental and intellectual development face significant disruptions. Considering the increasing crime rates in the country and the exposure of children to illegal work activities, the forecasted 30% increase in crime rate in 2025 would involve criminal acts by juveniles.

Proposed Solution

Mr. Aws Al Kadasi, senior research analyst at Merci Corps, commented on the topic during an interview for this project:

According to the UNICEF, one in 5 children in the least developed countries are engaged in child labor. A problem that was aggravated by COVID-19 and global economic decline that it takes a walk in Beirut to believe these numbers. Children require different systems of protection that starts with parents and extends to every office, business, institution, organization and agency, local and international, governmental or otherwise. Everyone, who is not a child, is responsible

Both 8 and 16 Sustainable Development Goals highlights the need for international efforts to tackle the issue of child labor:

Target 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms.

Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.

Inspired by these goals as well as social responsibility towards the community, our project team designed an initiative to capitalize on the work of international aid organizations and local organizations and projects working to fight child labor and illiteracy.

F4K APP (Click to view)

Future4Kids (F4K) initiative aims to establish a cooperative relationship between NGOs that provides cash assistance to families and campaigns against child labor. F4K initiative will work on partnering with cash aid organizations and NGOs working in child education. Receiving cash assistance would be conditionally linked to the enrollment of beneficiaries’ children in education with families being required to show evidence of child enrollment in education periodically.

The initiative platform will allow these two parties to join efforts to encourage families to enroll their children in education. F4K platform will also allow for receiving public donations for child education campaigns carried out by our partners.

The road to fighting child labor

The road to fighting child labor

You’ve probably heard about all the advancements that the world has witnessed in the past decades, be it on technological breakthroughs, social rights or positive movements towards a sustainable society. You heard leaders from all around the globe preaching these achievements, promising the current generation “a better future for their kids”. But have you ever paused for a second and thought about these last few words? “Better future for their kids”. You pause for a second and look around, to just realize that this world that we are trying to improve for the future generations, has already condemned part of that generation – and their only fault is that they are kids. This post specifically targets child labor – a crime which, to date, has not yet been abolished. What is child labor exactly? The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines child labor as any activity that physically, mentally and/or morally abuses children, depriving them from their right to own their childhood. We’ve seen that despite some positive developments towards the beginning of the decade, the average number of hours worked by children aged 7-14 have spiked again towards the later years. This is true for both working only, and working & studying children. There is also no difference on the gender levels – both females and males have seen an increase in the average number of hours worked in recent years. Looking more granularly at the country distribution, we can spot that, indeed, a lot of positive development has happened across the world. But positive development is unfortunately not enough, when there is still one child out there deprived from his/her childhood. To be able to gain a better insight into what drives child labor, we look at a country-level comparison, where we contrast mature markets with almost nil child labor levels to countries in a more developing stage. As a case study, we look at Turkey and Egypt (both with huge populations and large economies) vs. France, Germany and the UK. The first metric we look at is women employment; indeed, in the countries where women’s participation to the labor force is higher, child labor is lower. Second, we look at birth rates: in the countries where birth rates were much higher, child labor was definitely more prevalent. Makes sense, no? The higher the number of mouths to feed, the higher the income needed! We also look at the levels healthcare spending in these countries – needless to say, the charts speak for themselves. Child labor is directly related to the household’s overall financial and well-being state. In countries where healthcare is expensive, unreliable or simply unattainable, the likelihood for falling sick is higher, putting the responsibility of feeding a household on the youngsters of the latter.We strive for a better world for the next generation, while completely ignoring the current one. How can we build a better future for children, if we are building it on the backs of children?

Out Of School Children

Out Of School Children

Meet Denis Mukwege, medicine graduate, founder of the the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, a 2018 Nobel prize winner for his effort “to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”

Now meet Thato Zungy,  a school dropout, grew up to face prison after being addicted to drugs and being involved with gangsters

Two different educational backgrounds, Two different paths, Two different influence on the society 

Due to the huge benefits that it brings to the individual development and the society as a whole, Education is a crucial matter that pushed UNICEF to declare a national emergency to deal with the shocking 80 million children dropping out of school without completing the basic schooling, despite the global efforts to promote primary education

The map below shows the top 40 countries with the highest average of Children out of school. As shown, 38 out of the 40 countries are in Africa, with Somalia recording the highest average of all (83.92)

Despite the efforts that some government make to promote primary education, some countries still witness a high average of dropouts from primary schooling. The bar chart shows the percentage of expenditure on primary education out of the government expenditure on education compared to the average children out of school. Haiti is among the top countries in Average Expenditure on primary education out of the government expenditure on education (64.9%), and still, its ranked 7th in the world with the highest average of drooped out(54.40%)

According to the UNICEF wars and disasters, discrimination based on gender, child marriage are factors that keep the children out of schools. Poverty is also considered a main barrier to education, where children are forced into employment at a very young age to accommodate the living demands. Going back to Somalia example, 43.5% of children aged 7-14 are working instead of being at school. Same with the Haiti example, despite the huge expenditure on primary education, 35.60% of children are in employment.

Solving this issue requires the collaboration of the government, schools and community

  • On a government level, increase the number of schools to avoid crowded classes and implement legislation that protects the right of education for every child. According to UNESCO and UNICEF new policies should focus on the most marginalized children to easy the access to education and improve its quality. This can be achieved by gathering information about the children, their addresses and if they attended school or are likely to do so.
  • On a community level, awareness should be spread especially among parents by showcasing the downside of dropping schools and its effect on the society
  • On a school level, Systemic Renewal must be adopted which is the continuous process of assessing goals and objectives associated to school policies, practices, and organizational structures as they have a direct impact on a wide group of learners.

Implementing those steps will have its reflection on the society by reducing the rate of crimes and violence and poverty, economic growth, and equality among genders as well as inspiring good health.