Home > Food for Thought, Sustainability > Interactive Infographic: How Does Lack of Water Affect Women and Children? (Scaling)

Interactive Infographic: How Does Lack of Water Affect Women and Children? (Scaling)

Interactive Infographic: How Does Lack of Water Affect Women and Children? (Scaling).

This interactive infographic is, unfortunately, in Flash, rather than HTML.  Nevertheless, it will work in most browsers.  It is extremely informative on the topic of water (the lack of it) and its affect on women and children around the world.

As with many contemporary infographics, it is informative, elegant, perhaps even beautiful. I’m not certain it is the best way to simple convey the information it tries to portray, but it may be good in that it does encourage and entice the viewer to click and consider the facts being presented.

I’m not certain, then if it is good design, in the Edward Tufte sense, but it does point out some very important things to know, that all show that women and children are disproportionately affected adversely by the lack of clean water.  Unfortunately, the graphic shows nothing about the extent to which this can be avoided and what each of us can do to change things.

I do understand that it is impossible to positively affect any change in something unknown.  However, knowing and feeling guilty about something very bad does very little to change the underlying conditions that create the situation.  In the case of water, there are a great many charities that support providing clean potable water in developing nations, such as charity: water.

I’m not trying to pick on this infographic. I don’t think that any graphic, chart, map, table, or image is intended to make a difference.  But I find, somehow, that this trend to make these important graphical representations of what is happening in our world are really somehow making us less likely to do anything about the things we can do.  It seems that collecting these infographics and posting links to them and putting them into presentations somehow will make things better.  They’re not.  In fact, in many ways, they appear to be getting worse.

Being informed is critical.  But taking effective action is much more important.  And continually repeating the process – study, think, act, and back to the top – is even more important still.

I call this process, KnowCanDo, the title of this blog.

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