Graduation project: Data and text Mining for humanitarian aid at the Red Cross

As a Graduate Intern at ORTEC you will be part of a unique organization and team! With this graduate project, you will be part of ORTEC’s student team in the Text Mining LAB. Together with other graduate students, you will work within the same strategic topic, but you will have your own research question and thesis subject. Within this LAB you will have the possibility to brainstorm and discuss with colleagues about the topic and everything that is encompassed in writing a thesis, leading to a thesis with more impact.

This assignment is a collaboration between ORTEC and 510. 510 is a self-organizing data innovation initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross. Their vision is to shape the future of humanitarian aid at global level by the smart use of data. Contributing to open data, data analysis and capacity building in governments and NGOs are essential to increase the understanding of humanitarian data. Applying data science can aid humanitarian relief workers, decision makers and people affected, to better prepare for and cope with disasters and crises.

Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) is a process developed within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It supports communities to become more resilient through the identification, assessment and analysis of the risks they face. The VCA Enhancement Process was launched in 2016 to improve understanding, quality information sharing, capacity and coordination around the VCA, see  This process resulted in a large repository of VCA-reports which probably contain a lot of value, however in a very ‘unstructured’ and thus not actionable manner.

The aim of this Master Thesis is to widen the application scope of  VCAs to incorporate disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness. Data- and specifically text mining should be employed to semi-automatically extract relevant risk data from historical VCA reports. It is also interesting to analyze ways to combine this data with open, public risk data and to come up with recommendations as to how to structure future digital VCAs so that the incorporation of  data and text mining becomes straightforward.
So as a student you will help on increasing the impact of the VCA.

This master thesis offers you the chance to work at both ORTEC and the Red Cross location in The Hague, which means you get an internship on the state of the art in humanitarian aid combined with the state of the art in Data Science.  You will be supervised and coached by Dr Marc van den Homberg, the scientific lead of 510 and Ronald Buitenhek, the lead of the Center of Excellence Machine Learning at ORTEC.

If you are interested, we would like to receive your resume, motivation and grade list. You can send your application to  As a student you can complete your master thesis and/or work part-time as a student assistant, in this case for both ORTEC as the Red Cross. If you want to know more about the possibilities or need more information, then please contact Gordon Boon (Recruiter).

Who you are

  • You are a student in the masters of your course in the area of Econometrics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Business Informatics, Information Science, Data Science or comparable
  • You are a student in the masters phase of a program in data science or related area
  • Conscientious in staying abreast of new developments
  • You can handle a high degree of complexity and work in a team
  • Passionate about IT, it’s not just your job
  • You possess skills in coding algorithms, including for machine learning
  • Able to fluently communicate in English (verbally and in writing).


What we offer

  • A practical and challenging case in which you can exercise your theoretical knowledge
  • Inspiring, smart and enthusiastic colleagues
  • Ample opportunities to develop yourself (internationally)
  • Excellent supervision during your graduation project
  • Good internship allowance and a laptop
  • Activities with all graduate students at ORTEC, like Friday afternoon drinks
  • Possibility to work as a Student Assistant next to your graduation project


What to expect

We help you to thrive in your field of expertise. We operate a flat organizational structure that keeps communication lines short. The atmosphere is open, informal, cooperative and positive. We employ over 900 people in the Netherlands (HQ), Belgium, Germany, France, the U.K., Romania, Italy, the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Poland and Denmark.


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