Updated on June 26, 2024


Created on September 16, 2020

Humanitarian Data Exchange

The Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) is an open-source platform for sharing data in crisis and humanitarian contexts.

Developed By
  1. OCHA
Content Partners


Product Description

The Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) is an open repository where data can be uploaded and shared between organizations. It was designed to provide support in decision making in the context of humanitarian crises.

Target SDGs

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

HDX was designed and implemented by OCHA. In 2020, it had contributions from 279 organizations.

Manufacturing/Building Method

HDX is open-source, and is implemented by the use of a software called CKAN for the back-end. All the code can be found on GitHub.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

HDX can be visited

Distributions to Date Status

In August 2020, HDX repository consisted of 17,639 datasets, from 253 locations and 1364 sources.

Areas of analysis

Data repository

Data acquisition methods

Import and export

Open source code (Y/N/Other)


Open source data (Y/N/Other)


Subscription required for data aquisition (Y/N)


Additional organizations/companies used to publish or analyze the data? (Y/N)


Third party (User) data access


Design Specifications

HDX intends to aggregate information that is useful in humanitarian contexts, humanitarian data. HDX defines humanitarian data as follows:

  • data about the context in which a humanitarian crisis is occurring
  • data about the people affected by the crisis and their needs
  • data about the response by organisations and people seeking to help those who need assistance
HDX accepts data shared between organizations. The user of HDX needs to be part of an organization, and have the appropriate benefits, in order to be allowed to contribute data. Through HDX, it is possible create a new organization or ask to join an existing one. The platform is open-source, and data is also open-source. However, there are three ways in which data can be shared in HDX: Public, Private, and By Request.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Contact for support can be found on their website.

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

To make humanitarian data accessible and easy to use for analysis.

Vetted Performance Status

The UN has claimed that HDX has been a key enabler for aid agencies to be able to compare and contrast various needs crisis contexts and help enhance the responses. In 2015, The New York Times used HDX data to report on the Ebola outbreak, showcasing the efforts to address the outbreak to the global audience.


More information on data licenses and terms of service.

Complementary Technical Systems

Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL), is a language standard intended to make data interoperable between data sources and organizations. It is used in HDX.

Academic Research and References

Keßler, C., Hendrix, C., 2015, The Humanitarian eXchange Language: Coordinating Disaster Response with Semantic Web Technologies, The Semantic Web for all, 1 Jan. 2015 : 5 – 21.

“Organisations – Humanitarian Data Exchange.” n.d. Humdata.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://data.humdata.org/organization

“Catalogue of Predictive Models in the Humanitarian Sector.” n.d. Humdata.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://centre.humdata.org/catalogue-for-predictive-models-in-the-humanitarian-sector/

“Goal 10.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal10

“Welcome – Humanitarian Data Exchange.” n.d. Humdata.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://data.humdata.org/

“CKAN – The Open Source Data Management System.” n.d. Ckanorg. Accessed June 26, 2024. http://ckan.org/

UN-OCHA Humanitarian Data Exchange Project. n.d. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://github.com/OCHA-DAP

Hdx-Python-Api: Python API for Interacting with the HDX Data Portal. n.d. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://github.com/OCHA-DAP/hdx-python-api

“Frequently Asked Questions – Humanitarian Data Exchange.” n.d. Humdata.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://data.humdata.org/faq

Thomson Reuters Foundation. n.d. “New Data Map Enables Aid Agencies to Boost Crisis Response.” News.Trust.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://news.trust.org/item/20160526150716-78o0j/

The New York Times. 2014. “How Many Ebola Patients Have Been Treated Outside of Africa?” https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/31/world/africa/ebola-virus-outbreak-qa.html

“Data Licenses – Humanitarian Data Exchange.” n.d. Humdata.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://data.humdata.org/faqs/licenses

“Terms of Service – Humanitarian Data Exchange.” n.d. Humdata.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://data.humdata.org/faqs/terms

“Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL).” n.d. Hxlstandard.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://hxlstandard.org/

Compliance with regulations

More information on data licenses and terms of service.

Evaluation methods

Field trials  

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