Adjacent Fields > Tech for public challenges > Disaster response and humanitarian tech - (88)

There's a long tradition of volunteer technologists rallying to aid communities in the aftermath of a disaster or humanitarian crisis. Many of the problems and solutions, such as managing skilled volunteers remotely, apply to other domains in the Civic Tech Field Guide. See also: Participatory Aid.

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The State of Open Humanitarian Data 2024

A ten-year anniversary retrospective on the Humanitarian Data Exchange, which was accessed by 1.4 million people in 230 countries to download 2.7 million open humanitarian datasets in 2023.

UnBlocked Cash Project

Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash project (UBC) is a blockchain-powered cash transfer solution that is set to tackle this challenge. It is saving costs of distributing aid, reducing delivery times, and bringing more transparency and accountability in the process. It offers an opportunity to improve how aid is delivered without compromising the dignity of beneficiaries.



Dublin, Ireland

AID:Tech was established in 2015 and was the first company in the world to deliver international aid over blockchain technology.


AID:Tech’s Kare Platform Enables Fast & Instant Disbursements to Survivors Via Digital ID

Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology

We provide research and development to support decision making in the field of sustainable mobility and humanitarian aid. We accomplish this through open geoinformation, open methods, open software and close collaboration with our partners.

ReliefWeb Numbers

The new ReliefWeb Numbers site aims to deliver easily discoverable topline numbers on the world's most pressing humanitarian crises.

Humanitarian ID

Humanitarian ID is an authentication service managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).


A mobile app to help humanitarians find their ideal role. Search for jobs and filter via organisation, location, experience and career category. Save jobs to your library, share with others and apply directly through the app.

Peer 2 Peer Support

UN-OCHA's Peer-2-Peer (P2P) Support Project is a tool of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). It's main objective is to provide senior level inter-agency peer support to Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) and Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs) to strengthen the delivery of collective humanitarian assistance and protection in country operations.

Kyiv Digital app

Digitized the city's services, including e-petition tool, and "adapted them to conditions under martial law"

Welcome Alliance

The Welcome Alliance is an alliance of civil society organizations, foundations, state institutions and companies initiated by ProjectTogether. Our goal is humane, needs-oriented and sustainable integration and participation of all new immigrants in Germany.

Chatbots in humanitarian contexts

Chatbots in humanitarian contexts

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)

Report by the British Red Cross on aid groups' rush to use chatbots, from a skeptical perspective

Sudan Safe Passages Amen

"Sudan Safe Passages, a volunteer group of local and diaspora Sudanese, has built an app called Amen, said Hiba Sharief, a Silicon Valley veteran and senior technology executive at Amazon Web Services. Amen uses crowdsourced data to send real-time updates on secure transport routes and hospital availability." - Damilare Dosunmu



Khartoum, Sudan

"Just three days after the war started, Sudanese market intelligence firm DataQ launched a platform called Nidaa (meaning “call for help” in Arabic). It allows people in distress to post their requirements — from money and groceries to medical services and a ride to safety — so volunteers can reach out to them."

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

With its partners, OCHA contributes to principled and effective humanitarian response through coordination, advocacy, policy, information management and humanitarian financing tools and services.

ReliefWeb Response

RW Response aggregates operational content from existing platforms and provides an authoritative source of information in new and existing humanitarian operations. provides residents, government agencies, and first responders with a real-time disaster information sharing system at an unprecedented scale. It is the first platform of its kind to harness the power of crowdsourcing through social media to aid humanitarian response and recovery.

Urban Ocean Lab

Urban Ocean Lab

San Francisco

Urban Ocean Lab cultivates rigorous, creative, equitable, and practical climate and ocean policy for the future of coastal cities.

American Red Cross Emergency app

A native app that allows you to monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts in your town, and other cities that matter to you, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. 

HOT's Approach to OSM Data Validation for Earthquake Response Mapping

Because OpenStreetMap is a crowd-sourcing project where everyone can freely contribute to the map, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team has devised measures to support high-quality crowd-sourced OSM data.

Humanitarian Innovation Fund

Aim: to improve outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises by identifying, nurturing and sharing more effective and scalable solutions.

UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH)

UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH)

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)

The UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH) will promote and support strategic and focused collaborations across government, science, private and humanitarian actors to drive urgently needed innovations and technologies in humanitarian responses to disasters and conflict.

UN Mappers

UN Mappers is a community of mapping enthusiasts collaborating to collect, validate and disseminate geospatial open data in areas where the United Nations carries out field operations with the goal of supporting the decision-making process with more accurate location-based data.

Response Innovation Lab Uganda

The Uganda Response Innovation Lab (Uganda RIL) was founded in 2018 by Save the Children Uganda. The main objective of the lab is to support the humanitarian response to 1.4 million refugees from eight East African countries, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, and their host communities across 13 districts in the country through innovative approaches, systems, technologies and products.



Sri Lanka

A platform to consolidate emergency medical needs across a country, create aid packages of medicines and supplies, centralize supplier quotations, select most cost-effective supplier, and match donors willing to fund aid packages.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap activation Turkey earthquake

With this mapathon, the UN Mappers community wants to join the efforts of the NGO Yer Çizenler and the OpenStreetMap community to map buildings and roads in the area.



San Francisco

The Floodplain Management Platform for Resilient Communities



Austin, TX

Realtime data. Unified Public Safety workflow. Reduced emergency response times.

Talk to Loop

Talk to Loop

The Hague, Netherlands

Loop’s feedback platform is revolutionising accountability in humanitarian aid and development by providing a space for accessible feedback, reliable complaints mechanisms and safe reporting of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH).

Mapping NGOs Repairs

Mapping NGOs Repairs

Raymond Ghosn Building, American University of Beirut, Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture PO Box. 11-0236 Riad El Solh 1107 2020, Beirut Lebanon

Between March and September 2021, BUL researchers identified around 80 NGOs that participated in shelter repair within the neighborhoods severely affected by the August 2020 port blast. The data and findings are presented through a recent mapping output on the Beirut Urban Observatory.

Beirut Urban Observatory

Beirut Urban Observatory

Raymond Ghosn Building, American University of Beirut, Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture PO Box. 11-0236 Riad El Solh 1107 2020, Beirut Lebanon

The Beirut Urban Observatory is a platform of geolocalized urban data informing ongoing post-blast recovery efforts.

Internet Activism

Internet Activism

Michigan, USA

A 501(c)(3) non-profit creating modern digital solutions for real-world, physical problems.

Open Source Social Protection Platform (OpenSPP)

OpenSPP is a scalable, integrated and digital social protection information system.

IASC Operational Guidance on Data Responsibility in Humanitarian Action

While each organization is responsible for its own data, humanitarians under the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) – which brings together United Nations (UN) entities, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) consortia and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – need common normative, system-wide guidance to inform individual and collective action and to uphold a high standard for data responsibility in different operating environments.

Data Responsibility Working Group (DRWG)

The Data Responsibility Working Group (DRWG) is a global coordination body working to advance data responsibility across the humanitarian system.

Digital Humanitarian Network

Outfit that organized digital volunteer deployments around humanitarian crises. No longer active in this regard, but still publishing reports.

Where Technology Meets Ethics: The Humanitarian Principles and Their Problematic Relationship to Technology

Over the past decade, alarms have sounded the need for the humanitarian sector to start seriously considering the impacts of technology and how it should be used. This paper aims to raise another but different alarm: The time for theorizing is coming to an end. The need for action has arrived.

International Aid Transparency Initiative

International Aid Transparency Initiative

Aid Effectiveness Team, Department of International Development, East Kilbride, Glasgow, G75 8EA, UK

International Aid Transparency Initiative IATI is a global initiative to improve the transparency of development and humanitarian resources and their results to address poverty and crises.

Cascadia 9 Game

In Cascadia 9.0, you play as several different characters to learn how to survive and thrive in this earth-shaking catastrophe!

Response Innovation Lab

Designed to open humanitarian response to startups, social entrepreneurs, researchers, and other non-traditional actors capable of contributing solutions to the resopnse

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