Those who want to learn more about humanitarian work around the world can take a look at websites that are mainly used by professionals. DONARE has compiled an overview of internet sites and digital services aimed at experts and insiders in the field of humanitarian aid. Some of the humanitarian information services can also be helpful for journalists researching crisis situations.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinates the work of non-governmental organizations and other national and international actors in humanitarian emergencies. It is the principal international player on humanitarian assistance issues. OCHA maintains many key information services for humanitarian experts (see below).
ReliefWeb is the leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters. The website is an information service provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The information service was founded in 1996. ReliefWeb's editorial team monitors and collects information from more than 4,000 sources, including humanitarian agencies at the international, national and local levels, governments, think-tanks and research institutions, and the media.
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) is one of the world's largest players in the field of humanitarian aid. The short name is derived from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. ECHO's responsibilities include both humanitarian aid and civil protection. The Directorate-General helps millions of people across the globe each year. Humanitarian aid is provided to victims of crises and disasters according to the needs of the affected populations by funding humanitarian projects implemented by non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and Red Cross societies.
Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO)
Published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) is the world’s most comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based overview of the current state and future trends in humanitarian action. The Global Humanitarian Overview is an annual report that projects humanitarian needs for the coming year.
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)
The Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is the U.S. government's leading entity for international disaster relief, reaching tens of millions of people around the world every year with life-saving aid. On average, BHA responds to 75 crises in more than 70 countries each year, providing food, water, shelter, health care, and other critical aid to the world’s most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people.
Financial Tracking Service (FTS)
The Financial Tracking System (FTS) is an information service provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). FTS is a centralized source of continuously updated, fully downloadable data and information on humanitarian funding flows. Government donors, UN-administered funds, UN agencies, NGOs and other humanitarian actors exchange data and information with FTS in order to provide a timely and continuously updated picture of funding flows into humanitarian operations.
Global Focus is the UN Refugee Agencies’ main operational reporting website for donors and other key partners. It provides an overview of the protection risks that refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR face across the world, as well as regularly updated information about the organization’s programmes, operations, financial requirements, funding levels and donor contributions.
OCHA Situation Reports
Situation Reports is another information service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Digital Situation Report aims to simplify OCHA's current portfolio of field reporting products.
The New Humanitarian
The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News or Integrated Regional Information Networks News) is an independent, nonprofit news organization specializing in reporting from humanitarian crises. Its predecessor, IRIN News, was founded in 1995 by the United Nations following the genocide in Rwanda.
Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX)
The Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) is a further information service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. HDX aims to simplify share and use of humanitarian data.
Operational Data Portal (ODP)
The Operational Data Portal (ODP) is an information service provided by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The ODP was created in 2011 to enable UNHCR’s institutional responsibility to provide an information and data sharing platform to facilitate coordination of refugee emergencies.
FEWS NET, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, is a provider of early warning and analysis on acute food insecurity around the world. Established in 1985 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in response to devastating famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis to governments and relief agencies who plan for and respond to humanitarian crises. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is funded and managed by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).
ACAPS is an independent information provider that specialists in humanitarian needs analysis and assessment. ACAPS was established in 2009 as a nonprofit, nongovernmental project with the aim of conducting independent humanitarian analysis to help humanitarian workers, influencers, fundraisers, and donors make better-informed decisions.
The International Crisis Group (ICG)
The International Crisis Group (ICG, Crisis Group) is an independent non-governmental organization (NGO) working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world. The NGO provides analysis and policy advice on current or impending conflict situations worldwide. ICG was founded in 1995 as an international organization by a group of statesmen who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies of Rwanda, Somalia and Bosnia.
Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a multi-partner initiative for improving food security and decision-making. By using the IPC classification and analytical approach, governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society and other relevant actors, work together to determine the severity and magnitude of acute and chronic food insecurity, and acute malnutrition situations in a country, according to internationally-recognized scientific standards. The IPC acute food insecurity scale consists of five classifications: minimal/none, stressed, crisis, emergency, catastrophe/famine. IPC scales for acute malnutrition and chronic food insecurity also exist.
Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD)
The Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) records major incidents of violence against aid workers, with incident reports from 1997 through the present. Initiated in 2005, the AWSD is a project of the organization Humanitarian Outcomes and is made possible by support from USAID. Humanitarian Outcomes is a London-based team of specialist consultants providing research and policy advice for humanitarian aid agencies and donor governments.
Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA)
The Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) is a German think tank founded in 2018 to provide independent analysis, critical discussion, and public outreach on humanitarian issues and its four elemental principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Independence, and Neutrality. The CHA is an initiative of humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen humanitarian aid from Germany as well as internationally. The organization is based in Berlin and funded by German NGOs.
Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)
The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) is a disaggregated data collection, analysis, and crisis mapping project. ACLED collects information on the dates, actors, locations, fatalities, and types of all reported political violence and protest events around the world. Since 2014, ACLED operates as a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in the United States. In 2022, the NGO expanded its coverage to 200 countries and territories around the world.
Global Hunger Index (GHI)
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a series of reports that presents the hunger situation globally, by region, and at the country level using a multidimensional approach. Published annually in October, the aim of the report is to trigger action to reduce hunger and malnutrition around the world. GHI scores can be used to rank countries and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest. The Global Hunger Index is jointly published by the international humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide and the German charity Welthungerhilfe. Its first edition was released in 2006.
Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is a leading source of data and analysis on internal displacement worldwide. Established in 1998, the information service is part of the non-governmental organization Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). IDMC provides estimates of the number of people internally displaced or at risk of becoming displaced by conflict, violence, and disasters across the world. The information service is based in Geneva.