Digital Humanitarian Network

The Digital Humanitarian Network is a network-of-networks, enabling a consortium of Volunteer and Technical Communities (V & TCs) to interface with human organizations that seek their services. [1] As a community-based network, the DHN has a growing list of member-groups and organizations.


The Digital Humanitarian Network’s (DHNetwork) website was launched on April 9, 2012 by its co-founders:

  • Andrej Verity, [2] OCHA
  • Patrick Meier, [3] iRevolution

The purpose is to support humanitarian organizations in their disaster response efforts around the world. [4] The network consists of V & TCs (entities that manage networks of technically trained volunteers around the globe, which can be activated to backstop disaster response operations and produce information with limited turn over time). These groups have a wide range of skills from GIS mapping, crowdsourcing, and data analysis and collection, to volunteer management and process design. The DHNetwork puts groups that have existed for one year and one for the other. [5]


In recent crises, like the 2010 Haiti earthquake , members of online technology communities-have cooperated to gather, process and share critical information resources to help aid agencies on the ground, without Contributing to ‘data noise’, by focusing on the information needs of aid agencies and other responders. This collective action is recognizable and legitimized after the earthquake when volunteering communities established a network of networks with the aim of concentrating on the most urgent needs. [6]

The DHNetwork , has-been created in order to coordinate PRECISELY Their actions [7] [8] with, ict at heart, a coordinator’s group . The Network Brings together Many of the major V & TCs thereby Increasing Their visibility Both Amongst Themselves and Amongst the traditional humanitarian community, and HAS defined a clear activation process entre les VT & Cs and coordinators, so That traditional organisms are reliably to submit one request and Rely on the DHNetwork to build a solution with V & TC members. DHNetwork also makes it easier for organizations to define collaborative projects with the V & TCs. [9]As Jacobo Quintanilla underlines it: “humanitarian actors too, are finally adopting some of these tools (ie crowdsourcing and mapping tools) more systematically within their work, relying on input from affected populations”, citing initiatives such as the DHNetwork as an example “to create important inroads in the way helps organizations leverage technology and the power of VT & Cs “. [10]

Digital Humanitarian Network Coordinators

The DHNetwork Teams when the network is activated. Coordinators review DHNetwork activation requests and Rapidly liaise with the different volunteer & technical teams Who are members of Digital Humanitarians to build a Team Solution reliable best to act we request. The Coordinators aim to provide a response to every request within 24 hours.

The Current Coordinators of the DHNetwork are : Heather Milton, [1] Evert Bopp, [2] Oludontun Babayemi, Hilary Nicole Zainab Ervin, [3]

Past Coordinators of the DHNetwork are:

2014 Justine Mackinnon, [4] Helen Campbell, [5]


  • Cat Graham, Humanity Road
  • Kate Chapman,
  • Luis Capelo is a volunteer member of the Standby Task Force (not official representation)
  • Willow Brugh, Geeks Without Bounds

Previous activations

In the past year, the DHNetwork has-been activated five times by OCHA South Sudan, ACAPS OCHA Philippines, Samoa government and UNHCR (Syria) . In each case, the requesting entity sends a request to the DHNetwork. These efforts resulted in such things as rapid data collection, social media filters to increase traditional assessments, and a translation of the UNHCR.

1) OCHA South Sudan . Searching the internet for 3 days looking for reports, articles, and data, the team collected 15,271 unique pieces of information.

2) ACAPS . The team surveyed the internet for Democratic Republic of Congo-related assessments, population statistics, historical IDP numbers, humanitarian events, and indicator values. The group also created several maps.

3) OCHA Philippines . The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on DHNetwork on December 5, 2012, to track the real-time effects of Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines and collect all relevant tweets about the typhoon; identify pictures and videos of damage / flooding shared in those tweets; geolocate, time stamp, and develop real-time maps of displaced people, fatalities, crop damage, broken bridges. [11] The team searched through over 20,000 social media posts within 24 hours of the crisis for photos and videos. Results were compiled and organized in a structured database. The solution team used a variety of methods ranging from automated algorithms to micro-tasking. They usedGeofeedia to identify all underwater pictures / videos that were already geo-tagged by users, PyBossa and open source microtasking platform. AN OCHA published a map that is entirely sourced from social media analysis. [4]

4) UNHCR (Syria) . Refugees (2 million), internally displaced populations , the global public, and professionals easier access to information.

See also

  • Relief 2.0
  • Digital humanitarianism


  1. Jump up^ DHNetworkMain website for the
  2. Jump up^ “Verity Think”Blog from Andrej Verity.
  3. Jump up^ Patrick Meier’s Biographyfrom Blog iRevolution.
  4. ^ Jump up to:b “Digital Disaster Response to Typhoon Pablo” by Patrick Meier.
  5. Jump up^ “Successful Activation: The Digital Humanitarian Network Simulation at ICCM”at TechChange.
  6. Jump up^ “How Crisis Mapping Saved Lives in Haiti”by Patrick Meier.
  7. Jump up^ Article: “Teaming up with the Digital Humanitarians”
  8. Jump up^ “Big Data: A Natural Solution for Disaster Relief”by Kathryn Kelly.
  9. Jump up^ “Digital Humanitarian Network”
  10. Jump up^ “Disaster communications: covering the ‘last mile'”by Jacobo Quintanilla.
  11. Jump up^ “Big Data: A Natural Solution for Disaster Relief”by Mike Smitheman

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