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One standard to rule them all

Since its launch in 2012, ( has helped transform a fragmented array of individual operational websites into a single, common platform, and has become a stable presence in the humanitarian arena. Starting with the Mali site in June 2012, today there are over 30 country sites and is regularly activated in new sudden-onset emergencies. also has more than 20 thematic sites, providing information on topics such as needs assessment, cash transfer programmes and cluster coordination. This rapid growth in just four years has required a focus on the development and roll-out of the platform, including constant technical updates in response to requests from our users and the integration of useful features such as the assessment registry, event calendar and Humanitarian ID contact management.

With all these features now in place, the platform has reached maturity and technical development of the site is taking up less of our time. This is giving us space to focus our attention on improving the quality of content and the overall user experience. has so much content across the sites, we know it can sometimes be hard to find the exact information you are looking for quickly and easily. Whereas many sites want you to stay as long as possible, we take a different approach; we want you to find what you are looking for as quickly as possible so that you can get on with your work.

Effective searches rely on comprehensive metadata. Our taxonomies help provide predictable tags for documents, maps and assessments. They currently include over 70 terms and allow us to differentiate between, for example, a 3W map and a reference map, or between meeting minutes and agendas. Something as simple as the document title can make a huge difference in how quickly that document can be discovered.

With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the publication of the “ Standards & Naming Conventions”. It provides guidance on document and file names, date and location conventions and many other metadata fields. These standards are intended to help our 400+ editors around the world to upload documents and other operational information in a consistent and predictable way, making it easier and quicker for our users to find.

Because all information is precious!

The Team




Created date

08 Jun 2016