Terms of Use

  1. Purpose 

These Terms of Use define the relationship between the Humanitarian Encyclopedia and the Users and their respective rights and responsibilities, and guarantee the educational and informational quality of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. 

By using the Humanitarian Encyclopedia, you agree to comply with these Terms of Use and the Data Protection Policy.

2. Services of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia is managed by the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies (hereinafter: the Centre), a non-profit joint centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute. 

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia is a partnership project built on the contributions of diverse stakeholders engaged in research on and practice of humanitarian action, such as academic institutions, humanitarian organizations and other interested actors or supporters, involved in concept selection, co-creation of content, dissemination and governance of the project. 

3. Content of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia 

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia is a free online inclusive space for dialogue and exchange where humanitarian practitioners, academics, researchers, local actors and international organizations can share evidence, knowledge and information. 

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia is:

  • A living repository of co-produced humanitarian concepts and expertise notes
  • An open source library of relevant humanitarian resources
  • A dynamic mapping of humanitarian actors
  • An interactive platform  with online forums, webinars, and e-learning modules

Consult the Goals, Methodology and other Project pages for more information on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. 

4. Users 

The Terms of Use are applicable to any “User” of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia, which shall be understood as an editor, an author, a contributor, a reader or a visitor of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. Any User shall agree to having read and understood the following Terms of Use before using the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. 

Each User is legally responsible for their use, including but not limited to their contribution, of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. Any content that may result in criminal or civil liability under any applicable laws are strictly prohibited. 

A User may create an account in order to make any of the Contributions listed below under paragraph 5, as well as to download data files from the Humanitarian Organisation Database, Humanitarian Education Database, and the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Library.

The User having an account is responsible for safeguarding its own password to access the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. 

The User may delete their account at any time. 

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia may suspend, prevent or restrict access to an account or delete their account to a User under the conditions laid down in these Terms of Use. 

In case the account is deleted: 

  • All the contributions of the User will be anonymized (Expertise Note, Concept Entry, Forum, database edits,…). They will remain visible on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform but will be associated to a “former user”; 
  • All the personal data of the User will be deleted with the exception of personal data necessary to comply with legal requirements; 
  • The account may not be restored. 

5. Contributions 

As a User, you understand that, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the Centre, any activity, contribution or idea shared with the Humanitarian Encyclopedia is not paid, nor compensated. 

Contributions to the Humanitarian Encyclopedia can be made by logged Users having an account on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform. Contributions may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Contributing to an open Concept Entry; 
  • Editing a covered Concept Entry or work in progress;
  • Writing an Expertise Note;
  • Tagging Concept Entries, Expertise Notes, Library Resources, and Forum Topics;
  • Uploading a document to the Library;
  • Adding an organisation to the Humanitarian Organisation Database;
  • Editing an existing organisation in the Humanitarian Organisation Database;
  • Adding an institution to the Humanitarian Education Database;
  • Editing an existing institution in the Humanitarian Education Database;
  • Discussing topics on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia Forum (For specific guidelines on the use of Discourse forums, please see https://forum.humanitarianencyclopedia.org/guidelines).

6. General principles

By contributing to the Humanitarian Encyclopedia, you adhere to the following principles: 

Respect for diversity

  • Recognise the right of everyone to different opinions and views;
  • Refrain from submitting anything insulting, defamatory or racist;
  • Behave online as you would in your real-life community;
  • Remember that other humans are behind the online profiles you engage with.

Collaboration and co-production

  • Discuss your ideas with authors and other users before applying to edit a contribution;
  • Reach consensus where possible and respect diversity where it is present;
  • Find the most relevant part of the platform to submit your contribution;
  • Avoid duplication of existing content, particularly resources, organisations and institution.

Quality assurance

  • Ensure your contributions are well researched and based on best available information;
  • Adhere to the style guide, editorial guidelines and content specifications for each contribution type;
  • Check and refine your submissions before submitting to minimise editorial work.

7. Prohibited behaviours

As a collaborative platform, the participation of the Users is encouraged. As a User, you commit to interact with others in a civil and polite way, to act in good faith in accordance with the missions of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia. 

Certain activities, whether legal or illegal, may be harmful to others and violate these Terms of Use and/or applicable legislation which may vary according to the activities in question. Moreover, some activities may subject you to liability. 

The prohibited behaviours include but are not limited to: 

  1. Attacks or innuendoes based on race, religion, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation; 
  2. Insults, harassment, threats, stalking, spamming, unsubstantiated claims or inaccurate statements about individuals or organisations; 
  3. Advertisements and classified ads; 
  4. Infringing the privacy rights of others;
  5. Obscene or pornographic content;
  6. Infringing copyrights, trademarks, patents or other proprietary, rights under applicable law in particular the reproduction of texts without citing their source or the submission of content that is subject to copyright without permission; 
  7. Infringing personality rights, in particular when using pictures with identifiable persons; 
  8. Transmitting chain mail, junk mail or spam to other Users; 
  9. Engaging in false statements, defamation, impersonation and/or fraud;
  10. Engaging in disruptive and illegal misuse of facilities or services (virus, malware). 

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia reserves its right to take, with or without cause (in particular if such a prohibited behaviour is suspected, recognized or potential) and with or without notice, all appropriate measures against it including but not limited to the following measures:  

  • Investigating use of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform by the Users to determine any prohibitive behaviours or any violation of applicable law; 
  • Suspend, prevent or restrict access to the Humanitarian Platform or User’s account or delete the account of any User who violates these Terms of Use or applicable legislation;
  • Ban a User from editing or contributing for actions violating these Terms of Use or applicable legislation; 
  • Take any legal action or measures against Users who violate these Terms of Use or applicable legislation.

8. Moderation and review

All contributions to the Humanitarian Encyclopedia are subject to review by the moderator. Moderation is centrally administered by staff of the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, who may delegate certain moderation rights to reviewers with expertise on a given contribution.

The moderators are the sole judges of the contributions received and reserve the right to apply these rules by refusing content that contravene them without prior notice or agreement, nor compensation. 

All contributors agree to respect the decisions of the moderator and engage in constructive dialogue to find a solution if aggrieved by a decision.

9. Licensing of Content

The Humanitarian Encyclopedia is a project conceived in the spirit of information and knowledge sharing. 

All Users contributing to the Humanitarian Encyclopedia are required to grant broad permissions to the Humanitarian Encyclopedia and the general public to re-distribute and re-use their contributions freely, so long as that use is properly attributed and the same freedom to re-use and re-distribute is granted to any derivative works. 

Contributions to the Humantiarian Encyclopedia are licensed under a Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License" (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

It means that your contributions may be:  

  • Shared – copied and redistributed in any medium or format.
  • Adapted – remixed, transformed and built upon.

Under the following conditions: 

  • Attribution – appropriate credit shall be given and changes shall be indicated. 
  • NonCommercial – the content may not be used for commercial purposes.

In particular, in the spirit of co-producing a living repository of knowledge, certain content on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia may be subject to editing and updating by future Users of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform. Future authors may apply to edit or update a Concept Entry section, sub-section, humanitarian organisation, institution, resource or other content on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform. Wherever possible, the Humanitarian Encyclopedia will aim to foster collaborative updating processes to ensure constructive and consensual evolution of content.

The Humanitarian Encylcopedia may not be held responsible if the conditions of the Creative Commons are not respected by another User or any third-party. 

As a User, you are legally responsible for all your contributions, edits and re-use of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia content under any legislation that may be applicable. 

10. Data Protection Policy

By using the services of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia, you should have read and agreed with our Data Protection Policy

11. Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability

As a User, you understand and agree that the use of the Centre and Humanitarian Encyclopedia services is at your sole risk. 

The Centre and the Humanitarian Encyclopedia provides these services on an “as is” and “as available” basis. The Centre and Humanitarian Encyclopedia expressly disclaims all express or implied warranties of all kinds, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. 

The Centre and Humanitarian Encyclopedia makes no warranty that the information accessible through its website is accurate, complete and up-to-date. 

The Centre and Humanitarian Encyclopedia may not be held responsible for any damage, direct or indirect, material or immaterial or special, resulting of the use of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform and/or for the content of any other website to which you may have access via the Humanitarian Encyclopedia website or its related sites and for the content, data or actions of third-parties.

In any case, the total liability of the Centre and the Humanitarian Encyclopedia in contract and tort (including negligence) is limited to fraud or willful misconduct.. 

If the applicable law does not permit such limitation or exclusion of liability, the liability of the Centre and the Humanitarian Encyclopedia will be limited to the fullest extent permitted by the applicable law and limited to CHF 1,000.- in aggregate. 

12. Disputes and Jurisdiction

The laws of Switzerland will govern these Terms of Use without reference to conflict of laws principles. The exclusive place of jurisdiction is Geneva, Switzerland.  

Publication of information on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia platform may be in violation of the laws of the country or jurisdiction from where this information is viewed. The Humanitarian Encyclopedia cannot be held responsible for any violations of such laws. 

13. Other Terms

These Terms of Use do not create any employment, agency, partnership, or joint venture relationship between the Humanitarian Encyclopedia and the User. 

If in any circumstance, if the Humanitarian Encyclopedia does not apply or enforce any provision of these Terms of Use, it does not mean that it waives application of that provision. 

If any provision or part of a provision of these Terms of Use is found unlawful, void, or unenforceable, that provision or part of the provision is deemed severable from these Terms of Use and will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible, and all other provisions of these Terms of Use will remain in full force and effect. 

14. Contact 

If you have any questions, concerns, comments or requests or you are the owner of content that is being improperly used on the Humanitarian Encyclopedia, please contact us: 

Humanitarian Encyclopedia Team : hum-encyclo@unige.ch  

15. Entry into force and modifications 

These Terms of Use went into effect on 07.07.2021. The Humanitarian Encyclopedia may modify these Terms of Use from time to time without prior notice. 

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.