The Humanitarian Organisations Database (HOD)

Estimations and hearsay on the number of organizations involved in humanitarian action abound, while no database currently exists to document such diversity. To document the diversity of the sector and better understand who the potential beneficiaries of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia are, a database of humanitarian organizations (n ≈ 2500) has been set up by compiling and curating existing lists of humanitarian organizations and identifying additional ones. Organizations are included if they work in an emergency/chronic emergency context and self-define their goals and a substantial part of activities using the following key words: ‘humanitarian’, ‘emergency’, ‘relief’, ‘disaster’, ‘crisis’. Information was collected through websites and activity reports and includes date of creation, organizational type, location of headquarters, location of field operations, types of activities, specific groups on which activities are focused, and whether the organization defines itself as faith-based.

This database opens the possibility for organizations to register and to correct/update their information. This open-source database is a reference tool of and for humanitarian partners, who will be mobilized throughout the project.

Each entry on a concept includes resources specifically related to the concept. At the start resources will be provided by scholars and by humanitarian actors on solicitation. Over time humanitarian organizations will be able share knowledge and practice in a structured format, thus adding to existing knowledge and, as relevant, generating new knowledge through meta-analyses. The Humanitarian Encyclopedia also provides reference materials on thematic areas. One such example are relevant international agreements.

  1. Rights-based instruments,
  2. Armed conflicts,
  3. Small or weak states and fragility, and aid,
  4. Natural and man-made disasters,
  5. Nexus (humanitarian, development, environment, and peace)
  6. Forced population movement.