Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Statistics • COVID-19 response

Humanitarian Data Exchange: Making data accessible for the COVID-19 pandemic


This article is also available in Russian.

Access to open, interoperable and timely data about the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for understanding how the virus is spreading and the best strategies for responding in different contexts. To help, we have created a dedicated page on the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform so that our community can find COVID-19 related data from many sources and covering multiple countries.

The COVID-19 Pandemic page brings together dozens of datasets in machine-readable formats, which are also available through the HDX API. Some of the most notable contributions include:

We are calling on partners to share or help source data that is critical but often missing including: data on the location of health and education facilities, food insecurity and malnutrition rates, and transportation routes and mobility patterns.

In parallel to our work on data sharing, the members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Sub-Group on Data Responsibility (co-led by the Centre, IOM, and UNHCR) have developed an FAQ to support staff around the world working with COVID-19 related data. The ongoing response presents a range of challenges and opportunities around the safe, ethical, and effective management of data. This resource will be updated regularly as we receive additional questions and feedback.

Our work on the COVID-19 response would not be possible without the support of our longstanding partners. Since HDX was launched in 2014, more than 250 national and international organisations have shared almost 18,000 datasets on HDX. The data covers a variety of topics from data about the context in which a humanitarian crisis is occurring and the needs of people affected by the crisis, to data about the organisational response. More than 80,000 people visit HDX every month.

If your organisation is interested in joining HDX, please register on the platform or write to us at We look forward to working with you.

This article was contributed by Javier Teran, OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data