Operational Guidance on Data Responsibility in Humanitarian Action

Data responsibility in humanitarian action is the safe, ethical and effective management of personal and non- is any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person. Source OCHA Data Responsibility Guidelines.“>personal data for operational response. The OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data worked with colleagues from IOM, UNHCR, and a range of other partners over the past year to develop a new Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Operational Guidance on Data Responsibility to support collective action in this area.

The Operational Guidance includes:

  • an overview of data responsibility in humanitarian action;
  • a set of principles for data responsibility in humanitarian action;
  • key actions for data responsibility to be taken at different levels of humanitarian response, including specific roles and responsibilities for realizing these actions; 
  • and a set of Annexes that offer key definitions, examples of templates and tools for data responsibility, resources and references, and background information on the development of the Operational Guidance.

Given the dynamic and evolving nature of the challenges and opportunities for data responsibility in humanitarian action, the Operational Guidance will be reviewed and updated through a collaborative and consultative process every two years.

We will also be updating the working draft OCHA Data Responsibility Guidelines to reflect this system-wide Operational Guidance and support OCHA offices in their work to advance the adoption of data responsibility in practice.

This system-wide Operational Guidance, which is a first, will ensure concrete steps for data responsibility in all phases of humanitarian action. It is the result of an inclusive and consultative process, involving more than 250 stakeholders from the humanitarian sector.

Operational Guidance, Report, 37 pages