Glossary

Table of contents by the first letter of the term: 

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Please send suggestions for glossary items, or other comments, to OCHA-FIS-GVA@un.org 

Underlined terms in the definitions refer to other defined terms.  Links go to other documents.

Humanitarian Terms definition page on Relief Web

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3

Term

Definition

Term

Definition

3W

Who does What Where When' maps or tables. These depend heavily on CODs. 3W information and examples


A

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

Administrative boundary

A geographic polygon or polygons representing the perimeter of one administrative unit.  

Administrative hierarchy

A set of recognized and hierarchical levels of administrative authority and geographic partition of a country or territory.  Increasing administrative level numbers represent lower (geographically smaller and administratively subservient) units, with administrative level 0 representing the entire country, administrative level 1 representing the next lower level, and so on.

  • EXAMPLE:  Afghanistan is divided into provinces, which are in turn divided into districts.  Thus Afghanistan's administrative level 0 is the country (Afghanistan), administrative level 1 is the provinces, and administrative level 2 is the districts.

In some countries, an administrative level may consist of more than one type of administrative unit.

  • EXAMPLE:  The United States of America's administrative level 1 consists of States, the District of Colombia, and further remote units.

  • EXAMPLE:  Canada's administrative level 1 consists of provinces and territories.

Administrative level



Administrative unit




B

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information.


C

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

Candidate COD

Candidate COD: COD with improved quality and standardization. ('created in  the Process' phase in COD Cycle). The rationale for terms: common terminology in country/region, describe the state of the COD (phase in the cycle), used in tagging on HDX. See COD Cycle.

COD

See Common Operational DatasetS (CODs)

COD-AB

An administrative Boundary COD is a spatial dataset that identifies the various administrative level boundaries, names and unique codes (P-codes) in a country. It is a core COD, and provides a spatial/visual way to view and analyze data as well as a common way of referring to places allowing datasets to be aggregated and analyzed more easily. See Common Operational Datasets (CODs).

COD-PS

Population Statistics COD is a tabular baseline demographic dataset that s (ideally) disaggregated by age and sex and presented at various levels of administrative levels in a country (includes P-codes). It is a core COD that is used to identify initial affected numbers and understand the pre-emergency situation. See: See Common Operational Datasets (CODs).

COD-CS

See Country-Specific COD

COD-HP

Humanitarian Profile COD that provides the number of people affected, including when relevant: displaced, missing, injured, dead, as well as people in need.  It is a Core COD that is only available post-crisis. It is used to make programmatic decisions. See the

COD Cycle

Effective COD development is composed of six COD cycle functions:  1) plan, 2) collect, 3) process, 4) endorse, 5) communicate and 6) maintain.  See Common Operational Dataset cycle.

Common Operational Dataset (COD)

Authoritative reference datasets needed to support operations and decision-making for all actors in a humanitarian response. They provide essential baseline data and data standards that allow humanitarian actors to collaborate, coordinate and exchange information. CODs provide the basis for a common operational picture and a shared situational awareness. .

Core Common Operational Datasets

Core CODs are required in all countries with ongoing humanitarian operations or in which emergency response preparedness (ERP) activities are underway. They provide a critical data standard and support initial analysis in the first 48 hours of a new emergency of impact, scope, and scale and thus inform decisions on any subsequent response. There are three Core themes: Administrative Boundaries, Population Statistics, and Humanitarian Profile.  See Core Common Operational Datasets: Administrative Boundary (COD-AB), Population Statistics (COD-PS), and Humanitarian Profile (COD-HP).


D

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

Data collection




E

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

ERP

Emergency Response Preparedness. To improve the humanitarian system's readiness to respond to breaking crises, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) developed the Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach.  The aim is to increase the speed and volume of life-saving assistance delivered in the first four to six weeks of an emergency. For more information see: The ERP approach


F

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

FIS

Field Information Service is a section of OCHA based in Geneva that supports information management, products and services to OCHA country and regional offices.

email ocha-fis-data@un.org


G

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

GADM

Database of Global Administrative Areas project created the spatial data for many countries from spatial databases provided by national governments, NGO, and/or from maps and lists of names available on the Internet.

GAUL

Global Administrative Unit Layers The GAUL compiles and disseminates the best available information on administrative units for all the countries in the world, providing a contribution to the standardization of the spatial dataset representing administrative units. The GAUL always maintains global layers with a unified coding system at country, first and second administrative levels. (Where data is available, it provides layers on a country by country basis down to third, fourth and lowers levels.)

GLIDE number

GLIDE number a globally common Unique ID code for disaster to be associated with the dataset after the onset of a natural disaster. (See about GLIDE number) It is used ReliefWeb, HR.info, (HID, Events, Assessment Registry)


H

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

HC

See Humanitarian Coordinator

HCT

Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is a strategic and operational decision-making and oversight forum established and led by the HC. The composition includes representatives from the UN, IOM, international NGOs, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement. Agencies that are also designated Cluster leads should represent the Clusters as well as their respective organizations. The HCT is responsible for agreeing on common strategic issues related to humanitarian action.

HDX

Humanitarian Data Exchange is an open platform for sharing data, launched in July 2014. The goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis.

HoO

Head of Office

HPC

See Humanitarian Program Cycle

HPC.tools

HPC.tool sare the information services provided by OCHA which enable the humanitarian community to manage the structured information around the humanitarian programme cycle (HPC): needs indicators, strategic and cluster plan frameworks, response indicators, activities and projects, 3W, and financial data. They support the cycle at all stages: identification of needs; strategic, cluster-level and project planning; periodic monitoring; presence mapping and financial tracking.

Humanitarian Coordinator

The Humanitarian Coordinator is responsible for assessing whether or not an international response to the crisis is warranted and for ensuring the humanitarian response efforts if needed, are well organized. The HC is accountable to the Emergency Relief Coordinator. HCs lead the HCT in deciding the most appropriate coordination solutions for their country, taking into account the local situation. The agreement must be reached on which Clusters to establish, and which organizations are to lead them.

Humanitarian.id

Humanitarian ID helps responders coordinate during disasters and crises by providing up-to-date contact lists. Humanitarian responders can create and manage their own profile.

Humanitarian Program Cycle



HumanitarianRespose.info

HumanitarianResponse.info is a platform where humanitarians can share, find, and collaborate on information to inform strategic decisions. Its purpose is to support efficient, effective, and coordinated humanitarian response through the sharing of operational information.


I

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

ITOS

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government's Office of Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) is a leader in GIS innovation and is part of the University of Georgia.  ITOS provides three services for Common Operational Datasets:  

  1. Vetting and correction of database, attributes, and spatial properties

  2. Configuration and standardization

  3. Preparation and publishing of live services


J

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition




K

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

KoBo

KoBo is a free open-source tool for mobile data collection, available to all


L

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

L3

An L3 emergency is the classification for the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crisis.  An L3 declaration by the IASC principles means that a system-wide mobilization is required to significantly scale up a humanitarian response and improve overall assistance. Level . L3 Guidance -  Current L3 Emergencies.

Important note: The term "L3" is not longer correct. The new terminology to refer to this concept is "SCALE-UP". Please refer to the IASC Transformative Agenda for further information.

Une urgence de niveau 3 correspond à une crise humanitaire de grande ampleur, elle considérée comme étant la plus grave. Selon les principes du IASC, une déclaration d’urgence de niveau 3 signifie qu’une mobilisation à l’échelle du système est nécessaire pour augmenter considérablement l’ampleur de l’intervention humanitaire et améliorer l'assistance globale. Directive sur les urgences de niveau 3 les urgences de niveaux 3 actuelles.

Note importante: Le terme "L3" n'est désormais plus approprié. La nouvelle terminologie pour se référer à ce concept est "SCALE-UP". Pour plus de détails, veuillez consulter IASC Transformative Agenda.

Live service

Map and feature services of administrative boundary and populated places Common Operational Datasets (COD-ABs and COD-PP).

See How to consume COD live services.


R

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition

RPM

See Response Planning and Monitoring tool

Response Planning and Monitoring tool

The Response Planning and Monitoring tool manages the creation and subsequent monitoring of the strategic framework the inter-cluster and cluster levels, supporting first the HRP planning process, and then the periodic monitoring processes which happen several times a year.


W

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Term

Definition

Term

Definition