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This page collects information on open collaboration in the context of emergency response or disaster relief efforts. Open here refers to a subset of the digital response that can be characterized by

  • the preparedness of accepting contributions from anyone, making use of the Web;
  • results being available under open licenses, as per the Open Definition.

The list below contains two main components:

  1. A list of emergency events and open initiatives that were triggered by them.
  2. A list of organizations who have consistently provided emergency responses.

I am particularly interested in the intersection between the two, i.e. organizations that use open approaches and consistently provide emergency responses. My motivation to collect this information is two-fold:

  1. to advance my general understanding under which conditions open approaches are being favoured over closed ones,
  2. to see how my own activities as an open researcher or as a volunteer for open knowledge initiatives like Wikimedia can be integrated with emergency response activities, particularly with the digital response, as I am rarely in a position to respond on the ground.

While I started this repo in an open-ended fashion, it has since evolved a focus on data sharing in public health emergencies, which has been receiving a growing interest lately, as discussed in this paper. I have also begun to give talks on the subject, e.g. at SciDataCon 2016, at IMED 2016 or Endangered Data Week 2018.


Global spread of H5N1 in 2005

  • Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID)

2009 H1N1 pandemic

2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak

EHEC outbreak stats

Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa

Zika virus outbreak in the Americas (2015–present)

Background on Zika and other otbreaks



Great Hanshin earthquake (1995)

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

2010 Haiti earthquake

2011 Christchurch earthquake

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

2015 Nepal earthquakes

2016 earthquakes


Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Typhoon Haiyan (2013)

Hurricane Harvey (2017)

Other crises

Flint water Crisis

Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand


UN initiatives

Related presentations

See also