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International Recovery Platform

Data management

Data Management Resources

Data management is a crucial element of the PDNA information management strategy, requiring technical expertise to process raw data and transform them into a format that can be easily manipulated or combined with other data in preparation for further analysis. Common datasets, protocols on information sharing, storage and data standards are key to facilitate the movement of data within and across humanitarian, early recovery and recovery partners, ensuring inter-operability of data and use for cross-cluster/sectoral analysis.
PDNA data management should adopt, and build upon, existing national datasets — both geographic and non-geographic — and data aggregation practices as per the Minimum Common Operational Datasets, referred to the in the Operational Guidance on Information Management Responsibilities of Cluster/Sector Leads and OCHA in the Cluster Approach (further information on the Operational Guidance is available in section 2.5 Information Management). It should also ensure that any additional data collected through the PDNA follows standard file-naming procedures (metadata) for storage and archiving purposes, as well as to facilitate the handover of data to national counterparts.
Data standards such as geo/place-codes (P-codes) are also essential to PDNA data management, providing the systematic means of linking and exchanging data through the agreement on a single standard list of reference codes for specific locations. Using an agreed list means that recovery partners can share information linked to one location with a P-code and analyze it with any other similarly linked data. A list of P-codes should be obtained from the national authorities and/or OCHA, and is often made available electronically on OneResponse and/or OCHA/HIC websites.
A second data standard is the GLobal IDEntifier (GLIDE) number (, issued by the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) of the Centre for Research of the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). The GLIDE number is used by several partners as a globally-unique identification code for disasters, consisting of two letters to identify the disaster type, e.g. EQ - earthquake; the year of the disaster; a six-digit, sequential disaster number and the three-letter ISO code identifying the country of occurrence. Documents and data pertaining to specific events may be easily retrieved from various sources, or linked together using the unique GLIDE number.
Another useful resource for PDNA data management is GeoNetwork ( It is a geospatial data repository managed by OCHA that facilitates the consolidation, organization, storage and distribution of geospatial data. Users have access to data and information from a range of metadata catalogues maintained by FAO, WFP, UNEP, WHO, CGIAR and a range of other organizations.
OCHA-led inter-agency/cluster data preparedness initiatives present a range of useful resources for PDNA data management, usually presented in the form of Data Readiness Assessment reports.
DesInventar is a free (open source software) web-based data processing tool that provides users with the ability to capture, exchange, aggregate and display data in a range of formats. It is web-based (accessible via internet or intranet), allowing multi-user data entry and is able to manage complex surveys with multiple questions and sections in a relatively efficient manner. More recently, DesInventar was used as a data management tool to support the conduct of the PDNA in Myanmar, following Cyclone Nargis.

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The DesInventar User Manual is available at: