May's Digital Discovery session focused on lessons learned in building the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform. It covered the founding of the HDX in 2014, the business model upon which it was established, and the platform’s human-centered design. Experts also discussed the technical development and architecture of the platform; the political, technical and financial support and momentum to operationalize it; the ongoing work on API; and more:


The hosts of this session included:

  • Sarah Telford is the lead for OCHA’s Centre for Humanitarian Data based in The Hague. The Centre is focused on increasing the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. In this role, she oversees a global data platform, the Humanitarian Data Exchange. Sarah has been with OCHA for over 10 years. Prior to joining OCHA, Sarah worked for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in the Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department in London. She has also worked with UNICEF in New York and Afghanistan, the UN mission in Afghanistan, and the International Medical Corps in Iraq. She began her career with the UN as a press officer with the Department of Public Information in New York.
  • Dan Mihaila has technical background in computer science and a long-term commitment and interest in the field of software development, open data and open data standard. During the period of time, he was part of developing and releasing an Aid Management Platform, active supporter of the IATI Standard and Humanitarian Exchange Language. Also, in the last couple of years he is the technical lead for Humanitarian Data Exchange, responsible for the architecture, high-level concepts, implementation and development of the platform.
  • Javier Teran Castro is Statistician and Data Partnerships team lead at UN OCHA and part of the Centre for Humanitarian Data since 2014. Javier started his career with the UN in 2001 as Statistician at the UN Statistics Division in New York. After this experience, Javier served as a Statistician at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime where he was in charge of satellite-based crop assessments in Colombia and Afghanistan. Javier also served as Statistician at the UN Department of Field Support in New York developing Business Intelligence models. Prior to his UN experience, Javier worked as Statistician at Statistics Canada.


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