OpenDRI background

In 2011, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) launched the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) to apply the concepts of the global open data movement to the challenges of reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. OpenDRI supports World Bank Regional Disaster Risk Management Teams to build capacity and long-term ownership of open data projects with client countries that are tailored to meet specific needs and goals of stakeholders. OpenDRI engages with client governments in three main areas:

Sharing Data

To increase public access to risk information, OpenDRI engages in dialogue with governments on the value of open data through working groups and pilot projects that evolve into long-term locally owned open data projects. OpenDRI provides technical solutions for project implementation through GeoNode, a free and open source data sharing platform. The Open Data for Resilience Index is an online tool where anyone can track and assess open data related to natural hazards. Explore Projects

Collecting Data

To engage communities in the creation of accurate and timely data about the rapidly evolving urban and rural environments where they live, OpenDRI works with governments and local communities to utilize simple, collaborative, crowdsourced mapping tools such as OpenStreetMap (OSM). OpenDRI has also created and is supervising the Open Cities Project that facilitates community-mapping activities. Explore Projects

Using Data

To communicate risk more effectively to decision-makers in planning, preparedness and response activities, OpenDRI works with governments and partners to develop InaSAFE software. By combining data from scientists, local governments and communities, InaSAFE provides insights into the likely effects of disaster events. Explore Projects

The OpenDRI team, in partnership with international and national agencies, has developed this suite of complementary tools to improve risk information through better access to data. These tools have global developer and user communities, all of whom contribute to the ongoing use and development of the tools – all of which are aimed at providing better information for decision makers at all levels to take action to reduce, prepare for, and recover from disaster risks. While engaging with government to leverage the usage of these tools, the OpenDRI also strive to create local communities of user and developers involving government agencies, universities, NGOs, innovation hub to create sustainable capacity.

Our principles

As the ideas of open mapping and open data continue to gain traction in the disaster risk management and sustainable development space, Open Data for Resilience Initiative values implementing projects in strategic and ethical ways above all. The following principles highlight the standards for disaster risk data and Open Data projects that we uphold:

Disaster risk data should be:

  1. Open by default

    At the core of OpenDRI projects is the principle that any data collected or produced during disaster risk management efforts is assumed to be open unless its release would have justifiable negative implications. Plans for making data open are established at the start of any affiliated project.

  2. Accessible, Licensed, & Documented

    Open data should be released in a manner that facilitates the widest use possible and OpenDRI strives to do so. Users can make the most effective use of datasets that: are in standard, machine-readable formats; are distributed with reference terms of use; and provide information that enables users to understand what the data is and where it came from.

  3. Co-Created

    The creation of risk information should be be broadly inclusive, OpenDRI engages stakeholders from the government, scientific and technical agencies, the public, civil society organizations, and at-risk communities at multiple stages of the data creation and implementation processes.

  4. Locally Owned

    Wherever possible, OpenDRI supports for risk information to be developed and managed at the scale that it describes: city level data managed by local government, country level data by national government, etc.

  5. Communicated in ways that meet the needs of diverse users

    Investing in simple tools, tailored to individual use-cases is prioritized as a means of making the creation of risk information as accessible and contextually relevant a process as possible.

Open Data projects in the disaster risk space should be designed to:

  1. Engage user communities

    OpenDRI works with potential users to understand their priorities and what they would find more useful prior to project implementation. Once the data is released, we do our best to support the activity as well as the growth of other initiatives that can use the newly opened data.

  2. Develop Strong Institutional Partnerships

    Through our partnerships, OpenDRI can help facilitate the transparent communication of activities, the sharing of knowledge and results, along with coordination for collective action that can reduce the duplication of efforts across different sectors of society.

  3. Prioritize Open Source

    As often as possible, OpenDRI seeks to leverage open source software to foster increased participation and ultimately, encourage active and collaborative communities who are able to customize software to their specific use cases.

  4. Set clear, long-term goals

    It is important to OpenDRI that while maintaining flexibility, specific and measurable goals are defined at the start of a project to help manage expectations and support clear communication between project partners and stakeholders. The movement is fundamentally about affecting behavior and relationships and as such sustained engagement is required for open data projects to achieve success.

The OpenDRI Team

The Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) team consists of staff and consultants from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank. Together, the team has extensive expertise in disaster risk management, geospatial technology, data management, open source software development, risk communication, and international development and policies. Team members work across GFDRR and World Bank units including the regional Disaster Risk Management teams of the South Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions and are also active participants in international and local technical communities such as OpenStreetMap (OSM), the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), among others.


Open Data for Resilience Initiative is managed by the GFDRR Innovation Lab. For any questions or concerns, please email us at: opendri [at] gfdrr [dot] org

Related web pages

The World Bank

The World Bank Group operates around the goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity for every country. The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. It is not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. The World Bank Group comprises five institutions managed by their member countries. Established in 1944, the World Bank Group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and employs more than 10,000 people in over 120 offices worldwide. 

Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a global partnership that helps developing countries better understand and reduce their vulnerabilities to natural hazards and adapt to climate change. Working with over 400 local, national, regional, and international partners, GFDRR provides grant financing, technical assistance, training and knowledge sharing activities to mainstream disaster and climate risk management in policies and strategies. Managed by the World Bank, GFDRR is supported by 34 countries and 9 international organizations.

Understanding Risk

Understanding Risk (UR) is an open and global community of 6,500+ experts and practitioners interested and active in disaster risk identification. UR community members share knowledge and experience, collaborate, and discuss innovation and best practice in risk assessment. UR is the preeminent platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation in identifying and assessing disaster risk.