Humanitarian Information Exchange Language (HXL)

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David Becker and John Crowley

On page 12 of the STABILITY OPERATIONS magazine, David Becker and John Crowley propose a new method for collaborative communication during disasters: "Out of the chaos of the Haitian 2010 earthquake, there is a new effort to better coordinate humanitarian efforts in future large disasters. The UN has proposed a simple and cheap way to improve data exchange with governments, UN agencies, and hundreds of non-governmental organizations working in the field of disaster response and reconstruction. Elaborate and expensive software or hardware solutions do not appeal to most NGOs so the UN has begun implementing a new standard data exchange protocol (Humanitarian Exchange Language – HXL) that will improve response times and coordination in crises, without imposing new time and personnel costs on others or requiring new software systems."