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The ICT4Peace Foundation congratulates OCHA on releasing the first version of the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL). The Foundation worked closely with CJ Hendrix and Andrej Verity, both visionaries who were able to see how HXL could change the information exchange landscape in humanitarian contexts, and far beyond.

In fact, the ICT4Peace Foundation's enduring critique of the terminology is that it anchors the technology to the humanitarian domain, when in fact it can also, as easily, be used in peacebuilding and development contexts.

Andrej Verity's informative blog post has details on the standards, and how it got to Version 1.

The photo above shows CJ Hendrix in deep conversation with Tala Hussein, from UNDP at the UN Crisis Information Management Advisory Group meeting in 2013, held in New York. The report of the meeting clearly highlights just how important the Foundation considered HXL, at a time when the idea and work around the development of the standard had few champions within and outside the UN. Over 2013 and 2014, this included facilitating meetings between the ETH in Zurich and OCHA, to help strengthen the technical development of HXL.

The Foundation's support of HXL goes as far back as 2012, when it supported the development of what was then a seed idea.

HXL is inextricably entwined with OCHA's Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) framework. ICT4Peace Foundation has championed the concept behind HDX from the time of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, when we recommended the use of APIs to connect both the UN family as well as the V&TC community around disaster response. The Foundation has, as part of the United Nations CiM process, also worked closely with OCHA for years to support the development of HXL, and importantly, raise awareness around possible use cases within and outside the UN. Information featured in HDX will also come from OCHA’s COD/FOD datasets, which the ICT4Peace Foundation helped support and develop.

We hope HXL, in which we have believed and invested in for so many years, delivers on the promise of more efficient and effective information exchange where and when it is needed most.