Review and Assessment of the Usage of Computational Methods for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Efforts, and Scalable Measurement of Emergency Response from Text Data

Time Frame


Total Funding to Date



  • Jana Diesner

The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) project has endeavored to use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to increase situational awareness of humanitarian relief operations. We based our efforts on prior work in and across a number of fields heavily engaged in similar projects. These fields include crisis informatics, humanitarian response, and information systems for crisis response and management respectively. Our product-oriented approach augments existing efforts by comparing different sources of text-based communication to an established ground truth or what is already known to be happening on the ground. By comparing these disparate text-based sources to what we already know, new items can be added as they appear. Our current efforts surround what sources of information represent the most reliably useful information to expand situational awareness for everyone involved in the disrupted region. 

humanitarian relief efforts
Photo Credit: Technical Sergeant Mike Buytas, U.S. Air Force

Funding Agencies

  • Department of Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, 2017 – $100,000.00