All about the ReliefWeb API

TL/DR: Most of the information is on the parameters page. Find an example request that resembles the one you'd like to make, edit it in place and check the results from the API (requires javascript).

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Introduction

The ReliefWeb API was built to power a mobile/ low-bandwidth version of the ReliefWeb website. Since then it has been enhanced for a public release to provide access to ReliefWeb's curated and continuously updated data archive. It's now used to serve much of the main site, selected content on other OCHA sites, and third party apps.

All the content of ReliefWeb is available through its API. The API is built to fit with current API best-practices, and is intended to be friendly to developers, as well as machines. It is publicly accessible using HTTP requests and returns JSON data.

Understanding the structure of ReliefWeb's content will help in understanding how the API works, so these documents are intended to make both as clear as possible. For clarification or to suggest improvements, please contact us.

Quickstart

api-query search-options

As the 'rivers' pages (updates, disasters, jobs, etc.) use the API too, they are the quickest way to get started with queries and filters.

Use the filters and the search bar to refine the query - with 'Search Options', as in the screenshot, for more complex queries.

The API query button will launch the search converter tool to transform the url into an API query, showing both the GET URL and the JSON payload for a POST request.

Versions

The current version is version 1, abbreviated as v1. The previous version, v0, is deprecated and should no longer be used.

Using the API

The API is read-only. It is called using an HTTP URL. The query is handled differently for GET and POST requests, the scheme, host and path are the same for both:

Scheme:
"https://"
Host:
"api.reliefweb.int"
Path:
"/v1/" <content type> [ "/" <content id> ] "?appname=" <your-app-name>
Parameters:

Parameters can be passed in the query of a GET request:

https://api.reliefweb.int/v1/reports?appname=apidoc&limit=2

or as a body to a POST request:

https://api.reliefweb.int/v1/reports?appname=apidoc
{
  "limit": 2
}

There are very simple client libraries for PHP and Golang. Please use them!

GET requests can be made directly in a browser. In Firefox the resulting JSON should be presented clearly, there is a browser extension for Brave, Chromium, etc.

Post requests can be made via the editable textboxes in this documentation, or, from a command line, with a tool like curl:

curl -POST 'https://api.reliefweb.int/v1/reports?appname=apidoc' -d '{"limit": 2}'

When dealing with JSON format for the post requests, a misplaced comma can be difficult to spot. To troubleshoot the error Invalid request body. It must be a valid json object., validators like JSONlint can save a lot of time.

Using the documentation

All examples in this documentation can be edited in place and tested against the API using the 'Try it out' button.

The API was also documented in line with version 2.0 of the OpenAPI Specification. The definition is at http://apidoc.rwlabs.org/swagger.yaml. Please let us know if you would like to see it updated to version 3.

There is also a forum for questions and discussion at groups.google.com

Terms of service

Anyone can use the ReliefWeb API. Reports, Jobs and Training data available via ReliefWeb API is contributed by information partners and may contain copyrighted material owned by the original source. You should respect the intellectual property rights of the original source when using content retrieved through the API.

To improve its service, ReliefWeb may log your API calls and analyze usage patterns. Please, use the appname parameter in your calls, so we can track the usage of the API for statistical and performance purposes.

Quotas

In order to ensure optimum performance for everyone, the API is restricted in two ways:

We feel that these limitations are reasonable and should not interfere with most applications. If they cause significant problems for your use case, please let us know and we will review on a case-by-case basis.

ReliefWeb does not guarantee the accuracy of its data and is not responsible for any damages resulting from the use of API. There are no fees associated with the use of ReliefWeb API.

Changes to the Terms of Service will be announced on the API support forum.