Global Humanitarian Aid Organization

Global Humanitarian Aid Organization

Tests Open XML for shelter registration process


After Hurricane Katrina, a leading humanitarian aid organization decided to simplify its disaster response. There had been long delays registering the disaster victims, and hundreds of man-hours were spent manually re-entering information from paper forms into a data entry system. These long registration delays, combined with rapidly changing conditions in the disaster zone, caused much of the data to be outdated by the time it appeared in the system.


In a two-month engagement, 3Sharp collaborated with other software and hardware providers to streamline the workflow of information. The new registration solution relies on a Microsoft Word form that contains components of the Microsoft InfoPath information-gathering program. Form data is captured by a portable, satellite-connected data terminal and converted to the Open XML format. This data is then securely transferred to a centralized SQL Server database. The new system was deployed to select shelter locations in case of another disaster.


  • User-friendly form and process reduces training requirements for relief workers on the ground.
  • Flexibility to change formats and content without re-designing the entire process reduces cost.
  • Small data payloads for fast and cost-effective data transfer over satellite links.


For further details and impact of this project, please visit these partner sites:

Open XML for Shelter-Registration Process

Deployable Emergency Shelter Management Solutions to First Responder Community


  • Microsoft® InfoPath®
  • Microsoft Office (version)
  • Microsoft SQL Server® (Version?)
  • Open XML