General Questions Regarding OpenEvSys

Who created OpenEvSys?

OpenEvSys was created by HURIDOCS using a grant from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have been working on ways to standardize and organize information collected by human rights organizations for over 20 years. Through the development of standardized vocabularies and methodologies in collaboration with hundreds of informatics specialists, activists, statisticians and researchers HURIDOCS created the Events approach to documenting human rights violations. OpenEvSys is a digital implementation of this approach.

Who developed OpenEvSys?

OpenEvSys was developed by HURIDOCS in collaboration with Respere, a software company which works in the humanitarian sector ( Respere won HURIDOCS's public call for tenders in 2008.

What is SAHANA?

SAHANA is an award winning, free, open source disaster management platform. It is used by governments and non-governmental organisations during a humanitarian crisis or natural disaster, to manage and share information about aid agency operations, refugee camps and shelter needs, missing persons and other sorts of information. It was developed to respond to the information sharing needs in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami. It's pretty cool, so give it a try.

OpenEvSys uses parts of the underlying code that powers SAHANA, but also makes many changes and improvements to this (which in turn, may strengthen the SAHANA software). The OpenEvSys developers, Respere, are a core part of the management, software development and implementation community of SAHANA.

Can we modify OpenEvSys?

Yes, you may modify OpenEvSys anyway you wish, because OpenEvSys is free and open source. For more information, refer to "Copyright and licensing."

When we have a problem with OpenEvSys, who do we contact to fix it?

If you experience any issues with OpenEvSys, contact HURIDOCS by either calling us, emailing us or submitting a "bug" at

We will do our best to help you get OpenEvSys back up and running as quickly as possible. In addition, you can find a large amount of documentation and help here at

Can I use OpenEvSys without a mouse?

Not completely, and we know this is an issue. OpenEvSys has some keyboard shortcuts/access keys to speed up navigation and repetitive tasks. However, we make some use of JavaScript to improve the user interface, so certain functionality is not yet fully accessible solely through the keyboard. We are working on this.

OpenEvSys doesn't do something I want it to. What can I do about it?

If there are certain features or functionality your organization wants that OpenEvSys does not offer out of the box, you have quite a few options:

  • Contact HURIDOCS and we will attempt to help you do what you originally wanted to with the features that already exist within OpenEvSys.
  • Check the OpenEvSys roadmap and blueprints to see if we are already planning on building what you want in the future 
  • Because OpenEvSys is open source and its licence allows for modifications, you can hire a programmer to implement the specific features your organization requires. We would love to see these changes, so let us know what you do with it!

Where can I find out what improvements are going to be made to OpenEvSys in the future?

All information regarding OpenEvSys can be found at In addition, you may sign up for our mailing list where we will inform you of any updates or changes.

Can I use OpenEvSys whilst I have Facebook open in another tab on my browser?

Yes, OpenEvSys will not have conflicting issues with any other open websites. But your boss may have some issues with you for wasting time on Facebook.

Why isn't your website cool?

Good point. For the meantime, it's informative (we hope). Want to cool-i-fy it? Get in touch.


F.A.Q. Installation of OpenEvSys

OpenEvSys doesn't install properly, or won't connect to the database on my WestHost webserver

It might be because the version of MySQL installed by WestHost does not have innoDB support enabled by default. This page might help you resolve that problem.