Search help

ReliefWeb lists of content for Updates, Jobs, Training and Disasters offer three different options for searching through the content: free text search, search through filters and extended search

Free text search

Just as in a search engine, type the relevant words for the content you are looking for and click on the Search button.

You can also search through all ReliefWeb content using the Search button at the top of each page in the navigation bar.

Search through filters

ReliefWeb search filters

In the filter menu, select any criteria you want to filter by. This will be a list of the possible values or dates. Categories that have many options, use a text box where you can start typing the name of a country, disaster or organization.

For example, you can click "Country", start typing "som", click on "Somalia" and the filter will be automatically added to the filter selection. If you want to add another filter, just repeat the process. You could for example add a filter for "Career Category", select "Program/Project Management" and click on "Add".

You can select how several filters for a category (for example several countries like Somalia and Sudan) are combined via the ANY OF and ALL OF options above the filter selection for the category.

  • ANY OF means the list will contain documents tagged with any of the selected options (for example: Somalia or Sudan).
  • ALL OF means the list will contain only documents tagged with all the selected options (for example: Somalia and Sudan).

Once you have defined your search, click "Apply filters" at the top of the search to see the desired results.

To remove a filter from your search, click the "X" next to the filter and again on "Apply filters" to refresh your results.

Advanced mode

If you need more powerful filtering options, click on "Advanced mode" at the bottom of the filters. The advanced mode provides logical operators to combine filters from any category together as well as excluding some values.

For example this filter selection returns all documents from WHO or documents tagged with Epidemic and Health, posted after March 1, 2020 but excluding those from media sources.

Extended search

In addition to the mentioned search options, you can build complex search queries right in the search box.

1. Boolean search operators

You can use any combination of AND, OR, NOT and parentheses to group search terms, as well as quotation marks for exact phrases. For example:

  • consolidated NOT appeal searches for anything that has consolidated but not appeal
  • consolidated AND appeal searches for anything that has both consolidated and appeal
  • consolidated OR appeal searches for anything that has either consolidated or appeal
  • "consolidated appeal" searches for the exact phrase consolidated appeal
  • (consolidated OR flash) AND appeal searches for anything that has the word consolidated or flash as well as the word appeal

2. Searching metadata fields

1. Available fields

You can look for words in any of these fields:

  • title
  • body
  • primary_country
  • country
  • source
  • source.shortname
  • source.type
  • theme
  • format
  • language
  • disaster
  • disaster.type

Many of these fields contain a predefined set of terms. For a complete list, see Taxonomy Descriptions.

2. Searching for exact terms

The fields below have an extended form to allow searching for exact terms. This form is FIELD.exact.

  • primary_country.exact
  • country.exact
  • source.exact
  • source.shortname.exact
  • source.type.exact
  • theme.exact
  • format.exact
  • language.exact
  • disaster.exact
  • disaster.type.exact


  • primary_country:Sudan returns documents with "Sudan" in the primary country field so it returns documents with either "Sudan" or "South Sudan".
  • primary_country.exact:Sudan on the other hand returns only documents with primary country "Sudan".

Important: this exact form is currently case sensitive. So searching with primary_country.exact:sudan (no capital letter) will return no results.

3. Examples

1. Limiting search to specific fields

You can limit your searches to specific fields using field_name:. For example:

title:“humanitarian response plan”

finds all Reports with “humanitarian response plan” in the title.

Other than Title, search can be limited to Body via body:, and so on.

2. Multiple exact phrases

You can match multiple exact phrases by doing ”some phrase” ”another phrase”. For example:

”humanitarian response plan” ”central african republic”

finds all Reports that have both “humanitarian response plan” and “central african republic”.

3. OR searches for exact phrases

You can use "OR" to do OR searches for multiple strings. With the above example:

”humanitarian response plan” OR ”appeal”

finds Reports that contain either ”humanitarian response plan” OR “appeal”.

4. Multiple exclusions

Similarly, you can exclude multiple exact phrases using NOT. For example:

chad OR cameroon NOT ”humanitarian response plan” NOT ”central african republic”

finds all Reports that have either Chad or Cameroon, but neither “humanitarian response plan” nor “central african republic”.

5. Grouping and fields.

You can group search terms using parentheses. For example:

country:(Chad OR Cameroon) AND title:(”humanitarian response plan” OR ”appeal”)

finds all Reports with either Chad or Cameroon as country and ”humanitarian response plan” or ”appeal” in the title.

You can build very complex searches this way - for example, the following search allows you to find relevant content on the issue of community engagement by combining words in title, organizations and themes:

(title:(communities OR affected OR beneficiaries) AND title:(accountability OR communication OR communications OR communicating OR information)) OR source.shortname.exact:(Internews OR CDAC) OR (title:(radio OR connectivity) AND theme:logistics) OR title:SMS