API Code of Conduct

Updated: 1 December 2015

We think it’s great you want to use the Akvo APIs. We hope you come up with lots of cool ways to use the data, and we’d love to see what you create. There are just a couple of things we’d like to ask of you, to ensure Akvo’s products themselves remains secure and continues to provide a timely, workable experience for all users. As we respect you, please respect our Code of Conduct and try to follow its rules.

Respect our partners

Akvo’s partner organisations have information in Akvo’s products (including Akvo RSR and Akvo Flow) for the purpose of improving the transparency and effectiveness of development interventions in order to help more people climb out of poverty faster. Please respect this mission and all involved, and help us move the ball down the field toward the ultimate goal of improving people’s lives.

Any activity which disrespects our partners, project donors and individual users will not be tolerated.

Don’t misrepresent the data

To the best of your ability, please reflect data from the API accurately. The data represents a project (or organisation) communicating its story: what it hopes to accomplish, funding it needs, current progress, etc. Don’t, for example, create an application using Akvo photos or descriptions to promote your own cause, however just or seemingly related. The data is there to help a particular project, or promote the work of a particular organisation: please use it to do the same.

Also, please make sure you understand Akvo products data structures, represent fields properly, and accurately draw conclusions or aggregate statistics from the data. We understand that anyone can make mistakes… but it is your responsibility to fix them once found.

The API is not for commercial use

Akvo Foundation is an ANBI-registered non-profit, and we are restricted in how we can allow our resources to be used for commercial purposes. Commercial entities can use the API to charitable ends in line with the Akvo Foundation’s mission, but if you have any doubt that what you are doing is within our terms of service, please contact us. Also, if you have a commercial use which you would like to work on together with us, don’t hesitate to talk to us.

Be your own brand

We think it is great that you want to build applications on top of the Akvo system. But you have to maintain your own brand.

Make sure users understand that your products and services are yours alone, and not owned or operated by Akvo Foundation. You can use the Akvo logo or color scheme for the purpose of visually associating the data you pull from Akvo’s products with Akvo, for example. But please don’t call your application “Akvo Donation App.” Something like “Water Donor” would be nice, and more appropriate.

Respect the API servers…

…and others who may be using them at the same time. The more calls you make to the API, the less resources there are available for other developers (and yes, the more Akvo’s operating expenses go up).

Don’t request data you don’t need; cache data when possible; refresh cached data only when it expires, or you hit a cache miss (e.g., you come across an image URL template previously unknown to you). If your application is slow because you are making a lot of API calls or the API calls take a long time to return, you’re likely doing something which conflicts with how we’ve built the products.

Please take a look at our knowledge base and support forums for information, or to start a discussion with us. We’re happy to help you, as well as discuss API modifications which make what you want to do faster and less demanding.

Data license & Use the Powered by Akvo.org logo

All data available through public APIs provided by the Akvo Foundation is available under an open license. We require you to give us an attribution when you use the data. Please use the Powered by Akvo.org logo with a link to the Akvo web site, as in this example (at the bottom right corner of the page).

You can download the logo here: Akvo Powered by logo

Link images © back to Akvo

When writing applications that use Akvo images, please hyperlink those images back to Akvo, either to a full-size image hosted by Akvo or a partner, whichever is most appropriate.

If you have a great idea for linking the image to something else in your application, that’s fine. We’d just like you to provide a link to the associated data on Akvo somewhere in the application flow, in order to communicate copyright use.

Revision history

6 May 2016: Removed reference to Akvo Openaid (discontinued product).
1 December 2015: Added clarification about data license and API.
19 May 2015: Removed mention of Developer Terms of service.
7 December 2012: Corrected grammar in the “Use the Powered by Akvo.org logo” section and added a link.
3 August 2012: Added the section “Use the Powered by Akvo.org logo” section.
21 June 2012: Included Akvo FLOW and Akvo OpenAid in the document and tweaked the content to fit more than one product. Updated links.
April 2010: Creation of document.