Akvo Flow terms of use


Last Modified:9 May 2016

Thank you for using Akvo Flow. These terms of service (the “Terms”) govern your access to and use of Akvo Flow (“we” or “our”) websites and services (the “Services”), excluding any services provided to you by Akvo Foundation under a separate written agreement, so please carefully read them before using the Services.

“Akvo” means Stichting Akvo (Akvo Foundation), whose principal place of business is at:

‘s-Gravenhekje 1A,
1011 TG Amsterdam,

By using the Services you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you are using the Services on behalf of an organization, you are agreeing to these Terms for that organization and promising that you have the authority to bind that organization to these terms. In that case, “you” and “your” will refer to that organization.

You may use the Services only in compliance with these Terms. You may use the Services only if you have the power to form a contract with Akvo Foundation and are not barred under any applicable laws from doing so. The Services may continue to change over time as we refine and add more features. We may stop, suspend, or modify the Services at any time without prior notice to you, however, we attempt to notify you through a public notice on our web site, or other means as available, whenever we plan to stop, suspend or modify the service. We may also remove any content from our Services at our discretion, specifically when the content breaches the Terms of Service.

Your content

By using our Services you provide us with data and images that you submit to Akvo Flow (together, “your content”). You retain full ownership to your content. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it.

You do grant us permission to work with your content to be able to provide the service, for example: hosting your files, publishing your public data site, aggregating your data and reporting on the aggregated data. This includes product features visible to you, for example, image thumbnails or graphs from data. It also includes design choices we make to technically administer our Services, for example, how we redundantly backup data to keep it safe. You give us the permissions we need to do those things solely to provide the Services. This permission also extends to trusted third parties we work with to provide the Services, for example Amazon, which provides our storage space (again, only to provide the Services).

Your Dashboard

Partners only have access to their own Akvo Flow dashboard. Access to the dashboard is password protected. We encourage you to create strong passwords. Different user roles and permissions allow you to determine which users have access to what.

Akvo Flow users with assigned access to your Akvo Flow Dashboard have access to all data in your Akvo Flow instance. It is your responsibility to ensure that only authorised persons have access to your Akvo Flow Dashboard and thereby access to all data in the instance.

Selected Akvo Foundation staff and sub-contractors have access to all the data in the Akvo Flow system to be able to operate the service.

Akvo Flow data privacy

The Akvo Flow Service is specifically designed to enable content to be collected privately or shared publicly. There can be very good reasons for keeping data private. Data that can breach privacy of the individual or the household should, for example, not be shared openly. There is a setting in Flow that allows you to choose whether a certain survey should be run as private – or public.

All data that is not marked as private is automatically published to publicly visible maps and through an Application Programming Interface (API). It is your responsibility to ensure that no private data is collected under the public survey setting.

Data security

Akvo has strong data security and privacy protection policies, frameworks, and procedures in place. All communication between various parts of the Akvo Flow system are carried out over secure connections. We run security checkups and apply security patches to maximise the level of protection available.

Akvo takes all reasonable precautions against system security breaches, but there are cases of data security breaches occurring in even the most secure systems in the world. As a consequence, Akvo hold the right not to work with partners where it feels publication of data could lead to impacts.

Data storage

Akvo Flow makes use of cloud-based software and storage, which is quickly becoming the method of choice for companies and governments globablly. Cloud-based software and storage has multiple advantages. Costs for storage are reduced, security levels are increased, data can be encrypted (during transmission and at rest), backups can be automated and kept safe. Cloud-based systems enable users to access their account from multiple locations and multiple devices – such as computers, tablets and phones – over the Internet.

Cloud storage service providers

Akvo Flow uses cloud services provided by Google (Google App Engine), for software execution and data retention, and Amazon (Amazon S3) for pictures and data backups. They are amongst the most used and best known service providers globally, are ISO certified and comply with US and EU regulations. Cloud storage allows our partners to use Flow internationally across the globe with ease.


The exact rules and regulations around storing data in the cloud are, in many countries, still under development, while cloud storage in practice is already commonly used by many people and organisations (for example by using Gmail or Dropbox). Some countries demand that data which is related to ‘national security’ be stored inside the country. Akvo has a policy in place not to work with partners on initiatives that aim to collect data that relates to these matters of national security. It is your responsibility to ensure that data is collected in compliance with national laws in countries where you use the service.

Sharing your content

In cases where partners collect data that is not sensitive or private, we encourage partners to open up data where appropriate, so it can support ‘the common good’. There is a specific setting in Akvo Flow that enables you to do this automatically.

You do agree to share non-private content (data marked as ‘public’) which you enter into the Akvo Flow system through Akvo Flow’s Application Programming Interface (API) and the Services with any other Akvo platform (such as Akvo Open Data, maps, etc.) using open license agreements.

For images you agree to share them on the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-noncommercial-sharealike 3.0 Unported License [CC-BY-NC-SA] (or later versions as applicable), which can be found in its entirety here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

For data you agree to share it on the terms of the following two license agreements:

Creative Commons Attibution-sharealike 3.0 Unported License [CC-BY-SA] (or later versions as applicable), which can be found in its entirety here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Open Database License 1.0 [odbl] (or later versions as applicable), which can be found in its entirety here: https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/

To be clear, we do share your content that you have marked as public data in the survey design forms, openly both visually via the Services as well as the Services API. You can read more about this under the Akvo Flow Data Privacy policy section.

You are solely responsible for your conduct, your content and your communications with others while using the Services. For example, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you have the rights or permission needed to comply with these Terms.

We may choose to review your public content for compliance with our Terms of Use, but you acknowledge that Akvo Foundation has no obligation to monitor any information on the Services. We are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, appropriateness, or legality of your content or any other information you may be able to access using the Services.

We reserve the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any Service. For some of the Services, Akvo may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content.

Your responsibilities

You should only upload your content to the Service if you have the right to do so. You, not Akvo Foundation, will be fully responsible and liable for what you copy, share, upload, download or otherwise use while using the Services. You must not upload spyware or any other malicious software to the Service.

You, and not Akvo Foundation, are responsible for maintaining and protecting all of your content. Akvo Foundation will not be liable for any loss or corruption of your content, or for any costs or expenses associated with backing up or restoring any of your content.

If your contact information, or other information related to your account, changes, you must notify us promptly and keep your information current.

Account security

You are responsible for safeguarding the password that you use to access the Services and you agree not to disclose your password to any third party. You are responsible for any activity using your account, whether or not you authorized that activity. You should immediately notify Akvo Foundation of any unauthorized use of your account. You acknowledge that if you wish to protect your transmission of data or files to Akvo Flow, it is your responsibility to use a secure encrypted connection to communicate with the Services.

Software and updates

Some use of our Service requires you to download a client software package (“Software”). Akvo Flow Software and the software which runs the Service is covered by an open source license, GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 [AGPL 3.0] (or later versions as applicable), which can be found in its entirety here: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.html

Akvo Foundation trademarks

The Software and other technology we use to provide the Services are protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of both the Netherlands and foreign countries. These Terms do not grant you any rights to use the Akvo Foundations trademarks, logos, domain names, or other brand features.

Acceptable use

You will not, and will not attempt to, misuse the Services, and will use the Services only in a manner consistent with the Akvo Flow Terms of Service.

Breach of Terms & Questions

If you are aware of any breach of these Terms or have any questions with regards to the Terms, please contact us at:
Akvo Foundation,
‘s-Gravenhekje 1A,
1011 TG Amsterdam,

Other content

The Services may contain links to third-party websites or resources. Akvo Foundation does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for their availability, accuracy, the related content, products, or services. You are solely responsible for your use of any such websites or resources. Also, if we provide you with any software under an open source license, there may be provisions in those licenses that expressly conflict with these Terms, in which case the open source provisions will apply.


Though we’d much rather you stay, you can stop using our Services any time. Akvo Flow allows you to export your data at any time. Pre-paid services fees are not refundable. We reserve the right to suspend or end the Services at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice. For example, we may suspend or terminate your use if you are not complying with these Terms, or use the Services in any way that would cause us legal liability or disrupt others’ use of the Services. If we suspend or terminate your use, we will try to let you know in advance and help you retrieve data, though there may be some cases (for example, repeatedly or flagrantly violating these Terms, a court order, or danger to other users) where we may suspend immediately.

Akvo Flow is available “AS-IS”

Though we want to provide a great service, there are certain things about the service we can’t promise. For example, the services and software are provided “as is”, at your own risk, without express or implied warranty or condition of any kind. We also disclaim any warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement. Akvo Foundation will have no responsibility for any harm to your computer system, loss or corruption of data, or other harm that results from your access to or use of the Services or Software. Some countries or states do not allow the types of disclaimers in this paragraph, so they may not apply to you.

Limitation of liability

To the fullest extent permitted by law, in no event will Akvo Foundation, its affiliates, officers, employees, agents, suppliers or licensors be liable for (a) any indirect, special, incidental, punitive, exemplary or consequential (including loss of use, data, business, or profits) damages, regardless of legal theory, whether or not Akvo Foundation has been warned of the possibility of such damages, and even if a remedy fails of its essential purpose; (b) aggregate liability for all claims relating to the services more than the greater of $20 or the amounts paid by you to Akvo Foundation for the past three months of the services in question. Some countries or states do not allow the types of limitations in this paragraph, so they may not apply to you.


We may revise these Terms from time to time and the most current version will always be posted on our website. If a revision, in our sole discretion, is material we will notify you (for example via email to the email address associated with your account). Other changes may be posted to our blog or terms page, so please check those pages regularly. By continuing to access or use the Services after revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised Terms. If you do not agree to the new terms, please stop using the Services.

Miscellaneous legal terms

These terms and the use of the services and software will be governed by Netherlands law except for its conflicts of laws principles. All claims arising out of or relating to these terms or the services or software must be litigated exclusively in the court in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and both parties consent to venue and personal jurisdiction there. These Terms constitute the entire and exclusive agreement between you and Akvo Foundation with respect to the Services, and supersede and replace any other agreements, terms and conditions applicable to the Services. These Terms create no third party beneficiary rights. Akvo Foundation’s failure to enforce a provision is not a waiver of its right to do so later. If a provision is found unenforceable the remaining provisions of the Agreement will remain in full effect and an enforceable term will be substituted reflecting our intent as closely as possible. You may not assign any of your rights in these Terms, and any such attempt is void, but Akvo Foundation may assign its rights to any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, or to any successor in interest of any business associated with the Services. Akvo Foundation and you are not legal partners or agents; instead, our relationship is that of independent contractors.

Revisions history

9 May 2016: Notice added to the ‘Sharing your content’ area with regards to sharing of content marked by the Partner as ‘public data in the survey design forms’  from “To be clear, we do share your content that is not collected as private data (Household data survey type) openly both visually via the Services as well as the Services API. “
31 August 2015: Added ‘Your dashboard’,  ‘Cloud storage service providers’ & ‘Regulations’, updated ‘Akvo Flow data privacy’, ‘Data storage’ & ‘Sharing your content’ inline with open data for ‘the common good’.
27 April 2015:  Updated ‘Sharing your content’ area  to include sharing of open or public data to various Akvo platforms.
22 April 2015: Added the line ‘Survey data marked as ‘public’ will be published on Akvo Open Data.’
17 October 2013: Minor changes. Email address, formatting.
16 October 2013: Reordering of the privacy and sharing sections for better clarity. Added some words for better clarity.
8 October 2013: Corrected reference to Akvo Flow Data Privacy policy to reflect actual section title. Corrected minor copy errors.
15 July 2013: Changed “Data Collection guidelines” to “Terms of Use”, in the Your Content section.
16 June 2013: Clarified prepaid services fees in Termination section. Added Akvo Flow Data Privacy section. Modified Acceptable Use Section. Added Akvo Flow Sensitive Data section.
11 October 2012: Added “safety” of individuals, to the “Your Content” section.
30 July 2012: Added clarification in paragraph “Sharing Your Content” to be specifically about sharing your content and data on the Akvo Flow system.