United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Updates Open Data Website

March 19, 2014 2:01 pm PST | Effective Governing
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Updates Open Data Website

By Tim Cashman


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides leadership and direct service to empower the poorest and most vulnerable members of society in more than 170 countries and territories worldwide. Increasingly, UNDP is leveraging the power of open data to more effectively track performance and increase the impact of its programs on the ground.

Today, UNDP’s Human Development Report Office (HDRO) announced the launch of its Socrata-powered public data website, which is housed on the UNDP open data site.  This new website, which offers several user experience enhancements, supports HDRO’s mission of advancing human development by providing access to datasets on key indicators of development worldwide.

Each year, HDRO publishes a report on the state of global human development, accompanied by development indicators and indices, including its well-known Human Development Index (HDI).

By hosting its Human Development data on the Socrata platform, HDRO gives visitors to its website the ability to create and share beautiful data visualizations with point-and-click simplicity.  HDRO is also able to make its data available via API for the first time, opening up new opportunities for developers and third-party organizations to engage with the data in a variety of contexts, and to link data with that of other IATI signatories.

The enhanced HDRO site features a simple, intuitive design built to accommodate the needs of diverse data consumers, including academics and researchers, journalists, data analysts, and civic and professional developers.  From the main page, users can select a country name and navigate to a dynamically created landing page with details about that country. From that page, they can download that country’s data, print a description of the country’s statistics for that year, share the data by email and social media, or embed the entire page on their own website. Through built-in survey tools, all users can provide feedback directly on the site.

In the last month, over 320,000 unique visitors to the new website have visited nearly 1.4 million pages. Since the launch, the website’s bounce rate has also gone down by 30%, and the average visit duration has increased by 14%.

As a result of these improvements to the HDRO website, the UNDP can build on its successful efforts and contribute valuable and unique data in ways that are far more powerful to the international development community.

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