U.N. Opens Up Funding Data on Its Development Projects

    by Nate Smith
    December 17, 2012

    The [United Nations Development Programme](http://undp.org) (UNDP) recently opened up data on more than 6,000 development projects implemented in 177 countries around the world last year. This is a huge win for openness and transparency in international development and project funding, and marks a release of funding information totaling $5.8 billion.

    With help from [Development Seed](http://developmentseed.org/), the new portal, [open.UNDP.org](http://open.undp.org), maps data on each project, showing where and how much UNDP spends on projects, and lets users export the data to run their own analysis. Given the large amount of data presented, the maps are crucial to easily exploring the data and allowing users to quickly drill down and explore the stories within the data.


    Open.UNDP.org showing all 6,000-plus projects across the globe.
    1. Exploring project data quickly

    One of the key features of the portal is the ability to browse quickly through the stories within the data. Being able to slice and explore the data allows users to get a sense of regional variations, look at projects on a per-country basis, or look at who funds what type of projects.


    Exploring poverty reduction projects across the globe.

    Looking at the data through different views allows users to see different stories about UNDP projects. For example, slicing the data to see just poverty reduction projects across Africa can help donors see where gaps are occurring and where people may be going hungry.


    Filtering on only poverty reduction projects across Africa.

    When looking at poverty reduction projects across Africa, the story of who is funding projects and where stands out. We see that [The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria](http://www.theglobalfund.org/) is the largest source of funds for UNDP poverty reduction projects in the region, with significant funding in Zimbabwe, which has one of the highest HIV rates in the world.


    Global Fund projects across Africa region.

    Filtering on Zimbabwe, we see eight projects being implemented, and the top project is helping provide universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and care programs.


    Projects funded by the Global Fund within Zimbabwe.

    A listing view of the eight Zimbabwe projects.
    1. Sharing a slice of the data
      Another important feature of the site is the ability to directly share the view of the data that a user creates. The filter looking at poverty reduction programs in Zimbabwe funded by the Global Fund can be [linked to directly](http://open.undp.org/#filter/operating_unit-ZWE/donors-00327/region-RBA/focus_area-1), giving users the ability to continue the conversation and share data using direct URL endpoints. To share, you simply copy and paste the URL or use the embed function to create an interactive view of the data.

    More information on the portal is [available from UNDP](http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2012/11/29/undp-opens-data-on-over-6-000-projects-in-transparency-drive/), specifically around what opening up this data will mean for the international development space, and on the [Development Seed blog](http://developmentseed.org/blog/2012/nov/29/open-undp-launches/).

    Nate Smith is a researcher and data lead at Development Seed, where he helps strategize and manage our data and mapping projects. He specializes in working with large data sets and developing unique data visualizations. He works closely with the mapping tools available from MapBox and helps transfer knowledge directly to the client. Nate brings technical knowledge of survey design, spatial data collection, and data analysis to each project.

    Tagged: development seed funding data international development mapping open data tilemill

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