UNDP COVID-19 Data Futures Platform [DRAFT]





Project Overview

Having effective access to the right data is critical to a nation's effort in combating COVID-19. From case numbers and health indicators, to vulnerable groups and employment statistics, there's a lot of data to consider.

To solve this challenge, the UNDP conceived of a COVID-19 socio-economic recovery data platform, and charged Small Multiples with the task of creating data visualisation solutions.

Project Commissioner

United Nations Development Programme

Project Creator

Small Multiples


The UNDP team included Babatunde Abidoye (Global Policy Advisor), Reina Otsuka (Digital Innovation Specialist), Gayan Peiris (Data and Technology Strategist) and Naledi Hollbrügge (Data Scientist). On the development team were Stephanie Grace and Dasha Yurovskaya (design), Harry Morris (Creative Developer) and Andrea Lau (project director).

Project Brief

Central to developing effective COVID-19 recovery solutions is accurate, reliable data—whether a government is determining the limits of a lockdown or executing a fiscal stimulus package.

As the key leader of the socio-economic pandemic response globally, the UNDP needed to accurately compare the situation in different countries, comparing multiple variables to help member states and different organisations mount an appropriate response.

Project Need

The UNDP's strategies are informed by data gathered from various UN bodies, academic institutions, nonprofit organisations, development partners and nations.

However, given the diverse sources of this data, it has been difficult and time-consuming for the UNDP to compare and contrast datasets—and to transfer the insights gained from one situation to another. They needed the ability to bring this complex data together and overlay datasets, in a way that was powerful but still intuitive for non-technical users.

User Experience

The platform brings together a wealth of data in a single, user-friendly, online hub, in order to provide extraordinary insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the journey towards socio-economic recovery around the world.

We chose a map-based solution in order to keep the data visual and relatable, but maximised the number of variables which could be compared using a chart overlays and a bivariate choropleth colour scheme (the coloured grid which combines two different variables in the one scale). In order to contextualise the map data, we added an additional indicator chart under each map which shows countries in ranked order.

There are five maps, corresponding to the five pillars of the UNDP's framework (Health First, Protect People, Economic Recovery, Macro Response and Social Cohesion).

Project Marketing

The UNDP has promoted use of the tool through workshops and various press outlets. In response the platform has been used as a touchpoint for many articles and analyses, and cited by nonprofits as a data source.

Project Privacy

The tool and its data are public. You can find it at data.undp.org/covid-19.

From ground-breaking apps accelerating medical research to apps helping consumers make healthier choices, we're looking for apps that are making health information and medical services more accessible to all.
More Details