The Department for International Development (DfID) has partnered with countries in Africa and Asia and we receive funding from DfID to support these countries with their SDG reporting. Our aim is to help improve the quality and availability of SDG data for these overseas partners.

The Open SDG software that we have used to build our SDG data site was developed by ONS in partnership with the Centre for Open Data Enterprise (CODE) and the United States Government. The software is open source and free to use, making it potentially accessible to all countries looking to create a data site to report their SDG data.

We have worked with three countries to help them create and use their own country’s data site. Ghana was the first country to copy the UK SDG data site. We held a workshop to help our colleagues from the Ghana Statistical Service set up their site and explained how to convert existing Ghana data into SDG indicator statistics.

We repeated the process with our colleagues in National Statistics Institute Rwanda. We helped them create their own SDG data site, upload data and explained how to maintain the site. Their experience is given as a case study to help other countries set up their own data site.

We also worked with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) to help the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic. Other countries can also learn from their experience in a case study.

Any country can create their own version of the SDG data site using step-by-step online instructions. Over ten countries have copied the site without direct help, to date.

Some countries choose to customise their site. For example, Kazakhstan has added visuals to their homepage. Armenia has added targets as well as indicators and reports national indicators.

The Sustainable Development Goals promote the idea of collaboration. With that in mind, it is important to make sure the SDG community shares new developments. Open SDG shares software program code for additions, amendments and new features.It is a shared, open-source online GitHub resource. SDG community members can use the program code stored on the site to amend SDG data sites. The community encourages members to submit and review feature updates.

Countries can copy the Open SDG to create a new data site from scratch. The Open SDG releases incorporate any revised or new features. These include:

  • data visualisations
  • accessibility improvements
  • language translations
  • reporting status categories

Open SDG has provided updates to available features following requests from community members. Recent new program code allows people to mark SDG indicators as ‘not applicable’, for example.

We are working with CODE and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) to develop a way to use data and metadata in SDMX format. We have fixed various data visualisation bugs particularly in relation to maps. We also and added language translations in German, Spanish, French, Russian, Kazakh, Armenian and Arabic.

For more information about the international work we are doing, please email us at SustainableDevelopment@ons.gov.uk.