Using DevInfo for evidence-based decision making on population-related issues

Jon F. Kapp, United Nations DevInfo

Policy-makers dealing with population issues require relevant, sound data for evidence-based decision making. This paper discusses how DevInfo is being used to contribute standardized statistical data for sound decision making. DevInfo is a database system which harnesses the power of advanced information technology to compile and disseminate human development data. The system has been endorsed by the UN Development Group to help countries monitor achievement of the MDGs. DevInfo provides methods to organize, store and display human development data uniformly, to facilitate data sharing at the country level. DevInfo contains simple, user-friendly features which produce tables, graphs and maps for inclusion in reports. The software supports both standard and user-defined indicators and is distributed royalty-free to all Member States for deployment on desktops and the web. As of December 2009, over 275 DevInfo adaptations have been launched in more than 130 countries, including 10 in Europe. Following are three examples of how DevInfo is making a difference in evidence-based decision making on population issues. MDG Info 2009 is a customized version of DevInfo providing wide access to the official MDG dataset. The online database contains data for 56 European Member States, 123 indicators and 20 time periods. CME Info was launched by the Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation in 2008 to provide online access to child mortality estimates. Powered by DevInfo database technology, CME Info allows users to generate child mortality estimates and visualize the results for data analysis. CensusInfo, a software package developed to help countries disseminate census data, was launched by a joint UN programme in 2009. Adapted from DevInfo database technology, CensusInfo contains user-friendly features which produce tables, graphs and maps. The system supports an unlimited number of geographic levels and allows users to import census data from spreadsheets and industry-standard statistics software packages.

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Presented in Poster Session 2