Jon F. Kapp, Executive Director, Community Systems Foundation
Seth Davis, Communications and Programme Advisor, Community Systems Foundation
Community Systems Foundation has been a central contributor to a vision for UN reform laid out by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in A/72/684, “Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet.”
Positioned on top of powerful results-based monitoring tools, the UN INFO dashboard tracks UN contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all countries where UN Country Teams operate.
The UN INFO dashboard for the UNCT Turkmenistan has recently been launched, and over 30 other countries will be integrating their UN INFO dashboards soon.
With UN INFO, Member States and UN Country Teams will be able to more easily collaborate, coordinate and monitor programmatic activities and drive evidence-based policy decisions at all levels.
Utilizing the Data For All (DFA) toolkit, UN INFO demonstrates a flexibility built on standards that gives UN agencies and their partners the tools to monitor and report on progress against any development plan. UN Info promotes collaboration and accountability within the UN system and transparency to those the UN serves, including national partners and stakeholders.
Decoding UN INFO Visualizations
The dashboard visualizes UN contributions to SDGs at the country level at both macro and micro levels.
The UN INFO dashboard opens with breakdowns of each SDG as it relates to contribution and number of activities. Accessing an API based web tool, the dashboard displays data on Entities, Implementing Partners, Investing Partners and Funding Gaps as they relate to specific SDGs.
With analysis on funding allocation by Sustainable Development Goal, UN INFO also offers an account of UN spending in the programme country. In Turkmenistan, the UN financial contributions in 2018 were largely focussed on supporting Good Health and Well-Being. At just under 50%, this reflects a significant proportion of the UN budget in Turkmenistan. In this regard, the contributions to SDG 3 in the country are four times larger than the next highest value (SDG8).
Using this data, UN Country Teams can assess the equitable distribution of funds across the SDGs vis-a-vis the priority areas identified for support in each country.
Directly linked is a depiction of potential funding gaps in UN programming. The UN Country Team will utilize this data in effort to raise funding critical to achievement of the UN mission. In Turkmenistan, the UN Country Team nearly met the total required resources to execute planned programming in 2018 across all SDGs.
Moving from the macro to the micro, UN INFO provides a visual report on all UN activities at the national and sub-national levels in every country where the UN is active, identifying who is doing what and where.
In Turkmenistan, there are 168 UN activities in progress or complete. Activity descriptions include key details including Title, Agency, Stakeholders, Date, Status and Geography, UN INFO provides detailed and updated information on each activity in the country. Each activity is tagged to an SDG.
UN INFO further reports on UN activities by specific SDGs. This 3W map visualization allows activities to be filtered to view the information from different perspectives.
Using SDG 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts – as an example, it can be seen that there are 33 active UN activities in Turkmenistan that relate to combating climate, second to SDG 3 which has 36 ongoing activities. Interestingly, while SDG 3 has a budget nearly commiserate to the remaining 16 goals, in Turkmenistan, there is more balance in the number of activities across all the sustainable development goals.
UN INFO also provides status updates on completed, in progress and on hold initiatives. In this case, 15.2% of climate related projects have been completed and 84.8% are still in progress.
Finally, UN INFO presents a view of the flow of funding at the country level, linking investments, partners, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In Turkmenistan, outside of ‘Government cost-sharing’, the ‘Global Fund’ contributes the largest investment in the country - representing nearly half of all resources allocated for SDG3. This funding - over 11 million USD over the entire country programme - is earmarked for implementation by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry to implement projects.
This powerful Sankey visualization allows the data to be manipulated to reflect the links between SDG, Implementing Partner, Agency and Location.
With the exciting development of UN INFO, UN Country Teams and and their partners will be able to coordinate and collaborate more effectively. UN INFO will provide strengthened programming and heightened accountability throughout the UN system.
By the end of 2019, aggregated data at the global level will tell a comprehensive story of UN contributions to the achievement of SDGs.
In this regard, UN INFO is actively contributing to UN reform and Community Systems Foundation remains committed to providing technical and development assistance to UN DOCO as additional countries and regional organization come onboard.
 ECOSOC. Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. 21 December 2017. Accessed at: http://undocs.org/A/72/684.
 UNDG. Our Work on the Sustainable Development Goals in Turkmenistan. Accessed at: https://turkmenistan.un.org/en/sdgs.