The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) Data Visualization Contest, sponsored by Tableau, is offering the opportunity for data scientists to showcase their skills by analysing and visualizing data from the new UNDG Transparency Portal.

The UNDG Transparency Portal displays data from UNDG members that are currently publishing to International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard. The objective of publishing to IATI standard is to improve the transparency and openness of aid, development, and humanitarian resources in order to increase their effectiveness in tackling poverty.

You can create a data visualization across any theme, country or region that combines UNDG data (through the UNDG Transparency Portal) to other agency datasets such as World Bank and Human Development Report data. Examples of datasets that can be used for this contest include, but are not limited to:

UNDG Transparency Portal (mandatory)
World Bank Data
UNDP Human Development Report 
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators Global Database 

Preference will be given to visualizations that highlight new trends and insights into the sustainable development goals and indicators. For more information on sustainable development goals, click here

Instructions and submission

Develop a summary of your data visualization that explains:

  1. Choice of topic/theme
  2. How the dataset was obtained and sources
  3. Any cleaning, parsing, and analysis you performed on the dataset
  4. How data visualization improves/highlights a new understanding of the topic
  5. Any conclusions or inferences that can be made from the data visualization

The summary should not exceed 500 words and must be in English.

To create a visualization using Tableau:

    1. Download Tableau Desktop Profession, the product used by authors to create and publish dashboards. Tableau Desktop is available for both iOS and Windows PCs.
    1. Use the special key below provided by Tableau exclusively for the UNDG contest to activate the software.
    1. This key is valid till April 30thLicense Key: TD3L-A0F9-95C0-607A-6DCA
    1. Create an account on Tableau Public  to publish your final Dashboard submission: https://public.tableau.com/s/ 
    1. Once a dashboard has been published, it is accessible via a web browser.
  1. Need inspiration or want to see the art of what’s possible?  Check out the Tableau Public Gallery https://public.tableau.com/s/gallery

To create a visualization through other means, publish it at a link and follow the guidelines below to submit your work.

All participants must submit an online web-based visualization.

The link to your online visualization must be submitted here

Please note: visualizations can be changed/edited before the deadline.

Deadline to submit visualization is April 30, 2017.


The following resources from Tableau to provide more information about the type and quality of data visualizations expected from this contest: Tableau Public Greatest HitsStarter Kit,  and two recorded sessions on Tableau Training: The Science of Visual Analysis, Introduction to Calculations

Visit UNDG Transparency Portal GitHub wiki page for data sourcing and related materials.

More information can be found here.

Rules and regulations

Intellectual Property

UNDG, unless otherwise agreed with participants, claims any rights of ownership in your Entry.

Each participant hereby agrees that UNDG (and third parties authorized by UNDG) may make any and all entries available in their publications and on their websites and any other media, whether now known or invented in the future. You now grant UNDG a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license (for the full period of any rights in the entry) to use, display, publish, transmit, and copy the entry for such purposes.

UNDG may, in appropriate circumstances, and at its sole discretion, reject, edit, remove or disable access to entries that appear to be legally or otherwise problematic e.g. infringe the copyright or other intellectual property or privacy rights of others, are defamatory etc. or for any other reason.

Your entry and any information submitted are made by you. You hereby warrant that your entry and all information which you submit and/or distribute will not infringe the intellectual property, privacy or any other rights of any third party, and will not contain anything which is libelous, defamatory, obscene, indecent, harassing or threatening.

External Data

All external data used for this competition by participants must be sourced and referenced. 


UNDG will not accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any participant entering the contest or as a result of accepting any prize. UNDG is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment or software, failure of any email or entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet, telephone lines or at any web site, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer or mobile telephone related to or resulting from participation in the competition.

Data Protection and Publicity

Winners may be requested to take part in promotional activity and UNDG reserves the right to use the names and addresses of winners in any publicity both in print and online.

Any personal data relating to participants will not be disclosed to a third party without the individual’s consent. Data relating to participants will be retained by UNDG for a reasonable period after the contest closes to assist UNDG to operate competitions in a consistent manner and to deal with any queries on the contest.

By submitting visualization, all participants are accepting all the above regulations and requirements.

Judging Criteria

Each visualization will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Creativity and aesthetics of visualization(s)
  2. Effectiveness to transform underlying data into insight
  3. Utility of the data visualization to inform decision making

Judges will include UN program experts, data scientists, and UN member state representatives.


Winning entries will be given a certificate of participation from the United Nations Development Operations Cooperation Office on behalf of the United Nations Development Group. Prizes for winners include one of the following:

  1. Prize: One year free subscription to Tableau Professional (worth $1,499);
  2. Prize: Up to $500 cash prize towards an educational opportunity or
  3. Prize: Presentation of your visualization at the Transparency Portal launch event organized at UN Headquarters

Winning entries will be advertised on the following portals:

  1. Tableau Public website
  2. Silofighters
  3. UNDG website
  4. UNDG Twitter account
  5. United Nations Global Pulse

Contact Information

For information regarding data use, technology difficulties and any other concerns please email kit.doco@undg.org 

Participants can contact Tableau Customer Support: http://www.tableau.com/support/case for any visualization-related support questions.

The UNDG Transparency Portal was built by Young Innovations.