4 minute read

We have been defining our vision for the future of Open SDG.

The vision includes our overarching aim as well as eight principles that are used to drive the design and development of Open SDG.

This vision will allow the Open SDG community to see the bigger picture of the platform and why we do what we do.

Going forward, we will continue to refine our vision and follow the principles that are outlined. We will also explore how we can share more details about the principles that we follow.

Our overarching vision

The main aim of Open SDG and what we do is to provide a free reusable platform for managing and publishing data and statistics related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Eight design principles

Our overarching vision is broken down into eight design principles which are rules that we follow when developing the platform to ensure we meet our main aim, and that the platform is fit for purpose.

Below we have detailed each of the principles and what they mean:

  1. User centred

    Users are at the centre of product design and development

    Open SDG provides plenty of scope for new features and developments that can be achieved in a number of different ways. However, we need to ensure what we do and how we do it, is actually useful to the end users of Open SDG platforms and meets their needs.

    We aim to do this by basing all decisions about changes to the platform on user research and by following an iterative design process, allowing us to quickly design, evaluate and improve functionality.

  2. Accessible

    The service is usable by all

    We are committed to ensuring digital accessibility to the platform for everyone. Our aim is to make Open SDG fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA.

    This will ensure that platforms work with many different assistive technologies and devices, and across all latest browsers.

  3. Free to reuse

    All elements of service are free

    Open SDG is free to use and will always be free to use. We will never use paid for software or services within the development of Open SDG. Further, it will always be possible to use free hosting services (e.g. GitHub pages) for Open SDG platforms.

    This allows anyone to use Open SDG for SDG reporting now, throughout the course of the SDGs and beyond.

  4. Open source

    All elements of service are open source, where possible

    Similarly, we aim to use only open source software and services wherever possible. This helps us meet our commitment of Open SDG always being free to use (as in most cases open-source software is free).

    Using open source software also gives us flexibility compared to using proprietary software and also allows us to focus on our primary concern of SDG reporting rather than having to write code that already exists elsewhere.

  5. Collaborative

    Anyone who wants to be can be involved with the development of the product

    Open SDG is used by many users who have diverse needs and perspectives when it comes to reporting SDG indicators. Making use of this diversity will allow us to ensure that Open SDG appeals to and is fit for purpose for all its users.

    To do this, we will continue to encourage collaboration from the Open SDG community for all stages of the development cycle, i.e. from design to testing to implementation.

  6. Interoperable

    Platforms can consume and export standard data and metadata formats

    We are developing Open SDG to allow data and metadata that complies with global standards (e.g. SDMX) to be consumed by and exported from a platform. We also focus on the input and output of open data formats (e.g. CSV).

    Use of global standards allows use of Open SDG without having to make major changes to data and metadata. Use of open data formats allows end-users to download and explore data without the need for proprietary software.

  7. Fully customisable

    Customising platforms is easy and doesn’t hinder continued use of central code

    We understand that users of Open SDG have different needs when it comes to the development of their platform. Therefore, we want to make it as easy as possible for users to make the changes they need.

    To do this we make popular customisations into configuration options so that even users without developer expertise can make changes to their platform.

    For those who have developer expertise, we aim to make it easy to make changes whilst still allowing use of central code where needed.

  8. Multilingual

    Platforms can be implemented in all languages

    With Open SDG platforms being implemented across the world, it is important to us that users can make their platform available in whichever language they wish.

    To do this, we not only provide guidance on setting up a multilingual platform, but we also ensure all parts of the platform can be translated. To make it easier to add further languages, we aim to keep language used across the platform simple.