3 minute read

Why was Open SDG chosen?

Open SDG was chosen by Statistics Canada largely as a result of the many convincing examples implemented by the international community.

Both the open source nature of the platform and its user-friendly interface made it an ideal candidate to enhance the dissemination of Canada’s reporting on the SDGs and embrace an open-government approach.

Readily available features such as multilingual capability and accessibility considerations – which are essential components for Canadian releases – were also key features aiding the decision.

In addition, the open-source nature and ease of implementation of the platform allowed the project to be completed entirely by analysts rather than technical resources.

Finally, contributing to the international alignment of SDG reporting solidified the decision to implement the Open SDG platform.

Which organisation was responsible for choosing and implementing the platform?

Statistics Canada

How did you set up your country platform based on Open SDG?

The platform was implemented using the Open SDG template and Quick Start guide produced by the Open SDG team.

Afterwards, through small customisations the platform was adapted to align with the Canadian Indicator Framework and its specificities. The majority of the modifications were content related but also included the implementation of various features available to enhance the stock version of the platform.

How long did it take to set up the platform?

The whole process took around 12 weeks from the exploratory phase to completing the platform and ensuring readiness for dissemination. This included the implementation phase, development and customization of the GitHub platform, data harvesting and uploading, metadata development, translation, accessibility assessment and content review.

How do you upload data and metadata into the platform?

Data and metadata were manually imported into the Open SDG platform.

Data were harvested mainly from Statistics Canada’s products but some data were obtained from other federal departments and other sources. Data from other sources required additional formatting.

Since this data hub was developed for Canada’s reporting on the Canadian Indicator Framework (and not the global framework), all of the metadata had to be fully developed and uploaded manually.

How is the platform hosted? (GitHub, local server, other platform)

Both the staging and production platforms are hosted on GitHub.

How are support and maintenance managed for the platform?

The ongoing support and maintenance required are currently managed by the small team that worked on the development of the platform. Although the platform is relatively simple to use, we have also reached out to the Open SDG team for help when necessary.

What languages is your platform available in?

The platform is available in the two official languages of Canada, English and French.

What customisations were added to the Open SDG platform?

The majority of the customisations were content related but some were made to include various features readily available through the Open SDG platform. Some examples of these are:

  • the inverted colour scheme
  • the formatting of the goals’ pages
  • the target line in the graphics
  • the previous/next indicator navigation buttons
  • the removal of some pages from the menu.

What advice and lessons learned could you give to other countries considering using Open SDG?

The platform provides the opportunity to create a user-friendly interactive data hub that requires minimal technical skills to build.

The existing documentation and templates produced by the Open SDG team were invaluable in developing the data hub.

In the beginning, we found useful to create an experimental template to learn and experiment with the tools and the process instead of experimenting with the final one.

We have also found beneficial to look at the platforms of various countries to find ideas for future improvements and features in addition to gain a better understanding of the process taken.